Monday, November 14, 2022
Generally clear. High 45 degrees.
Our calendar has lots of local events! Click on the link or the lady in the upper righthand corner.
A woman wrote that she lost a gold locket last Thursday that is “precious” to her while visiting the American Folk Art Museum on Columbus Avenue at West 66th Street, and walking around the neighborhood. If anyone finds it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll connect you with the owner.
How Upper West Siders Are Feeling About the Midterm Elections
By Carol Tannenhauser
“Yes, I’m a citizen. Yes, I voted,” said the newsstand guy on the corner of 81st and Columbus in response to my somewhat intrusive questions. He wasn’t offended at all, so I pressed on. “Who’d you vote for?” “Hoo-kahl, Hoo-kahl,” he cried. It took me a second to realize he meant Gov. Kathy Hochul. He rummaged around and held up a sticker that, for some reason, read “Future Voter.”
A shopkeeper across the way was not so cheerful. He had voted for Republican Lee Zeldin for governor for two reasons: “He’s anti congestion pricing and anti crime,” he said. “I live in Queens. I have two trucks. I have to pay $7.50 each way to go home? And if I go below 59th Street they’re gonna charge me $23?!”
I tried to argue that they “would have to make allowances for local residents and merchants,” but he wasn’t hearing it, so I thanked him and moved on. I was following the route I had taken on my post-election walk around the neighborhood in November 2016, two days after Donald Trump was elected president. Back then, I wanted to hear the reactions of my neighbors to Trump’s win and Hillary’s loss. Now, on the Thursday after the 2022 Midterm Elections, I was retracing my steps to find out how random Upper West Siders were feeling about the results.
“Relieved that it didn’t turn out as badly as I expected,” said a woman inside Strand Bookstore, on Columbus Avenue between 81st and 82nd. (In 2016, it was Book Culture.) “I’m hoping that whatever contests are still in play go Democratic.” She laughed. “That’s what happens: my dread now shifts to the next election!”
“Conflicted,” another Strand shopper answered. “Because I really want the city to be as safe as possible and I feel right now it’s not. But at the same time, I’m a liberal person who wants to make sure we also have our individual freedoms, so I’m very conflicted about that.”
“I’m feeling pretty good about it,” said a woman passing by the bookstore as I stepped outside. “I’m happy that people are thinking through what could happen in the future with women’s health. I’m happy that more of the conservative side is getting voted out at the moment, and that we have people who are trying to fight and help. I’m happy…for now,” she concluded. “That’s probably the best we can hope for.”
“I’m happy about New York, apprehensive about Congress,” an older man said.
My last interview was with a young woman of color, who was lost. She was looking for “the Madison Avenue express bus to get back up to the Bronx.” Oh boy, I said, and explained the situation. We walked together to the 81st St. crosstown bus going east, and I asked her my question. “How are you feeling about the results of the midterm elections? Are you happy, sad, indifferent?”
“I have no idea. Let me ask you a question,” she countered. “Are you satisfied with the way the country is now, with the economy and crime? Because I believe that, in 2020, things were better than they are now.”
Me: “You’re a Republican?”
“I mean, what has the current president really done?” she asked. “You know, some might say he hasn’t done anything, and then there’s the other side that’ll say he’s done a lot. You don’t know who to believe, because the media lies to us as well. We don’t know where to get our news from.”
“That’s one of the problems with this country,” I said. “The truth is played around with…”
“What bus am I looking for?” she asked.
I turned off my recorder, but remember her final words.
“It isn’t over yet, you know,” she said. “They still have a couple of more to finish counting.”
Editor’s Note: Since this was written, the Democrats won their 50th Senate seat. How are you feeling now about the results of the 2022 Midterm Elections? Let us know in the comments.
“I tried to argue that they “would have to make allowances for local residents and merchants,” but he wasn’t hearing it’.”
I wish I shared your optimism. As someone who has a car (and a space for it) I’ve been staying on top of this, and currently, there is no exemption for commercial vehicles AT ALL (which is ridiculous). Nor is there one for Manhattan residents. There does seem to be one if you stay on the FDR or West Side Highway without triggering the congestion zone . I guess that means that we will be able to enter the Holland Tunnel from the West Side. Not sure if we’ll be allowed to drive over the East River bridges.
The thinking behind this is ‘if we make exceptions, everyone else will have to pay more’. Because Heaven forbid that the MTA do with a little less.
