|Sunday, December 23, 2007|
New Year's Wishes for a Better New York
By CONSTANCE L. HAYS
Published: January 1, 1995
Fill in the missing words in the text. Translate the text. Render good Russian translation of the 1st part (ending with "queasy").
Affordable, criminal, neighborhood, everywhere, generation, connection, avoid, litter, government, bureaucrats, station, capitally, correction, sensitivity, improve, children.
THIS is a city generous with glamour and with grit, where every great leap forward often seems to mean another pothole to ________, another bureaucratic logjam to ford, another panhandler to set the conscience spinning.
Yes, much seems better around here these days: the subways are faster and cleaner, crime is dropping, the restaurants are crowded and more creative than ever. But there is also an abiding sense of disarray in the streets, where the lights shine down on ___________ swirling in the traffic's wake and the homeless bundled in their rags. Life stacked upon life, like cans on a shelf, means there is at least as much potential for conflict as for community. It's life in the big city, and without regard to season, the living can be queasy.
Still, New Yorkers hold close their big dreams, or at least their flickers of hope, and as '94 was busy sliding into '95, The City asked dozens of them how to make this eight-million-person sprawl a finer place in the new year. To the question, "What would you change to make New York better for everyone?" came a chorus of replies. From all corners of the city, from every _____________on the social ladder, people offered solutions that ranged from the global (help the homeless) to the highly personal (stop men who shriek their assessments of female anatomy on the street).
A frequent cri de coeur was for a new attitude, a more humane outlook, among city dwellers. But there were also calls for a __________ harsh line on crime and for a closing of the immigration door. And this being a city of people who proudly, not a little smugly, adapt to what is unadaptable most anywhere else, more than one person insisted that everything was already just fine.
CONSTANCE L. HAYS It should be easier to find an apartment here. There should be reliable brokers, fair representation of the kind of apartments that are available, and some kind of clearinghouse for information about landlords.
This is very New Age-y and spiritual-sounding, which I don't mean it to be, because that's not the way I am, but I think that if everyone could get that spark again of caring and community, from picking up a piece of garbage on the street to not giving that cold, defensive posture to everyone else -- if that pipe dream could happen, it would take care of all the other problems.
Felice Rose General manager, Shakespeare & Company bookstore, Upper West Side
Stopping crime is the most important thing. Psychologically, we are afraid all the time. My wife doesn't put on the TV because it's always about crime and death. When I walk out from the house, I pray to God and then I feel safe.
Vasant Mehta Hardware store owner, Jackson Heights, Queens The first thing we have to change is the ___________ law. I want the death penalty, because people then will know that if they do these things, the punishment is death. In Arabia, if they steal something, they know they're going to lose their hand.
Mike Manzar Milk salesman, Jackson Heights, Queens Give the regular people work, and kick all the ______________ out, or cut their salaries. The guys who have the big salaries somehow manage to keep their jobs, while the little guys get fired. They fire all the ones who are actually doing the work. City management isn't management anymore. It's just administrator and administrator.
Helen Abegg Store owner, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn I would change the division between uptown and downtown art. The division between Broadway and Off Broadway makes it possible for Broadway to charge $75 a ticket, while we're still charging $10 and $15. I would try to find a way to equate the value of quality.
Miguel Algarin Founder, Nuyorican Poets Cafe I'd like to see the state take over Medicaid. I think that would alleviate much of the budget crisis now, and I'd like to see some civilized discussion about what the city's priorities ought to be, rather than the Mayor dictating what he thinks the budget ought to be. I'd also like to see a residency requirement for city workers, particularly police, fire, sanitation and __________ officers. It gives people who work in the city a stake in the city.
Ester R. Fuchs Director, Center for Urban Affairs, Columbia University It should begin with education, to build up the momentum of our city. Without seeing any future for themselves, children do destructive things. There should be more _________to the immigrant population, to really improve racial harmony within the student population. A lot of times, a kid doesn't really notice whether others are Latino or Asian, but they are taught by their parents to notice. All humans are equal. That's the message we want to implement within the school system, and we should begin at the elementary level.
Paul Mak President, Brooklyn Chinese-American Association Make the city clean, for God's sake. They don't clean the streets. The only places that are clean are Park and Madison and Fifth, where they pay the high taxes. ___________ else, it's so dirty. And please, get the bums off the street.
Tonya Smith Design student and saleswoman, midtown I would change the attitude of New Yorkers toward the city's problems. We shouldn't blame Washington or Albany for lack of funds. New York City has enough money, but the city is one big management challenge. Let's just go out and fix what's wrong, corner by corner, park by park, ____________ by neighborhood, using private-sector management techniques. Everybody here likes to make excuses. We treat New York as a small town, we fix things as they would in a small town.
Daniel A. Biderman Head of Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, Grand Central Partnership and 34th Street Partnership It's the denial of recognition between human beings. It means the blank stares we give to each other on the street as we withdraw inside our heads and pretend we aren't really sharing the same feelings and desires for ____________ that everyone else has. Each of us presents ourselves to each other as an absence, as a vacant stare, as an object rather than a subject. Hence we reconfirm in each other a cynicism and sense of aloneness that is the basis for everyone's collective despair. Michael Lerner Editor of Tikkun, author of "Jewish Renewal: A Path for Healing and Transformation" I actually like New York the way it is. But if I could make it better, I would have more programs for drugs and violence to___________ on the future of the city. And I would suggest that people go to church and take deep breaths. In a city so crazy and with so much negative energy, God and prayer is a positive energy that can make everything feel better.
Benjamin Singer Owner, Corsetorium, Flushing, Queens The teachers need to tell children to learn manners, to love people, to love themselves. But the schools shouldn't teach young __________ how to make babies. You don't need to teach that. A dog knows how to make puppies.
Lucy Yee Retired restaurateur, Jackson Heights, Queens I would like very much to see mothers stop having babies when they're on crack. I would love to see crack babies stop being born. The ____________could do something, like arrange some intervention at the prenatal level, in terms of getting some detoxification for the mothers. I'm here in Harlem, and I see these poor babies every day, and it's just sad.
Negrycz Store owner, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn The city has to become more family-oriented. We should stick to family values. In the new _________, everybody goes out on their own and this is where you run into problems. You need more pride and better stability. The person who wanted to change the world -- well, that was great at the beginning, but now there's nothing left to change. If you take pride in what you do, you have values, no matter what you do.
Jay Evans Retired trucker, Brooklyn Everything's so interrelated. You could save poor people, so that means housing. Housing is really one thing among disasters. It's probably one of the major needs of the poor: ___________housing. Small classes in the schools would probably make a tremendous difference -- a teacher can pay more attention to the children. If you have a class of 30 or 40 kids who can't read, that can make all the difference in the world. That's something from my early P.T.A. days that I've thought about a lot. And, I guess, the air. The breathing air.
Grace Paley Writer
New Year's Wishes for a Better New York