I've read that former NYC mayor Bloomberg killed NYC's soul. As a son of New York, born and raised there, and who recently spent nine years living there, this is a perennial story, told many times every generation, and so far, it has never been true. #
They said it when my family came to the city in the 1940s. Refugees from Europe will destroy the soul of the city. I don't think so. We were just added to the melting pot. Before that it was the Irish, Italians, African Americans, Hispanics, every race, religion, you name it, they've all been accused of destroying the city.#
Now they're replacing the great delis, diners and bodegas with ATM farms, the soul of the city is being destroyed they say, I agree, but read on.#
I assume that Bloomberg did incentivize the obscene construction of residential skyscrapers in Manhattan, esp on the southern edge of Central Park, blocking out sunlight, to provide excellent views to Russian oligarchs and Saudi oil princes who are never there. But at the same time, Queens, the borough that raised me, that was a sleepy boring white bread place when I was growing up, has become the melting pot Manhattan used to be. People actually go to Flushing to eat the best Asian food in the city. If you had told me that when I was growing up there, I would have said it'll never happen. Flushing is an embarassment. It has a creek that smells like a sewer. And for crying out loud it's named Flushing. Geez. #
The city is complex, huge, impossible to control. It's possible that some things Bloomberg did to the city may have lasting negative consequences, but he also made some things better. My favorite Bloomberg accomplishment were the bike lanes. I must have ridden five thousand miles in the city in the last decade. It's an excellent city for biking, but who would have thought that? Not me. #
Last update: Wednesday February 12, 2020; 10:13 AM EST.
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