It’s nice to finally be in the Bagel, a place where the cows have two legs and no bells around their necks. I walk daily around the park two blocks from my house and stick to the Upper East Side in general. The park is by far the best part of Manhattan, and it’s better than ever because of you-know-what. Yes, the virus has chased away the tourists, and without tourists the rickshaws that had turned the park into a free-for-all have all but disappeared.
Central Park is the only part of the city that Bloomberg’s three-term despotic reign didn’t change for the worse. Bloomberg was a so-so mayor but a lucky one. What followed makes him look like La Guardia (except that Bloomberg is even shorter than Fiorello was), but that doesn’t alter the fact that the billionaire sold out to developers. Forty thousand condos and stores for the rich went up, wiping out traditional neighbourhoods. But let’s give Bloomie a break. He spent close to a billion big ones trying to get nominated for president and carried American Samoa as a result. Bloomberg is now somewhere down south, trying to dodge the virus and get Joe Biden elected. (He’s pledged $100 million to Biden and will get a cabinet or ambassadorial post as a result. I expect the midget in London next year.)
Our universal wish is that our children outperform and outlive us, but bums like Bloomberg get a pass when their successors turn out to be even bigger bums. One thing is for sure: this place has emptied out of old Waspy types — true blondes, men in grey flannel suits, even fast-talking Hollywood types. Cultural torpor weighs the place down, relief coming only in the form of simplistic and misleading slogans in the media about race and sex.