Raising a family on the Upper West Side is tough enough, with all the usual New Yorker complaints. But now, every single weekend seems to bring a different street closing, making the already difficult city even tougher to navigate.
Leaving home for an event yesterday on the Upper East Side, our commute was blocked (at 9 a.m. on Sunday) because of a Central Park AIDS Walk. Navigating through the park, 78th Street saw street closings between Madison & Park—and 77th Street cross-town was blocked for a walk. Every block saw screaming NY’ers on this Sunday morning—whether cab drivers, local residents upset about blaring music, or people seeking to enjoy New York now that we finally have nice weather. Last weekend, my block was closed because of yet another street fair (surely, Manhattan residents cannot be clamoring for tube socks and soggy corn).
Manhattan residents pay 55 percent of the city’s taxes. Is it too much to ask that in between President Obama’s regular visits, movie shoots, and just the everyday madness of this city that we are allowed fewer inconveniences? Our museums, libraries and parks are treasures—can’t we enjoy them in relative peace? (Not to mention local vendors would also be happier.)
While there are many important causes and events, why not use the great areas of Central Park for them so ordinary New Yorkers—you know, the ones who pay the taxes that keep the city afloat—can enjoy our weekends better? Can’t music and fried foods be sold just as easily without closing off streets?
It’s been a few years since Michael Bloomberg created a Times Square pedestrian mall. But real New Yorkers know that this city still ain’t Disneyland. Let’s keep New York for New Yorkers.
Ronn Torossian was born and raised in this great city and loves basketball, yellow cabs & pretzels—but not street fairs.