The sturdy, comfortable benches in the photo above are in Manhattan's #Central Park. They have been there for at least 80 years because I used to play around them. They have probably been there forever. But they are not the model for the rest of Manhattan. That model is greed and law-breaking and the leaders of the charge are the realtors and one of the worst offenders is a realtor who now makes his home in the White House. His name is Donald Trump.

When you want to bloviate about public and private Central Park is public and #Trump Tower is private. When Donald was asked to place benches for folk in the main lobby, a law in Manhattan, he paid $14,000 in fines to keep shops where the benches were supposed to be.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Only under duress did he give in. Did he actually decide these things? Who cares? He is like most of the other gold star realtors. The gold has been won with not one single care about the public, aesthetics, ethics or decency. Before there was Gordon Gekko there were New York realtors.

The tweet tells the tale

If you want more truth about the realtors, beyond the fact that half of them break the law by ignoring the public. read the tweet. If you want details, read the story linked to it. The story deals with privately-owned public spaces, POPS. These are spaces developers set aside for public use, like sitting and reading a paper or having a talk or musing.

War on the homeless

Public seating in Manhattan is so bad that people avoid the tinny metal excuses for comfortable recumbency. These recent eyesores are designed to be inhospitable to the homeless.

Advertisements

Some homeless get so little help they are forced to live always outside and use whatever facilities they can find. No one wants them. No one helps them. City facilities are bad enough to make outside preferable to some. So along with greed among the #Real Estate profiteers, we have neglect among the rest of us.

Give us decent seating

A block from where I live there was a nice new public space with nice seating. Glass began to fall from an adjacent recently constructed high-rise condo building. The area has been closed ever since. Zuccotti Park was created because of the public space provision. With half of them not even utilized, it is scandalous. The city does not enforce the law. The police are about moving traffic and not caring much for pedestrians.

When we have the equivalent of Central Park benches on every block, I will applaud. This should become a cause. Little things mean a lot. We are being shortchanged in our public spaces. The realtor in the White House has a record of shortchanging us.