Saturday, June 26, 2010

New York State of Mind

Yea! We’re saved!! Well not “we” exactly, but the New York acting community. It has been rumored that “Law and Order: SVU” is leaving its home in New Jersey and moving into the now empty studio of its cancelled parent “Law and Order”. As for the rest of us, well, things aren’t quite as good. It has been awhile since I reported on what’s happening in New York, so let’s catch up…

Sports - We are in the midst of football fever here in NYC. Not the American kind, but as long as the US World Cup soccer team is the game, every bar in the city will be open for business. Go USA! Also, if you are into the American kind of football, NY will host the 2014 Superbowl, so get your tickets now!

Local - The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA for short), the governing body for all public transportation matters in NYC began massive bus and subway cuts at the end of this week because of a budget shortfall in the billions. The MTA board promised over and over that if we let them raise fares “just this once”, this would never happen. Of course that was three fares hikes ago, but who’s counting. Now I admit that most of the cuts are justified because there were bus and subway routes that were redundant anyway, but why my bus?

I should be really upset, but actually I learned a couple valuable lessons during this process. You see, I signed all the petitions and wrote my Councilperson to voice my opposition to these cuts. But then I made an interesting observation. The fact is that cuts had to be made and something was going to have to give. As convenient as my cushy X90 bus was, it is not my only option, just the most convenient. Lesson #1: We all understand that sacrifices have to be made; we just don’t want to be the ones to make them. So, I stopped fighting it and all cuts went into effect on Friday. Frankly, they always were going to no matter how many letters I wrote or petitions I signed because they are necessary.

But now comes Lesson #2 (Obama take note): If government will get out of the way, private industry will pick up the slack. So as it turns out, because of one government-run option that I lost on Friday, on Monday, I will have two private options. Options that I would not have had if the cuts had not been made. A private bus company will pick up the bus route at the same price and the same schedule and a new private share-a-cab service only a few blocks away. See, free enterprise works. Take that, Marxist scum!

In other city news - Just when we thought NYC was beginning to show signs of life, the new banking bill has everyone nervous again. Soon to be ex-Senator Christopher Dodd admitted that no will know how exactly what the new law will do until it is implemented. Does this sound vaguely familiar? Well, we will see what happens on Monday when the markets open again, if this is the last rally or the dawn of a new era. Unfortunately what is good for Wall Street has always been very good for New York City and State coffers, but like I said, we all want someone else to make the sacrifice.

State - Governor Patterson has now finally laid down the law, and has given the state legislature until Monday at midnight to pass a budget or he’s going to shut the state down. For months now, our state has been on the brink of bankruptcy. We are over $9 billion in debt and still our politicians refuse to pass a state budget. A few weeks ago the Governor threatened furloughs, but the unions won that round, no budget was passed, and we only got a two week reprieve with an “emergency” budget. Now, we’ve come to the brink again and Patterson is having his showdown. No really, he is serious this time. His proposed budget includes a new tax on clothing, new tax on online hotel reservations, and tuition hikes for state colleges and universities. But just so you don’t think that Patterson is your typical tax and spend Democrat, there are a few cuts – cuts to education and cuts in tax exemptions for charitable giving. Hey, at least he gave up that stupid “soda tax”. I will let you know what happens. My prediction – nothing.

In other state news – In separate conventions in May, both parties decided officially who would run for Governor. So as predicted the Democrats chose Andrew Cuomo, current Attorney General and son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, and the Republicans will run Rick Lazio, businessman and former Congressman from Long Island. Rick Lazio is also known for running unsuccessfully against Hillary Clinton in her first bid for the Senate. Sadly, I think Lazio has about as much chance of beating Cuomo as he did with Clinton, but we will see. As I have said before, our primary is not until September, so a lot can happen this summer.

Federal - Chuck Schumer is hoping to fill the vacuum that will hopefully be left when Harry Reid is defeated in Nevada. Sadly, there is still no one brave enough to run against ol’ Chuck, but I still keep holding out hope that George Pataki, our former Governor, will pick up the gauntlet. He just might have a shot. In the mean time, Chuck is putting his name to every hare-brained legislation he can. His latest is the Disclose Act that just passed by the House.

