Good morning on this finicky Friday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio ended his State of the City address last month with the words “This is your city” projected on a large screen.
Yes, this is our city, but scattered among skyscrapers, slopes and seashores, we all experience it differently.
So we asked our readers: Tell us about the state of your block and give it a grade. Nearly 1,200 of you weighed in.
The response was a mishmash of kudos and gripes on issues like scaffolding, sirens, trees, trucks, trash, dog waste, stray cats and gentrification.
Another pattern we noticed: New Yorkers rarely agree on anything.
Take West 68th Street.
Timothy Dillon, 23, who lives between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, described the street as “well-tended and clean.” He gave it a “B.”
But Karyn Marciniak, 31, gave the same block a “D,” writing that “someone pukes every single morning on the corner, and the supers are in constant battle with one another, even ripping open trash bags to get the other one’s fined.”
Even trees were contentious, either adored or despised.
“In the past four years, six of eight street trees have died or been knocked over by trucks; zero have been replaced,” lamented Philip Herter, 57, who lives on East 35th Street, between Second and Third Avenues.
On Schenectady Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, the block’s London plane trees are seen as things to be feared.
“These trees are too big to be in front of these small houses,” said Genie LeRouge, whose car was damaged by a falling tree branch.
Street lamps, too, were unable to please everyone.
Richard Jarosch, 52, who lives on 55th Street between Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, wrote about a broken street light: “I get angry each night when I walk my dog on the dark block.”
Jessica Ulrich, 30, who lives on 70th Avenue between Fresh Pond Road and 60th Lane in Ridgewood, had the opposite issue: “We recently got those new street lamps, which accounts for 90 percent of my unwillingness to give my block an A. They ruin the atmosphere and my sleep.”
Here’s what else is happening:
T.G.I.F. But this weather is a drag.
We’ll warm up to a high of 50, but expect heavy clouds, rain and sleet to quash your end-of-the-week buzz.
Saturday and Sunday are looking the same — with some fog thrown in, just lovely — so your umbrella will be getting considerable exercise this weekend.
• James Harris Jackson, a white veteran who said he hated black men, murdered “an extremely gracious individual” who cared for others. [New York Times]
• The mayoral race is increasingly focused on the incumbent, Bill de Blasio, and Paul Massey, but more than a dozen other people have set their sights on City Hall. [New York Times]
• In “Big City,” the columnist Ginia Bellafante writes about the the opioid crisis among blacks and Latinos in the Bronx. [New York Times]
• And in “About New York,” our columnist Jim Dwyer contrasts the stories of James Harris Jackson and Ismaaiyl Brinsley, two murderers crazed by color. [New York Times]
• The city’s jail population has dropped by 18 percent in three years, according to the mayor. [DNAinfo]
• The owners of Spa Castle, a spa in Queens, have been indicted for fraud after allegedly failing to pay more than $1.5 million in taxes. [Gothamist]
• Prospect Park is turning 150. Here’s a look at its history. [The Bklyner]
• Sean “Diddy” Combs announced that his Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School, which he opened in August, is accepting applications. [DNAinfo]
• Today’s Metropolitan Diary: “My First Panic Attack”
• Scoreboard: Nets scorch Suns, 126-98. Trail Blazers trip Knicks, 110-95. Maple Leafs doom Devils, 4-2.
• For a global look at what’s happening, see Your Friday Briefing.
• Film screenings, part of the African-American Women in Cinema Film Festival, at Brownsville Recreation Center in Brooklyn. 11 a.m. [Free]
• Drag queens host a season-premiere viewing party of the television show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” at Lot 45 in Bushwick, Brooklyn. 7 p.m. [$5]
• “Can the Left Be Rebuilt?” will be discussed at Verso Books in Dumbo, Brooklyn. 7 p.m. [Free]
• A performance of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at the Queens Theater in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. 7:30 p.m. [$18]
• An evening of classical and pop Indian music by Falu’s Bollywood Orchestra at John Jay College in Midtown. 7:30 p.m. [Free]
• Nets at Wizards, 7 p.m. (YES). Islanders at Penguins, 7 p.m. (MSG+).
• Build a bench for potted plants at a weekend-long workshop at Wave Hill in the Bronx. 9:30 a.m. [$95]
• Learn the ins and outs of hiking, at the Greenbelt Nature Center on Staten Island. 11 a.m. [Free]
• Forest Park Carousel opens for the season in Queens. 11 a.m. [Free]
• Snap selfies with historians and photographers on a walk across Hell Gate Bridge, beginning at Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens. 11:30 a.m. [Free]
• Visit the graves of influential women, on a tour through the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. 12:30 p.m. [$25]
• Devils host Hurricanes, 7 p.m. (MS+2). Islanders host Bruins, 7 p.m. (MSG+). Knicks at Spurs, 8:30 p.m. (MSG). Rangers at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (MSG+).
• Watch “The New York Times Close Up,” featuring The Times’s Dan Barry and Jim Dwyer. Saturday at 2 and 10 p.m. on NY1.
• Cheer on the runners at the Queens Marathon (or join in) beginning at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. 8 a.m. [Free to watch, $160 pending available spots]
• A performance of Cole Porter’s musical “The New Yorkers” at City Center in Midtown. 2 p.m. [$35]
• The opening day of the exhibition, “The DNA of Water,” about water’s role as a border and gateway, at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Garden on Staten Island. 3 p.m. [$5]
• A discussion about the history of the High Bridge and Croton Waterworks is at Yeshiva University in Washington Heights. 3:30 p.m. [Free, R.S.V.P. required]
• Looking ahead: Join a conversation with the journalist Soledad O’Brien at the Greene Space in Lower Manhattan. 7 p.m. [$15]
• Nets at Hawks, 1 p.m. (YES). Devils host Stars, 5 p.m. (MSG+). Rangers at Ducks, 9 p.m. (MSG).
• For more events, see The New York Times’s Arts & Entertainment guide.
• Subway and PATH
• Railroads: L.I.R.R., Metro-North, N.J. Transit, Amtrak
• Roads: Check traffic map or radio report on the 1s or the 8s.
• Alternate-side parking: in effect until April 11.
• Ferries: Staten Island Ferry, New York Waterway, East River Ferry
• Airports: La Guardia, J.F.K., Newark
• Weekend travel hassles: Check subway disruptions and a list of street closings.
The position of borough president is old as the city itself.
In 1898, the New York City charter, which consolidated the five boroughs into one metropolis and created the position, spelled out the duties.
The elected office would “aid in perpetuating as much of local pride and affection for the old municipalities” and “will be promotive of healthful rivalry in various parts of the great city.”
Today, the borough presidents also have a say on land use, allocate funds and appoint members to community boards.
The commitment to a “healthful rivalry,” on the other hand, hasn’t changed. The presidents are quick to point out exactly why their borough is better than the rest.
We sat down with the five borough presidents and asked them about the state of their boroughs.
We heard about gentrification in Brooklyn, urban renewal in the Bronx, affordable housing (and the lack of it) in Manhattan, education in Queens, and traffic in Staten Island.
How would you describe the state of your borough? Tell us in the comments.
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