June 19, 2023
Generally clear; high 79 degrees
There will be a Full Community Board 7 meeting on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Here are the links to participate: Register for the meeting | Sign-Up to speak | Download the Proposed Resolutions
The summer solstice, the astronomical start of summer and the longest day of the year, will occur on Wednesday, June 21, at 10:57 a.m. in the Northern Hemisphere. “The moment when one of the Earth’s hemispheres reaches its maximum tilt toward the Sun is called the summer solstice in that hemisphere,” Starwalk explains. “On this day, it receives the most amount of sunlight, which results in the longest day of the year.”
Check current air quality by zip code here.
By Carol Tannenhauser
“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.” Yeah, right. If you’re the Buddha, maybe. Otherwise, words can cause enormous harm. I know because I read all of the Rag’s comments, not just the ones you see, but the ones that don’t make it to the light of day. It’s like falling on hand grenades. I sometimes wonder how the comments would change if commenters were required to use their real names. Some places have turned to this policy as a way of encouraging people to be more thoughtful before they press send.
Once in a while, a comment stands out. Perhaps it’s from a new reader — or a longtime one who finally reaches a personal boiling point or musters up the motivation to write. Who knows what prompted “Sylvester” to comment this Juneteenth weekend? At first, his words seemed like standard fare from a cyclist lauding cycling and its positive effect on the environment, but then he surprised me by saying, “More of us should bicycle. I do not.” He was advocating for other people’s interests and for the planet. Then, he suggested a brilliant solution to the ice-cream-truck parking problem and I thought Sylvester needed a wider platform. Here is his perspective on some of the stories — and comments — we’ve run recently. (It has been edited slightly for length.)
“So. I’ve lived on the Upper West Side for decades. I cannot believe some of these comments, especially the entitlement and arrogance and selfishness of people writing in. I bet the same people complaining about the bike lanes pretend to care about the environment and maybe even compost, or bring their own bags to the grocery store. But somehow [they] think cycling is bad? I’m not sure you realize, but it is actually good for a city and the environment. More of us should bicycle. I do not. I feel bad for cyclists because it is a dangerous city to ride in. They need the bike lanes and they need support of people like us. There is no question that there are unsafe cyclists, and I don’t think there are any rational, honest cyclists who would deny that.
“Moving on to the ice cream trucks. They are avoiding the law by not paying for a permit. You may have a fond and innocent view of ice cream, but the reality is, this is a business. And a lucrative one charging ridiculously high prices for very low-quality ice cream. I have kids and they love ice cream. But despite this, I see those ice cream trucks as a nuisance — free riders looking to make a buck off all of you guys who protect them for some unknown reason. They pollute our air, they make a ridiculous amount of noise, and they block the bike lane. Putting aside all of your intricate and detailed arguments, why don’t you just ask a simple question: why are they blocking a lane they know is designated for bikes? It’s rude and unsafe.
“And here’s the best part. Do you know what we can do to stop it? BOYCOTT the ice cream trucks. Yes, you heard me right. You can survive without your ice cream from your ice cream truck and you can even explain to your child that breaking the law is bad and that this is a bike lane that shouldn’t be blocked. And, therefore, you won’t buy ice cream from these places. Instead, you can walk a few blocks in any direction to a store that has actually invested in the Upper West Side by paying rent and providing jobs and being a part of the community. They can probably barely afford the rent and provide higher-quality ice cream than the garbage on those trucks. Seems like a win-win situation. They are not contributing anything to our neighborhood and the sooner you wake up and realize this the better.
“You can still complain about other cyclists doing bad things…but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be bike lanes. Protect the bike lanes, the cyclists, the pedestrians, and the drivers. They aren’t mutually exclusive and, shockingly, you can defend and advocate for all of the above at the very same time.”
Happy Juneteenth and summer!
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