My buddy Sal came to me in a huff the other day…
“I don’t know what we need for cars here in Manhattan anyway. Do you?”
Well I thought I did, but I didn’t respond right away, because it was clear that he was agitated…
“I mean a real New Yorker doesn’t drive. Yeah I know we have driver’s licenses, but we only use them on vacation in like July and August when we get the heck out of town and bother people in calmer places like Cape May, or Spring Lake, or someplace ya know?”
Not really, but I let him go on.
“Seriously. A car in the City is an affront to, what do you call it, urban life, yea, thats it. When I was a kid, my uncle lived in Woodside, as all good Irish did in them days, and he had a station wagon to haul my Aunt and my four cousins around in it. All Irish families were big back then too, you know. He also needed the wagon to take care of the newsstand he was given by the city on account of he was disabled in the War, the big one. But when he came in to see us it was like a grand act of heroism to find a parking spot and then move the car every few hours. He would get outa here as soon as he could. You know what I mean?”
I nodded yes, because I didn’t want to get him more upset.
“But he lived in Queens. Cars out there? OK. But in Manhattan? Thats just wrong. Why are we giving up our what do they call it, street scape so people from the outer boroughs, and from f*ck’n New Jersey can park on the side of the street, kill our trees with their exhaust and make the west side unbelievably impassible as they all try to get out a here on Friday?”
Somehow I had never seen Sal as either en environmentalist or urban designer. He must have been reading the Villager again.
“Listen. Here’s the solution:” he said
I cringed in preparation