Millions of New Yorkers are making resolutions that could actually improve the quality of life here (i.e., losing weight means more seats on the subway!) but could so easily go the other way (i.e., “Really buckle down on my dance routine on the D train” or “Try to be a more effective panhandler.”)
Let’s cut out the middleman with some New Years’ Resolutions for New York City. Here are some suggestions that were compiled by a very scientific method — approaching random drunks at a New Year’s Eve party and asking them:
1. Stop charging $12 for a drink that’s served in a plastic cup. Any bar with clientele that is likely to break the glass on the side of the bar for a handy weapon should be employing a bouncer. Call me old-fashioned, but if anyone needs a weapon, what’s wrong with pool cues and billiard balls?
2. Please, please finish the Second Avenue Subway already. Bacteria that was in the rubble of the first shovelful of dirt back in 1929 (when it was first started) have evolved to the point where they have graduated from college and already completed several real estate development deals in the Lower East Side and Brooklyn.
3. If the MTA is going to increase the fare, it could at least require that bus drivers waiting at the start of their routes when it’s cold or wet outside check to see if there’s anyone waiting at the bus stop. A driver sitting warm and dry and reading the paper in full view of wet, cold people waiting on line is a disgrace to the memory of Ralph Kramden.
4. Enough with the food already. It’s great that NYC boasts such a wide variety of cuisines and outlets, but the last time I was in my old neighborhood I looked up and realized that every single apartment had a kitchen. It’s bad enough that there’s a place to buy food every 30 feet, there are also food trucks on the sidewalk so you can pick up a little something to tide you over until you get to the restaurant. Not all that long ago, one of the top industries in NYC was printing. Now it’s brunch.
5. Taylor Swift. Really?
6. Landmark the sunshine in all city parks, starting with Central Park, so developers can’t build luxury residential towers so high everyone else must picnic in the shade.
7. That the people covering the city for various media outlets make more of an effort to know what’s what and who’s who. Beat reporters in NYC who use the phrase “Bowery Street” or “Avenue of the Americas” in reporting should surrender their press passes.
8. That every subsequent movie, TV show or video purporting to show the inside of a New York City apartment be required to post disclaimers — like the ones in pharmaceutical ads — that tell you prolonged use will turn your gall bladder into a hamster. “This is not a real New York Apartment. A real New York apartment in this neighborhood has one closet, one bedroom, and four roommates.”
9. Just put a meter outside every residential door so you can deposit the $60-average it costs to go anywhere or do anything.
10. New York City should revisit its list of “banned pets.” If ferrets are removed from the list, that creates an opening. Since pets, as generally understood, don’t clean up after themselves, steal food, and hog the sofa, any New York City roommate who does the same should, after three months, be considered a pet and put up for adoption.
Despite all its many flaws, though, and the accelerated changes the City is going through, it still remains beautiful and savage; frustrating and challenging; with unexpected rewards and hidden pitfalls; with all the compelling magnetism of a great con artist or a three card monte expert. I love my hometown more than ever.
And don’t get me started about that.