Call Me English

A little corner of the world where I talk about what I want.

Posts Tagged ‘nyc

Not in my backyard…

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One wonderful highlight of January 1, 2017 was the opening of the long awaited Second Avenue Subway, as finally, after the better part of a century, a second subway line has come to the east side of Manhattan.

The MTA really did an excellent job despite years of noise, construction, blasting, and hassle. The stations are spacious and clean, quiet and bright, and the art in each of them is classy, memorable, and evokes feelings about New York.

So I was really deeply disappointed to read opinions online from some in the area complaining about noise and vibration from the new stations, noise and vibrations that we have not heard or felt here DIRECTLY ABOVE the line. I’m terribly sorry that despite the $4.4 billion price tag, engineers were unable to defy the laws of physics and make a silent train. It’s this sort of NIMBY indignation that explains why we had to wait so long for decent transit in this part of the city. People should be grateful that their commutes are likely going to get easier or shorter. There’s no way that anything they may be hearing or feeling can possibly be worse than what they put up with for years during the excavation and construction.

Whiny brats.

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Written by Dave

January 2, 2017 at 22:50

Life in New York: Walking

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When you live in a city where you likely pay thousands upon thousands (or even millions upon millions) of dollars for the mere privilege of living in a tiny, dank apartment with a view of a brick wall, a gaggle of loud neighbors, and no washer or dryer, you have to find a way to spot deals when there is one out there to be spotted.

One of the last great deals left in New York is also one of the most convenient and most interesting forms of exercise you can engage in: walking! This is a walking city. It has always been a walking city. Even before the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, which laid the egalitarian and perhaps rigid street grid plan onto most of Manhattan, New York was a city best enjoyed on foot.

It is not simply a process of elimination that makes the city so much fun to walk. It is not because driving in the city is an anxiety-fuelled nightmare. It is not because commuting by subway, bus, or taxi is some dystopian combination of crowded, slow, and smelly. What makes walking through New York rewarding and fun is the same thing that makes any city worth visiting or living in: its people and its neighborhoods.

There should be no surprise when I say that the people-watching here is without parallel, but when you combine it with the fact that neighborhoods change color and flavor every few blocks, you wind up with an entertaining and different walking experience every time you go out… and I can’t stress how important that is for me. If exercise feels like a repetitive chore, I won’t do it. I won’t want to get off my butt on the weekend, no matter how nice the weather may be outside, if what I get is the same every time.

We have really begun to get back into the swing of going on long walks to different parts of the city and think about planning the next walk before the one we’re on is even done. And this is not just on weekends, either. As with a lot of other things in life, results are what matter… and we’ve got them. In the month of May alone, we have walked more than 100 miles (160 km).

Not too bad!

Written by Dave

May 29, 2016 at 23:45

Laundry list items

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Not a lot of time for le bloggage tonight because of the curse of the laundry and other fun distractions like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but I wanted to talk about the future. Again. I mentioned the FLICS posts right before putting up a list of conversation starters yesterday, but allow me to throw out a preview of other regular kinds of posts I look forward to sharing with you. Obviously, more ideas are welcome!

  • Detailed discussion of my political positions by topic. I like to consider myself politically active and engaged and am prepared to talk about where I stand and why.
  • Recipes and restaurant reviews. I love to cook and dine out, and I would love to share that passion with you all here.
  • Thoughts on language. I named this blog Call Me English because I’m a language man. I love words and am in awe of the power they wield. It was comedy legend George Carlin who said that “the quality of our thoughts and ideas can only be as good as the quality of our language,” so I will talk about the finer points of language that we should all be aware of and use more effectively.
  • Life in New York. I am lucky enough to live in one of the most exciting and influential cities in the world, and I look forward to sharing some of the positives and negatives of life here.

Written by Dave

May 17, 2016 at 23:59