We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Mrs. BD and I spent a balmy (low 50s) Sunday tramping around midtown because we had a special date day for elegant lunch and ballet, and walking around NYC is something we love to do. Golly, it is a blast to walk around and to look around.
Instead of tramping, I should have said "Trumping" around midtown. That is because The Donald was on our minds, and we must have passed ten buildings with his name on them. Not to mention the Plaza Hotel which he used to own. We kept laughing about it, and I laughed some more when we got to one of our favorite NYC lunch joints - Jean-Georges right off Columbus Circle. Wonderful prix-fixe luncheons. Damn if I had never noticed before that it is on the ground floor of The Trump International Hotel and Tower, southernmost building on Central Park West.
View from our table, Central Park on left, Columbus Circle on right, mounted cop in center, construction cranes everywhere in the sky:
Just a couple more pics below the fold. Marianne would have enjoyed all this.
Grand Army Plaza and the Plaza Hotel. As a youth, I drove the horse and buggies there. Most fun part? Racing our horses down mostly-vacant streets at 2 or 3 in the morning back to the stables over by 12th Ave. Amazing that we survived that cowboy fun.
Peeking into a pond in Central Park. Gee, that's not far from the giant Woolman ice rink which The Donald rebuilt for the city in 6 months after the city employees failed after 6 years of work.
So many horses along Central Park South. The mayor is a jerk, an idiot, and corrupt. Urban lefty pols are always corrupt. The Donald shoulda run for mayor.
The Kochs have given abundantly to NYC medical centers and cultural centers. Our New York City Ballet tix were at the Koch theater, of course, in Lincoln Center.
In my life I have seen tons of ballet and tons of modern dance, and have been educated all about it. It's worth doing. It still does not connect with my brain any more than NASCAR does. To each his own. The NYCB is always sold out, and people of all ages from kids to wheelchairs. Glad about that. Without the rich, high cultcha would disappear.
The darn basement of Grand Central Station (Terminal) has more comfort, appeal, humanity, and charm than that new terminal at the World Trade Center we linked about this morning.
What you forget BirdDog, is there is an in-extricable link between real estate (re) development and NYC politics. The big-time NYC developers are loathe to risk their own capital, without some sort of City, State or Federal subsidy or contribution. Witness 421-a which provided tax abatements for multi-family buildings in Manhattan, including those south of 96th Street - this in a market that has had 3% vacancy for 10+ years and no more needs a tax subsidy to earn a return on a building than I can do open heart surgery (and I'm a bit squeamish at the site of writhing human organs . . .). Koch gives his money without strings and yes, you are 100% correct that no wealthy people, no cultural institutions. Think NYC school teachers contribute much to the NYCB? The Met? How about subway conductors and engineers? NYC employed "social workers"? Nope. They benefit directly from individual decisions by wealthy folk to allocate some of their capital to charitable organizations, rather than purchase a new Purdey . . . .
You seem to spend a lot of time in New York. How far do you live from NYC? As a "New England Yankee" I would have thought that you would live at quite a distance. I had been to NYC only once but felt I had been there many times before as I had seen so many locations in the movies.
NYC seemed to be a culture onto it's own. At the airport, I saw Dinesh D'Souza's "What So Great about America." I highly recommend it. It explains Americans to themselves as well as America to outsiders in a way that everyone would appreciate and understand.
If you want to read a book or listen to an audiobook, that explains why you think what you think, and do what you do, this is the book for you. It explains why America is a philosophy as well as a county.