By Carol Tannenhauser
Monday, October 24, 2022
Chance of showers. High 62 degrees.
Our calendar has lots of local events! Click on the link or the lady in the upper righthand corner.
The Central Park Conservancy has a terrific guide to the Fall foliage in Central Park that you can access here.
The drip, drip, drip of crime news continues, feeding that feeling – no matter how much of a stoic you are, and no matter what the statistics say – that the city is under some new level of assault.
Often police give little context with their crime reports. Consider this one from the past weekend: “A man, no age, was stabbed in the neck in the vicinity of 86th Street and Amsterdam Avenue at around 11pm Saturday. He was taken to Mount Sinai Morningside hospital in stable condition.” The “light-complexioned” assailant was still “outstanding” as of Sunday morning.
Did this happen after a personal dispute or was it a random crime? We don’t know, but it’s one more story against the backdrop of today’s political, economic, and international news that might make some feel as if we’re on the eve of destruction.
Wait…didn’t Barry McGuire sing about that in a whole different era – the summer of 1965?
And weren’t humans threatening to annihilate each other in 1959, according to The Kingston Trio?
If bad news is endemic, how, then, should we process it? How can we put it in a meaningful context? We’re not, of course, under threat like residents of many parts of Ukraine, where Russia is raining down life-and-death terror. But that context offers little comfort.
Here’s a different kind of context: while the Rag reports on crime news, much of our reporting would fall into the category of “good news” on the Upper West Side. Read about the outpouring of generosity shown to asylum seekers by Upper West Siders. Read about the tiny grasshopper sparrow that drew a crowd in Central Park — and about Wollman Rink, which is making ice skating under the skyscrapers available to all. Read about the vibrant Ballet Hispánico, which just had a street co-named for it, and about the 28 restaurants and stores that opened in the neighborhood this past month, while only six closed. Read about the new bagel and bialy place that is taking up the mantle of a beloved diner, and about the stolen kitten that was returned.
What we read shapes our views of the world and the neighborhood around us, according to the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman. “People tend to assess the relative importance of issues by the ease with which they are retrieved from memory—and this is largely determined by the extent of coverage in the media,” Kahneman wrote in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. “Frequently mentioned topics populate the mind even as others slip away from awareness. In turn, what the media choose to report corresponds to their view of what is currently on the public’s mind.”
We will keep reporting the news of the UWS, just as we’re sure Rag readers will keep on telling us what’s on their minds.
(Happy Birthday, LAC)