On a finally note – All is not lost in the Northeast. New Governor Chris Christie is getting serious in New Jersey and had his first major victory last week. The Democrats in the New Jersey state Legislature decided that they didn’t like some of Christie’s harsh budget cuts, so they passed a “millionaire’s tax” bill in an attempt to raise funds to reinstate some of the cuts. Christie immediately vetoed the bill which prompted these same Democrats to try and override the veto which they failed to do and the new tax is now dead. Well, not really 'cause if you can't win, then just spin. So now the Dems are saying that they were knew exactly what they were doing and were just trying to set Christie up. These new taxes were to reinstate cuts to programs for “the elderly and children” and they just proved that Governor Christie hates old people and children. Sadly, their grand scheme did not work as planned and Christie is as popular as ever.

Next time - Mayor Bloomberg makes stand on immigration and did you hear that the Luv Guv Eliot Spitzer will have his own primetime show on CNN?

26 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

Take that Marxist scum indeed! Bev, Your bus story is a very common sense story that no one in Obama's administration would understand. In fact, they would stand around mystified, trying to figure out why you aren't setting the neighborhood on fire in protest.

I love the idea of a New York Superbowl because I want to see them put the game back into "bad" weather places. Tough to all the whiny journalists who wanted a week's paid vacation in Florida!

Good for Christie. . . bad for the New York Republicans. Why can't they find anyone to run this election cycle? Unbelievable.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. The American team lost in the World Cup, so close the bars.

ScottDS said...

Hi, Bev! (We still need to meet for that drink one of these days.) :-)

I sympathize with you, re: the MTA cuts. Truth be told, I mostly use the PATH Train but since I got this new temp job, I've been using the subway a lot. I've managed to successfully navigate my way through the 34th St. - Herald Square station. The shuddering of the W line won't affect me but whose to say I'll be lucky with the next round of cuts?

And Monday marks three months since I moved up here. It feels like I've been up here longer! I'm still in the enthusiastic "Wow, skyscrapers!" phase. I'm sure I'll eventually grow out of it but for now, all I can say is, "I like this city. It's exciting!"

And I can't take David Patterson seriously after watching Fred Armisen's impression of him on SNL: "You know what else stinks? NEW JERSEY!!" :-)

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I agree, I can't wait for the snowstorm during the Superbowl. I remember those great Vikings and Green Bay games on real turf in the middle of storm storms. It was muddy and dirty and cold and real football!

and the NY Republicans are in a lull. Guiliani was next great hope for the state, but he jumped the shark running for President when he should have run for Senate or Governor first. He could have won either races. We just don't have any high profile Republicans. But, you know, Cuomo is not so bad, but then again I said that about Spitzer...

BevfromNYC said...

Scott, yes! A drink or dinner. Lets make a plan.

The PATH is great. I have used it myself. There haven't been that many cuts for Manhattan dwellers, just cuts in redundant bus routes. It's the Borough dwellers that will bear the brunt, but again many of the cuts are redundancies. And hey, you're a NY/NJ'er now. We whine, then adjust. It's our way.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I just find it very frustrating the none of them seem willing to run for the Senate. They should be able to contribute at least one, and maybe two Republicans to the Senate. But none of them want to run?!


I totally agree about real football. There is nothing like a snow game or a mud game. This idea that football should be played on carpet in 75 degree whether is ridiculous. And I have no sympathy for the argument the sportswriter jerks are making: "think of the poor fans who need to sit in it."

First of all, real fans don't care. I've frozen my rear end at games, and honestly those are more memorable. Secondly, these aren't real fans -- these are CEOs and lobbyists who used connections to get their seats. Their tepid support for the teams is ruining the Superbowl. Let's get this sucker back to places like Green Bay and outside in Minnesota, and turn it back over to actual fans -- not fair weather fans!

BevfromNYC said...

First - Oh well, US lost, but my coffee guy is Brazilian, so I guess I'll have to root for Brazil. Bars open again!!

And Andrew, unfortunately, CEO's and corporations are the only one's who couldafford the tickets And even they can't afford them now that business is waaaay down in the area. It's shocking how expensive the tickets are. And the Jets and Giants share a stadium, so you would think that the price would be half as much since it's used twice as much during the season, but NO!

BevfromNYC said...

Scott - BTW, Congrats on your 3 month anniversary! I understand the "Wow" factor. I still am amazed I live here some days. Other days, not so much...