Manhattan residents may recall that an early attempt at ‘congestion pricing’ was the imposition of an 18.375% parking garage tax. We were given a lower 10.375% tax rate. There should be some kind of similar allowance for local residents at least during non-peak hours.
I’m actually in favor of a real congestion tax as opposed to a revenue grab. A real congestion tax would tax non-essential (as in privately owned vehicles) during peak hours only. It would not tax essential commercial traffic, taxis (remember taxis are touted as a reason NYC residents don’t need cars), or folks who happened to live in or near the congestion zone.
This may be the final straw for me to get the hell out of here if I have to pay an extra $23 just to drive to Costco in Brooklyn or another of the rare times I actually use my car while in the city.
If you drive from north of 60th Street to Brooklyn via the FDR Drive or the WS Highway, you wouldn’t pay the congestion pricing charge.
You don’t need a car that’s overwhelming the city.. Use Uber or a regular taxi. .!
It’s two wheeled vehicles that are “overwhelming the city.” Because of “progressive” policies, we’ve gone from congested to congested and chaotic.
“Stupid thoughtless plans have consequences.”
Manhattan is the nucleus of the largest metropolitan area in the country and not everyone can use transit or use an Uber. It’s Uber and Lyft donating to groups like Transportation Alternatives to induce congestion and remove parking so THEY can be the only transportation option. Especially when the MTA goes belly up as there might be a financial collapse of the MTA within a few decades due to ballooning debt which the MTA cannot declare bankruptcy on. Car infrastructure is used by other vehicles such as trucks, vans and buses and we need redundancy.
I really don’t understand. I look at my corner at 88 and bway and There’s always homeless there now. What used to be anecdotal crime is now constant. Women’s health vis a vis Roe was codified by statute, so that seems a red herring. Why do I only see what 18% see.
So you’re mad you have to look at unhoused people who are out in the cold?
“Unhoused” is a confusing term. It implies a right to housing, which does not exist in the US. Our rights are free. Housing is a commodity, meaning someone has to pay for it. That guy is homeless.
Correct on Zeldin, he stated many times that he wouldn’t act on abortion because he simply couldn’t, with New York’s very blue government. Lots of people seemed to have voted on one issue.
A right to shelter does exist under New York law.
No, he’s ecstatic about seeing unhoused people living in squalor in the streets, in a city that can clearly house everyone who arrives here on any type of short notice. It’s a celebration of freedom and our effective services and strong political will to solve this problem.
He has a right to be “mad”. Much like drug use, homelessness is an epic failure for large democratic run cities. Liberals have adopted the theory that “homelessness is not a crime”. By doing so, that has somehow evolved into “homelessness is fine”.
Well homelessness is not fine, it’s unfair to tax paying residents who often have to live amongst dangerous and mentally ill, and most importantly it’s unfair to the homeless who live on the streets or in subways, especially in the winter left to their own devices.
MSNBC recently asked Hochul if NYC will become the next San Francisco, who had become the poster child for normalizing drugs and homelessness. She vigorously denied it, which tells you that Dems are aware of the problem. Sadly NYC will likely continue to paint these folks as “victims” who “aren’t committing any crime” and leave them to be. And UWS’rs will continuing giving them money and feeling like they are “helping” the problem, though they are simply perpetuating it.
All I’m hearing is “I pay too much money to have to look at this crap.” Being unhoused is not a crime, it is a state of a persons life. The actions they take can be a criminal offense, just like the actions you and I may take, but being poor and destitute is not in and of itself a crime. Tomorrow that could be you or I outside, and how would you feel if this was the stance your neighbors took to your circumstances?
Being unhoused isn’t a crime, weaponizing homelessness to push more gentrification won’t help.
My child is no longer staying for the after school program because it is now too dark to walk from school because of the daylight savings. Otherwise he would have to traverse through dozens of aggressive homeless and mentally ill. His well-being is in danger. Only 7 blocks home.
But, yes, let’s celebrate Hochul.
Worried about NYC crime? The person to look to is Adams, not Hochul.
They are both responsible.
Mayor Adams went to the governor and asked for her to change the bail laws, she refused.
Sorry, when your child gets mugged on the way home from school it’s the governor‘s fault.
But beyond complaining here how about calling the governor??????
if you voted for Hochul you can’t complain. Not anymore
The first time in 50 years that I voted for a Republican, in this case, the Gubernatorial race & will continue to do so until until the bail reform legislation is modified.
