Back in the USSR...
I have temporarily returned to the People's Republic of Bloombergia, aka Sodom-on-the-Hudson, aka The City that Never Sleeps. It's almost as if I never left.
The Tobacco Nazis are still a force to be reckoned with, however, they seem to have strengthened their grip upon the hapless citizenry of this once-fair city. The price of cigarettes has risen to seuch an extent that it makes crack an attractive option. Which was probably the point of the tax increases to begin with: once we're all completely zonked, no one will notice Mayor Bloomberg coming at us with an ever-bigger purple shaft, which typically presages another massive tax increase to pay for failing schools, dilapidated mass transit or further curbs on our constitutional rights.
The talk of the town these days is the proposed stadium to built on the West Side of Manhattan. This is a relic of the Guilliani administration, and was originally intended to draw the NY Jets back to New York. It's now being touted as a must-have item if New York is to have any shot at hosting the 2012 Olympic games. Of course, it's a ,ajor political hot potato. The typical anti-development crowd which has held up anything resembling modern construction in New York Citry for 30+ years, the same folks who killed Westway and fought an epic 20 year battle to save bass in the Hudson River, are of course opposed to the building of a stadium. They make the same bleeting noises they always do about such proposals: traffic, enviornmental impact, ballooning costs, etc. Vy the time anything actually does get built, not only will there not be a NY Jets fotball team, there will no longer be any such thing as the Olympics, nor will there be anything that could be recognizable as New York. The same old, same old.
Next item on the agenda is the argument over the proposed Freedom Tower, which looks like something a deranged gynecologist might construct to futher degrade and torture his patients. The plan behind this scheme is to replace 220 stories of prime real estate with 60 stories of prime real estate, topped with a 60 story metal skeleton, to be topped with a phallic spike, which will make it the tallest free-standing structure on the planet. Of course, it provides nothing which is actually needed: quality commercial space. It will be stuffed to the rafters with public spaces, memorials, and museums, and no place for business. Not surprising since it was the politicians who chose the design, despite all the fanfare about letting th epublic have it's say. The same no-development nuts are wailing about this one too, but they are joined by the other no brigade, the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. I reiterate what I have said time and time aagin; those of you who lost your loved ones have my sympathy, but there's 9 million other folks around these parts who need jobs and a place to do them in. Your grief does not entitle you to stand in the way of progress.
Anyways, I'll be here for another three weeks or so, so as I come up with more stuff to complain about, I'll be sure to write it down for y'all.