Dear Mayor Bloomberg

We have just visited your city for day and we have a few observations for you to consider.

We aren’t in wheelchairs and it’s a good thing. How would we get up and down the subway stairs? Escalators are few and far between. Elevators are an endangered species. Really, retrofitting is way behind. People with disabilities are having a very difficult time with their mobility on the subway.

Secondly, we want to thank the city you represent. The people were wonderful which left us scratching our head. Rude New Yorkers? Where? Several men in booths came to our assistance when we were dazed and confused in the subways. Young people offered to help schlep our big suitcase on more than one occasion. People happily gave us directions when were bewildered. We were wished well wherever we went. People were kind and considerate. We loved the New Yorkers and you, Mayor, should be proud of our citizens.
It occurred to us that if your people would turn off a few lights money could be saved. And we wondered when we saw this sign…do people refuse to visit or work in offices without fire sprinklers? What law caused this notice and why? Must be an interesting back story.

On Sundays we think it would be helpful to have more trains running on the AirTrain around JFK airport. We were crushed on our car and it was hard to get on and harder to escape. A few more cars would have made it easier on all concerned. Having said that, my dear reader must be wondering why we were even on the AirTrain. When we checked out from the hotel, I asked the Rayman what the plan was for getting to the airport. “Subway”, he reported. “Really?”, I asked. “The lady said the bus was very slow, I’ve redistributed the weight in the bags for easier handling and I think we’ll just take the subway.” Well, I must report my shock and dismay. As reported in the Tau of Pooh, if you just Pooh things…it becomes easier, less stressful. And so that is how we ended up on the AirTrain.

The subways were clean, sort of. I was taken back by the big rat that scampered down the platform this a.m. That was a bit off-putting. I did not notice graffiti. That was a bit of a surprise. With hundreds of miles of track and multiple layers of tracks, that is no small undertaking. All the fare machines worked. Our biggest problem was not the signage…it was our own confusion as to where we going. Uptown, midtown, downtown…in relation to what? And wasn’t the Statue of Liberty in Hudson River? or was the museum in Central Park?

So, thank you Mayor. You and your city have done yourselves proud. I think we’ll return…that is we will be returning in a couple of weeks for 4 days. This time in Brooklyn.

Oh, one other thing. There should be a law that a cab driver in NYC can take a fare to New Jersey, say Newark airport. As it was explained to us, the two states’ cabbies can’t cross state lines without a hugh ball of red tape which made the hotel desk attendant to remark, “That’s why I always avoid Newark. It’s actually closer than JFK, but getting there by cab is more expensive and requires two cabs, not one.” Seems to me they should call a truce and get over it all ready. Can’t we all just get along? Think of the poor tourists. Fix this problem and travelers would be happier as would the locals, I’m sure. Heck, the euro is a shining example of cross border cooperation. Opps. On second thought.

So, Mayor, we plan to tell all our friends to visit NYC. It’s very big, full of people but they are wonderful people.

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