Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Secession Fever

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Upstate hates downstate, downstate hates upstate, the burbs hate the city, and everybody hates Staten Island. Let’s start drawing the border lines: Hey, we’ve tried before, on many occasions.

Asks a friend from the wint’ry north, “summarize staten island in 50 words or less plz”

Even better, I’ll write a haiku:

guidos and landfills
a little slice of jersey
good riddance to them

This Looks Familiar

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The state government is deadlocked because suburbanites don’t like taxes (but certainly like their road and utility subsidies, don’t they?), the MTA is cutting service and raising fares to ridiculous lengths (and the comments on that article hurt my faith in humanity), and people are again antsy about violent crime.

For my part, the mood is prevailing on spring student aggression and teacher dispair. Fights have been breaking out on a daily basis in high traffic hallways, two computers were stolen today by students who managed to get their hands on a master key which, along with other petty thefts, foments a possible crime wave a la about this time last year, where teacher laptops and school equipment were being snatched left and right for two weeks of insanity.

I was in a hardware store picking up padlocks so I could secure my equipment now that the door locks were compromised, and when giving the rundown to answer the cashier’s inquiries, the lady next to me broke out in laughter.

“I’m glad I’m not sending my kid to your school!” said this Asian yuppie in high heels.

That’s okay. No other white or Asian mother does. Not one. There’s a reason they call it a ghetto: Nobody who has a choice stays. It’s beginning to feel like the 70s or the 90s in sense that yuppies are having misgivings about the city again and locals are hunkering down.

The thing I hope for at least in the NYCDoE, given the frustrating nature of the current crop and the limited prospects they’re looking at is the promise that we’re only holding the fort until the Bloomberg generation – ie, the generation of students that grew up entirely within the agency that is known as Dead On Education as compared to Bored Of Education – is old enough for high school. Big hope.

Why I don’t follow politics lower than Mayor

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Sheldon Silver, D-Lower East Side, has decided to spearhead a move to save the MTA by instituting payroll taxes on employers and add tolls to the East River crossings to the tune of, well, subway fare. Poetic, sure, but consider that the opposition argument that it’s unfairly benefitting Manhattanites (because it’s not like Manhattanites haven’t been paying through the nose in taxes to keep the crossings aloft for all those Bridge & Tunnellers already) has usually been his argument, despite representing Lower Manhattan.

NYC, like all major American cities, has a hate-hate relationship with its suburbs, in that they represent nontaxable people who use city services but live beyond the city line. The first half of NYC’s history, the problem was solved by simple annexation (hey, Queens, you’re mine now) to jurisdiction-ignoring authorities (bridges, bus depots and commuter trains can be considered “ports,” right?).  The problem in most every other industrialized nation is solved by having the ‘state’ basically be the metropolitan area + the suburbs + the exurbs, such that one couldn’t conceivably live close enough to commute to the urban core daily but far enough to avoid paying taxes for it.

Silver, on the other hand, seems to have this sort of relationship with himself, considering he killed previous attempts on a commuter tax as well as Bloomberg’s congestion pricing (cited by Silver that his compatriots, upstate Democrats, complained it was a de facto commuter tax. No shit, Sherlock.) only to devise a plan that could conceivably quadruple-tax NYC for the same damn service.

This is why I would sometimes prefer a benevolent dictatorship. Things that benefit everybody should not be this hard to maintain. Seriously, folks.

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