Honestly, what you’re seeing with a lot of these remarks and comments (perpetually here on WSR) is the result of a fractured news environment and the decline of verifiable information. Unfettered social media networks foster the spread of conspiracies and distorted “news” (i.e. NYS’s CRIME CRIME CRIME surge thanks to NY Post playing fast and loose with stats). The decline of actual newsgathering operations and their reliance on the same social media streams for stories manifests itself in the way people seem turned around, disoriented, unconcerned with actual facts (i.e. the Queens-based storeowner who hasn’t actually understood what congestion pricing will do)….
In the end, Americans are becoming a less educated population without the ability to think critically. And it starts with the sort of information environment they live in.
Its not just the NY Post – WSR, as often as not, leads with crime stories. Smash and grab is a way of life on the UWS making it difficult to find basic items in drug stores. Its not conspiracies, its life on t he UWS
I am not happy with Hochul who seems uninterested in New York crime and the affect it is having on the quality of life for its citizens. I am nervous about subway travel due to the number of random and crazy happenings and also about the safety of our streets with so many police officers leaving New York City. As well as, the senseless “catch and release” of the bail law. Our politicians are too concerned with getting their photo in the media instead of doing the job they were elected for.
I believe the police are punishing the liberal UWS, in fact all of NYC, because of our sympathy with the Black Lives Count movement. Unfortunately, they seem to think that means we agree with “defunding” the police, when most of us are for building police departments whose first job is to serve our communities. They see black and white while most of us see a need for evolving improvement in fair yet tough policing. I don’t see all policewomen and men as violent and right wing. I know many are in the field to serve their communities while others just want to slough off or break heads.
The two Republicans in this article really fit their brand – resistant to facts and to learning more about the world we live in, preferring to stay in their bubble of ignorance. It would’ve taken the lady less than five minutes to read up on the legislation Biden’s administration has passed.
The “young woman of color,” has it right.
Hard to believe who to trust and who’s telling the truth,
But in the end, voting Hochul was voting for the way things are. Crime will continue to spike up. Criminals will be released within 24 hours of committing a crime. Inflation will stay higher than it should be, and the majority that will always vote democrat will have on;ly themselves to blame when not so nice things will happen to them, their family and friends.
As the saying goes: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a change is a sign of going nuts.
The uptick in crime happened while Trump was President in both rural communities and urban communities. Maybe having a President who thinks that he is above the law, and that no one else but he matters, had something to do with it? Role models and all that.
According to Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal: “Violent crime isn’t just rising in the nation’s cities. …. Homicide rates in rural America rose 25% in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was the largest rural increase since the agency began tracking such data in 1999. The CDC considers counties rural if they are located outside metropolitan areas defined by the federal government.
The rise came close to the 30% spike in homicide rates in metropolitan areas in 2020.”
We are discussing New York City, not other cities or rural areas. We can clearly see what current administration did to our city.
This is such a weird response. I H brings up nationwide trends to show that New York is beset by the same phenomena as the rest of the country, making it illogical to place so much blame at the feet of the “current administration” — which is inherently local and unique to NYC. That’s basic argumentation.
Also, what even is the “current administration” you’re referring to? Adams, who hasn’t been mayor a full year? Hochul, who has been governor for just over a year? And neither of them was in charge when the boogeyman bail reform law was passed in 2019, so blaming them is just scattershot scapegoating.
Hochul refused to repeal bail reform, but you know that.. I’m not even going to address Adams and Bragg issues. You know all that.
I’m feeling hopeful for the future of our democracy! We can’t keep our democracy healthy if one party refuses to concede elections and makes excuses for actual coup attempts, which we learned even more about in all the Jan 6 Committee hearings.
Crime, homelessness, and inflation are definitely problems I would like solved ASAP. I don’t want
However, without a democracy, our opinions about these other issues would be irrelevant.
Ukrainians are dying for their right to govern themselves. The least we can do is vote to keep that right.
Were you upset about people not conceding elections when Hillary made a career out of it.
It is becoming hard to read all these throw-away statements at each and every opportunity when crime and homelessness in OUR NEIGHBORHOOD are mentioned – “January 6!”, “Coup!”, “Ukraine!”
Deflection, deflection, deflection.
Let’s see if WSR lets it through as they censor most comments not in lock step with their views.
Well-said. I can’t stand when a human tradegy like the war in Ukraine is exploited to distract from our immediate issues and minimize them.
Relieved it wasn’t a blowout ,happy we retained the Senate, sad we’ll lose the house.