Thursday, July 07, 2005

Let Nature Take Its Course

According to a New York Blog, The New York Connection, Mayor Bloomberg is out of touch with the impoverished conditions of many New York parks. When prodded about the poverty reported by a New York Times journalist (description), the mayor's spokesman Adrian Benepe responded "Let nature run its course."

While Benepe's comment could certainly be result of a misunderstanding, it is also evidence of ignorance on the subject. Perhaps the administration is not aware of how, according to the Times, the parks are neglected by the police and are host to drug dealers, prostitutes, and large camps of the homeless. It would seem to make sense because during the Giuliani administration, police were most probably given specific areas to clean up, such as Central Park, which used to have large sections designated for drugs and prostitution. Even though the war against petty crimes changed the atmosphere of "mainstream New York" by making areas of commercial Manhattan safe for locals and attractive to tourists, in all probability it shifted a lot of the crime to other areas that would not receive as much scrutiny. The Bloomberg administration should look into this dilemma described by the Times because parks provide an invaluable service to the New York youth, who often spend entire summers at the neighborhood park. The mayor would be performing a great service himself if he made sure they were playing sports and not running errands for drug dealers.


At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good analysis.

These Park Advocates are fighting for parks.

And like you said, in many ways, the health of a neighborhood park is a barometer for the health of a community.

Fighting for "the commons" is one of the most progressive causes one can champion.

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Are you a member of These Park Advocates or a supporter? Thanks for the comments though. What do you think of Mayor Bloomberg?

At 1:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got canvassed by these guys in Washington Park. After I spent a while browsing their website, it just sorta clicked. It's a no-brainer. I'm a supporter, I guess.

And as far as Bloomberg goes, I'm pretty middle-of-the-road (which for New Yorkers means I'm a Democrat) but I was ready to vote for Bloomberg because

None of the Dem candidates impressed me enough. until

Bloomberg's screw ups with the Stadium Boondoggle and with his push for Olympics in spite of the wishes of the citizens...

but now, more and more, his biggest flaw, that he has no idea what's happening outside of Manhattan (nor does he care) is becoming more clear.


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