Monday, February 13, 2023
Partly cloudy. High 55 degrees.
Our calendar has lots of local events! Click on the link or the lady in the upper righthand corner to look.
CB7 Joint Parks and Transportation Committees will discuss a deliverista charging station and rest stop proposal for 72nd and Broadway, plus a dangerous CPW interesection. Meeting is February 14, at 6:30pm on Zoom. Register here.
By Carol Tannenhauser
Crime stories are my favorite to write (they have a language and cadence all their own), but my least favorite to post.
Every time a crime report or tip arrives in my inbox I groan, because I know I’m going to bum out the neighborhood, just as I am bummed out. And it does seem like more crime stories are coming in these days. With each one, my first reaction is, I don’t have to post it, but I know I do — because it’s news, and because it sends a message to our readers: be smart, be safe; you’re not imagining it; we do seem to be going through a bit of a dicey phase these days, by no means limited to the Upper West Side.
I bring this up after a Saturday morning walk in Central Park with my dog Maggie, during off-leash hours. I preface it by saying it was a perfect winter day: bright sunshine with a definite chill in the air, but who cares in a sleeping-bag coat, neck gator, hat, Uggs, and fleece-lined mittens? I was toasty. I wanted to call my LA friends and yell, “I like the cold! I like winter!” But it was three hours earlier there.
My point is, there’s more to New York than crime and a housing shortage and migrants crowding an already-overcrowded homeless-shelter system and many more seemingly eternal problems. For one thing, there is Central Park — in the early morning — crowded with people and dogs and runners and friends, all appearing, at least, to be happy and getting along. I know it’s only a snapshot, like the one above, a moment in time. There are plenty of gloomy mornings with a gloomy me to match. But on days like Saturday, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
Happy Belated Birthday, Abraham Lincoln, born on February 12, 1809. Lincoln was never awarded a federal holiday. Presidents Day — which was originally a second homage to George Washington — takes place on the third Monday of February, and in some states it’s used to honor Lincoln as well. If you want to congratulate Lincoln yourself, you can always find him standing on the steps of the New-York Historical Society at 77th Street and Central Park West, where he will graciously grant you a selfie.
My “There’s no place I’d rather be” is very early mornings in Riverside Park, between dawn and the dog walkers, in the 70s and 80s. Just a great quiet break from the NYC bustle.
Thanks for this, Carol. I share the feelings that you express in your article.
The yin and yang of NYC.
I don’t have a dog and I am not an early riser, but I also love winter and would rather be here in New York, especially on my Upper West Side, than anyplace else. All we need is a real winter now.
Before there was Central Park the New York City had become so “citified” that people were literally dropping dead in the streets. The streets were unpaved; just plain old dirt and all the “stuff” that horses left in their wake. There was not even a hint of nature anywhere. The idea of Central Park came about in the 1850s but the Civil War put it on the back burner until after the War was over. When Centrral Park finally got created it was not called Central Park. It was called The Central Park. That’s how important it was. It was literally a life saver. And it is still the very same amazing life saver every time folks walk in to it and the City disappears and one thinks he or she is in the Adirondack Mountains. Absolutely amazing. Enjoy.
And don’t forget Frederick Douglass, also standing tall at the NY-HS.
Thanks for this. I feel the same way walking in Riverside Park, with its beautiful views of the Hudson. I feel the same way admiring the buildings on West End Ave or just strolling on Broadway and Amsterdam, seeing all the families out and about or eating at packed restaurants. I know crime is real, and I worry along with everyone else, but there IS no place I’d rather be than this wonderful city.
Thanks, Carol — I appreciate your sentiments (and agree!).
A welcome reminder, not that there isn’t a distressing amount of crime, grime, and grift.
Isolating at home with Covid, I really appreciated today’s all-good-news edition of the Rag, and the generally happy comments. Thanks, Carol, Maggie, et al. Once I’m out of quarantine I’m heading straight for Taralluci e Vino to celebrate with a hot chocolate.
PS: Thank you also, Carol, for noting Lincoln’s birthday as separate from Presidents’ Day. Father Abraham (as he was called in a Civil War-era song) deserves his own holiday.
I grew up in Illinois (“Land of Lincoln”). Count on it, Abe had his own birthday celebration on Feb 12th. It was “Washington who?”.
Carol, thank you for sharing this feeling. I feel exactly same way. I love Central Park and it is my happiest place.
I know crime and quality of life deteriorated, but not addressing it is not an option, we don’t want to bury our heads in the sand. Most of us , readers, love UWS, want to stay here and do everything possible to reduce crime.
Don’t hesitate posting crime stories as it only gives us more information to try to work with elected officials to reduce it. In addition, we know how to be safer.
Central Park wouldn’t be what it is without volunteers. This past Saturday morning, the Conservancy hosted a Community Volunteer Day on Summit Hill (near the W. 85th entrance) for 20 volunteers . Another event this coming Saturday from 10:00 – 12:00. Come join us and meet some of your nicest neighbors! http://www.centralparknyc.org/volunteer/community-volunteer-days
Abraham Lincoln was a self-educated genius who’d never gone to college & literally saved our country. When he was first elected his cabinet- none of them friends from previous life but rather the best he could find, well educated in our finest universities, men of accomplishment- looked down upon him, this “gangling ape” etc. They patronized him & thought they could use him for their own political ends.
By the time he died 5 short years later these same men were in awe of him, loved him, were left devastated; distraught that this giant of intellect and heart was suddenly gone from their midst.
The whole country was bereft that Lincoln had been snatched from them in this manner of bloody assassination; their hearts cried out so inconsolably that Lincoln was hurriedly embalmed and a special train took him slowly back to Springfield, Ill. for his burial (this really began the embalming tradition as we know it today) so that uncounted citizens could line the tracks to doff their hats, giving their final goodbyes to Father Abraham.
Further study of this man is always edifying, & continues to generate awe, at least in this reader.
I strongly recommend “Team of Rivals”, by Doris Kearns Goodwin (the source material for the relatively recent film, Lincoln [which only used a small amount of the largesse contained therein]) for an instructive glimpse at this towering national hero who kept us one, at the cost of his life…
We could surely use his like again, especially now, as we long once more for national unity.
Seconding the motion for “Team of Rivals.”
And I feel the same way, – even at Fairway (where you can sneak your dog in… shhh)!
Isn’t there also a statue of Frederick Douglass (also born in February) at the New York Historical Society?
After reading this, and as a ‘former’ NY’er somehow finding myself in Florida, how do I get back to the snow on the UWS?!!! A more beautiful season, and wonderful city, does not exist! All leads on a rental apt or pied a terre are welcome! Thanks for reminding me “there is no other place I’d rather be.”
Sadly no snow yet this year. (Crossing fingers)
thank you for such a wonderful article. we need more reminders of gratitude such as yours! agree, “there is no other place I would rather be”!