While Broken Sidewalk is about Louisville neighborhoods and the city we all love, I want to include a few observations and experiences I have had in New York City. I will be writing a new regular column about life here where I will explain the pros and cons of dense, car-free city living among other things. I have been here long enough now that the city no longer feels like I am a visitor. I have been to four of the five boroughs to explore the unique urban quality of each part of the city and hope to bring you some photos and ideas.
Don’t think I want Louisville to transform itself into a mini-New York. That’s certainly not the case, but, of course, we can learn from functioning American cities as we rebuild our own. New York isn’t a utopian ideal city. It’s just a city, admittedly a big one.
This post is really just to introduce the series, but I will leave you with a few of my initial reactions on living here. I haven’t driven a car since I arrived, and not once have I ever wished for or needed one. I walk places more than I ride the subway, bus, or bike, but I use them all. Within walking distance of my home are several dozen bodegas, a Whole Foods grocery, a discount supermarket, and a Trader Joe’s. There are thousands of restaurants and bars and everything else you could imagine, and three good-size parks are within half a mile. It goes without saying that transit in New York is excellent, and there’s nothing like walking a couple blocks to the subway stop and jumping on a train that will go almost anywhere in the city.
These are some of the great things about city life, and New York is urban life taken to an extreme. It’s not for everyone. Luckily, each borough has it’s own character from suburban Queens to dense but laid back Brooklyn to always hectic Manhattan. Each is a living laboratory for some aspect of Louisville.