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I feel so sorry for you city-slickers and your bus/public transportation problems. Here in God's country, we just wait for a horse to come past, throw a saddle on it, and head into town for a quick drink at the saloon, and then off to the roping contests. Oh, and by the way--what's soccer?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, In DC, the problem is that you have to get on the waiting lists for the tickets, and people already on them get first crack. So what happens is that the law firms and lobbyists get all the best seats because they've been on the list for years.

So when you go to something like a Caps game, the first couple rows are often mostly empty and when they aren't, the guys sitting there are in suits talking about contracts -- I've actually been one of those guys on several occasions. The firm I was with had seats behind homeplate at Camden Yards in Baltimore too. And if you end up on the club level, which we had access to, you really lose touch with sports entirely. They have restaurants that are serving things like Rockfish and Prime Rib?!! WTF!! Hotdogs people. . . hotdogs!

P.S. I'm rooting for Germany now.

ScottDS said...

Not really related to this topic but Andrew, if you're reading this, I left a comment in the Unseen Movie thread from two days ago. :-)

Bev, if you still have my e-mail address, just send me a message whenever you have a free evening for drinks or dinner (as long as it isn't Wednesday or Friday - I'm taking a Writing for SNL class on Wed. and a voice-over class on Fri.).

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'll go check. I'm usually pretty good at catching those. Must have missed it.


Bev, If you meet Scott, you've got to tell us if he shows up in a Star Trek uniform?! (Just kidding Scott! ;-))

ScottDS said...

(sigh) Even if I owned one - which I don't - I would never inflict that on someone else! I'm predicting khakis and nice (albeit un-ironed) shirt. :-)

BevfromNYC said...

Lawhawk - I am sure life in the sticks is great if you like bugs and small four legged animals...oh, wait I have those too...well...hmmm...but what happens if you need milk in the middle of the night? How long will it take you to get milk, huh? I can go and get back during one commercial break. You?? :-P

BevfromNYC said...

Scott, please don't iron on my account...I hate to iron and use the "but linen is always this wrinkled" line alot during the summer season. Even if you wore a Trekkie (or Trekker) uniform, this is NY. No one would notice...

Oooh, next week I have to add the Nekkid Cowboy/Nekkid Cowgirl legal battle. Did you catch that one in the news?

ScottDS said...

Just the headline. I have not inquired. Though I found myself walking through Times Square a couple weeks ago and I saw the Cowboy out of the corner of my eye. I didn't pose for a picture (yet?). :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm just kidding! LOL! I also went and responded to your comment.


Bev, I heard something about it, but not much. Also, regarding LawhawkRFD, he can get milk in a matter of seconds in his barn now!

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: There's this thing called a cow. The closest one is about fifty steps from my back door. She doesn't mind a late-night visit as long as you warm your hands first. LOL

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk - Do you seriously have a milk cow?? That is very cool. Hey, maybe you'd be interested in starting a miniature animal farm. With mini horses and cows and pigs and goats. I've been trying to talk my brother and sister in law into it for years, but they refuse...I would do it myself, but my landlord frowns on livestock in our building even though I have a second room...

patti said...

I LOL'D at "take that, marxist scum!" gonna make me smile for days! thanks...

BevfromNYC said...

Patti - Thanks. I'm always glad when I can make someone smile! Secretly, it made me smile too because sometime my little "unicorns and butterfly" system works...

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: The cow belongs to the neighbor behind my place. I don't have any farm animals, though I could if I wanted to. My daughter up the hill is the one with the animals. Goats, chickens, rabbits, turkeys and horses. All of which I get to take care of while she and her family go to Utah for a camping vacation. Frankly, I prefer to admire farm animals from afar.

BevfromNYC said...

Dang RFDman, no one wants to take me up on the Miniature Farm idea. We could have even let those blasted Elves roam free range every once in a while to tend the miniature pigs and sheep. But I understand...:-(

BevfromNYC said...

Okay, so how is "going camping" in Utah any different than taking care of goats?

I know what you're thinking - "I thought she was from Texas?" Hey, I grew up in the suburbs and shopped at Neiman Marcus, whatdaya want?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I thought everyone in Texas was required to own a ranch with cattle? Or an oil well...

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew, yes, it is true that we all have at least one oil well, the cattle thing is optional.

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