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The city's not dead; it's just moved a little north

Jeanne Sager - Columnist
Posted 8/24/20

The headlines are all ringing out a death knell for New York City. Apartment vacancies are at an all-time high, the MTA is like a waste land, and Broadway is shut down until January…at least. …

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The city's not dead; it's just moved a little north

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The headlines are all ringing out a death knell for New York City. Apartment vacancies are at an all-time high, the MTA is like a waste land, and Broadway is shut down until January…at least.

Suffice it to say, we've noticed.

Venture out of your house this summer, and you're bound to have heard a New York accent ever so slightly thicker than your own or run into a family member who had “escaped” the Catskills for Brooklyn a few decades ago. The faces of our small towns are unrecognizable, the neighborhoods changing faster than you can say COVID-19.

I've watched members of my own family make the move out years ago only to boomerang back this year, enrolling their kids in the local schools, much to my own personal glee.

I'm happy to have my family closer, happy to see the cousins splash in the river together, play board games on the kitchen table.

Small towns are back, Jack. And we've got a few hundred thousand mosquitos to share with all that fresh blood… give or take.

Now, now. It's not that I want to see New York City die. I don't want to lose the treasures that lie just a few hours to our south.

The museums. The ball games. The restaurants. The shows. They're just a tiny serving of the magic that the city has to offer. As a former city resident, albeit one there for college, I'm not immune to the lure of the bright lights of the big city.

The city so nice they named it twice has its benefits.

But I want to be optimistic about this influx of new neighbors, about fresh blood, not to mention a fresh tax base needed all the more in this dire economic climate. We need new faces, new ideas, new bodies with energy to throw themselves into our local non-profits and to teach their kids that being a part of a community is paramount.

Maybe it's because my own maiden name only goes back 90 years in our community -- a mere babe in the woods in small town years -- that I feel the need to stick up for our new-found neighbors.

Or maybe a small part of me hopes that new kids will equal new-found openness in our schools.

Either way, I'm ready.

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