Mayor Quimby: Order! Please rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Homer: Get to the money!
Mayor Quimby: In a moment. First, let’s review the minutes from our last meeting.
Apu: Get to the money!
Rev. Lovejoy: Get to the money!
Grampa Simpson: Get to the moneeey!
Mayor Quimby: Very well. We will now hear suggestions for the disbursement of the $2million.
Lisa Simpson: Don’t you mean $3million?
Mayor Quimby: Of course. How silly of me.
Tis the season for receivin’ …or requesting anyway. Thus I will publish my Long Island City wishlist for 2014, and address it to the most visible local politician I know, Jimmy Van Bramer. Whether it be a senior citizens singalong, a lost dog rally, or a food-cart opening, JVB’s ubiquitousness rivals only Mayor Quimby’s. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, there have been numerous important occasions where we could have used a little more presence from our national leaders, think Katrina and healthcare website breakdowns. So instead of Quimby, maybe we should be looking at James Brown, the hardest working man in showbiz, for a parallel. Or maybe I should be realistic and acknowledge that a single politician can’t fulfill all my requests. Here they are anyway:
1. Lights on QueensWest Field – LICtalk Math: your average person works from 9-5, gets home to their apartment at 5:30, and can be at the field by 5:45pm. The average sunset, over the course of the year, occurs at 6:30pm(click here for data), meaning the average usage by adults is ~45 minutes a day, M-F. By installing lights and keeping them on until 9pm, one could increase quadruple this usage! Yeah, I know, cut JVB some slack, QW Field is under a morass of different jurisdictions, but someone needs to get the ball rolling.
2. Crosswalks and Speed Bumps on Center Boulevard – I don’t know whose jurisdiction this falls under, but it seems tailor made for JVB. My only comment is the advice I would give his Chief of Staff: get out ahead on this topic, before a tragedy occurs. Traffic on Center Boulevard is completely unregulated, and the heavy transient use(taxi/livery cars/weekenders) combined with the otherwise carefree pedestrians is a recipe for disaster.
3. Quadras– organized soccer in Brazil is known as futebol. But the pickup variety, the kind played in the cities and the countryside, is called pelada. Big fields, like QueensWest and the new “Oval,” are certainly welcomed, but going forward practicality should play a role. As nice as organized games are, it’s pickup games where kids really learn soccer, and where adults can get the best workout and not be constrained to a strict schedule, nor the need to cobble 16-22 players together. Let’s take a page from another concrete-filled city, Sao Paolo, and create quadras. If pols are always looking for input from the community, here’s a forward looking idea that would greatly enhance utilization. Feel free to steal it.
4. Playgrounds for 6-12 year olds – this is a rehash from a year ago, but even more important today. Re-read the story and if you’re a parent with a child over 3 years old, feel free to spearhead a new advocacy campaign, because it’ll be a few years before the second leg of Hunters Point South Park is completed, but input is needed now! Once again, if pols are looking for input from the community, here’s a forward looking idea. Run with it.
That’s all for now, what’s on your LIC wishlist?
Pickup Soccer In Brazil Has an Allure All Its Own – “Romário, one of the greatest Brazilian scorers ever, played in the streets, too. So did Ronaldo. So did Rivaldo. ‘We just play whenever,’ Diego said.”
Are Playgrounds Too Safe? – “…if the child is 9 or 10 years old, he is likely fully bored by the swings, slides and climbing gear.”
Paragon Paint Building on Vernon Snapped Up for $16 Million – bye bye big ugly green monster
Protest Continues at 5Pointz – alright folks, time to get on w/ your lives
Volunteers At Shady Park Replant Their Beloved Trees – great news, now how about a park for those 5+?
Queens Hipster Neighborhoods Lucrative for Landlords – “two trendy Queens ZIP codes, beat out just one in Brooklyn on a list of 25 cash cows across the country where investors can get the highest yields on rentals.” What did I tell you just last week???