Going away is always good, but coming home after a real vacation is the best. We got to walk, eat out, see art, buy a few goodies, read books, and work, vs. my everyday life of work, walking, eating out, reading books, seeing art, and buying some goodies pretty much in that order.
Walking lets me feel part of the city. The vibe changes from neighborhood to neighborhood. Some hoods are changing, and some remain the same. It is educational
We settled in at home, and Fred went to get us a seat at Via Carota, worth the wait time. I walked over to meet Fred, and we spent some time roaming the West Village. I am here to tell you that NYC is alive and well. Unclear what we are all seeing on social media these days. Is it real, or is it false? Is the economy good? The numbers say so, but maybe it’s not. The angry narratives being pushed at all of us every day are killing all of us.
But on the street level of downtown NYC, it is humming. The West Village is rocking with new stores and new spots, and they are all packed. I would love to know what they are all paying in rent. We are real estate owners and landlords, but it is not okay that the real estate owners are the puppeteers of this town.
Some buildings on the street have been empty or under construction for too long. They are eye sores. The city should give each building permit an amount of time to complete their project. If they don’t finish it, they start to get fined daily. It puts the onus on the landlords who found themselves short of cash to complete the project or have decided to wait until they get the rent they want. Unfortunately, I do not see how this will ever happen unless someone in the mayor’s administration makes it a priority.
After being in Amsterdam and Paris last week, where the beat of the street feels completely different. You do not see empty buildings, buildings under permanent construction, or shoring up a structure for eternity. Those cities are beautiful, and so is NYC, and it would be even more beautiful if there were limits on construction projects and rent expectancies.
Regardless, it does feel insanely good to be home.