New York is an old city filled with people who want new things. This leads, as one might expect, to endless problems, conflicts, debates, sometimes even altercations. We want to keep old things, but we also want new things, and new things often mean getting rid of old things, or at least changing old things. And when is change not fraught? Change is always fraught. It’s so complicated and fraught and terrifying that totally reasonable people who want totally reasonable things can end up in completely ridiculous debates. For example, the Dumbo cobblestone kerfuffle, a conflict that centers on whether the city should replace, as The New York Times put it, old cobblestones with old-looking cobblestones.
Basically, the city wants to tear out the charming, historic, but kind of hard to traverse cobblestones in Dumbo and Vinegar Hill. Not being totally insensitive to the unique charms of historic cobblestone (and the heightened real estate values that come with the ankle-twisting ground cover)—as well as being somewhat cognizant of the public relations nightmare of replacing historic Belgian cobblestones with common asphalt—the city has offered some more aesthetically replacing road cover: artificially-aged new cobblestones. Read More