The general interest as we can see is that people want to take over the streets. People want to have fun, and people want to meet out as equals, and this creates a sense of belonging, and this is what makes New York the greatest city in the world.
As someone who grew up in a “popular” big city and then lived in a number of not so popular mid west cities, this is so good to hear. During my first year living just outside Cleveland I asked a colleague at my suburban office location for directions to Playhouse Square–a well known, historic theater in the city. She looked at me like I had horns on my head and told me she had no idea as she hadn’t been downtown in 10 or 15 years (her suburban home is about 30 minutes from the city). She added (with emphasis):
Why would you want to go downtown – it’s frightening down there.
The only way to make our cities less “frightening” and more welcoming is to encourage more people to go into their cities…to socialize…to learn new things….to be entertained…to live.
Re-introducing suburbanites and our rural cousins to the wonderful sites, buildings and creative corners of “their” cities is one of the best ways to enhance our regions and improve the safety and viability of urban centers in America. This is difficult to do if cities are places only seen as a blur or a place to avoid by large segments of our vital populations.
Our regions and our country depend on the health and success of the children, teens, adults, poets, single parents, construction laborers, doctors, businesses and so many others who call our cities home. Thank you New York for using your leverage as a high profile city to promote healthy city living.