By Rob Schron
I started out as a journalist — I was reportedly the youngest editor of a daily newspaper in the U.S. in Saugerties, N.Y., after serving in the Navy during the Korean “conflict” from 1951 to 1956 — and have decided to finish my career doing the same thing. Except for the aforementioned stints, I’ve lived about 86 of my 91 years on the Upper West Side. Now, I thought, might be as good a time as ever to express some opinions and observations about what is going on in New York City and our neighborhood.
If the city needs money – which it undoubtedly does – it need look no further than West End Avenue and Riverside Drive where motorcycles, scooters and electric bikes continuously ignore red lights and speed through pedestrian crossings at a rate too frequent to count. How about licensing them and, perhaps more importantly, set up speed traps? Seems to me the city is missing out on two potential sources of revenue — license fees and fines. And did I mention the possibility of minimizing the hazard these vehicles cause pedestrians?
What price blueberries? They appear to rise and fall in price as fast as the stock market and, for years now, they haven’t been very good. One thing I’ve discovered: the street vendors sell them sometimes at half the price of the brick-and-mortar food stores – and they’re often just as good (if they’re any good to begin with).
I used to enjoy Saturday Night Live, but it has become a bastion of low-class humor with an emphasis on private-parts jokes (which aren’t even funny to begin with). If ever an alleged TV entertainment show needed an overhaul, SNL is it. Amazing to me how Lorne Michaels gets away with allowing such sophomoric jokes because he must be close to being a senior citizen by now (and should know better).
The most under-appreciated people in the city may be the food delivery guys on the Upper West Side who are also probably under tipped as well. Tips for these workers (which are likely their main source of income) should never be based on the percentage of the cost of the meal you ordered, but the fact you didn’t have to cook it and leave your home to get it. A minimum of $3.00 should cover any order under $15.00 and no less than $5.00 should cover anything over that amount. For checks over $25.00, think between $5.00 and $10.00. And if the delivery is made in bad weather, a few extra bucks would not only be deserved but welcome as well.
Have to give a “hats off” to Fresh Direct for its role during the pandemic. It not only had a website that offered virtually everything you could want in terms of food and beverage (and even wine), they were competitively priced and, more importantly, delivered pretty much whatever you wanted or needed to your building in most cases within 24 hours. For senior citizens, this was a great resource and with the closing of a number of UWS markets and bodegas, allowed them some degree of normalcy in fulfilling their needs. It couldn’t hurt if they offered seniors a discount by the way.
I hardly check my Facebook account but when I do I can’t believe the number of cats and dogs my “friends” have, and the frequency with which they share their loved ones’ photos. Maybe that’s why I hardly check my Facebook account.
I often wonder why TV newscast anchors think they need to laugh a lot and exchange pleasantries with one another when the world around them always appears in turmoil? The crowd on the desk of Channel 7 can be particularly annoying. Report the news and stop the banter, people.
The proliferation of coffee shops in the neighborhood is a welcome sight. And, for many, those offering vegan pastries and drinks with plant-based milk appear to have found a rather widespread audience. Surprisingly, some of the pastries available are as good or better than what you might expect. If you’re skeptical, try the Plant Shed on Columbus Avenue and 87th Street.
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