2012 Predictions

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By Megan Finnegan Bungeroth

We asked some Upper East Side leaders to look into their crystal balls for 2012 and tell us what we can expect for the upcoming year. Here are some of their prognostications.

COMMUNITY
Mark Thompson, chair of Community Board 6

The East Side"s waterfront dream will become real as plans for the former Con Edison Pier park are completed.

East Siders will start envisioning the caissons as the start of the Esplanade rather than the leftovers from the FDR reconstruction project. As the focus shifts to creating more green space, people will come up with more ideas for public spaces and parks throughout the community, making the East Side even more beautiful.

Our new elementary school will open on First Avenue, helping to temporarily relieve overcrowding. Enthused by the new school, parents and local residents will find a way to plan for another much-needed school.

Pub crawlers will realize that it really is possible to go out, have lots of fun and not trash our neighborhoods. People will be able to sleep at night and our overworked police will breathe a sigh of relief.

The city will tell us they were only teasing and the water main won"t be forced down 58th Street.

A coming together of private citizens, corporations, government and civic angels will help alleviate the problem of homelessness here in the heart of the world"s greatest city.

Tara Kelly, executive director of Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts

The Barbizon Hotel will be designated as a landmark.
The City & Suburban First Avenue Estate hardship application [which would strip its current landmark status and allow for the owners to tear down the buildings and construct new ones in their places] will be denied.

Mathew Katz

Matthew Katz, president of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association

Roosevelt Island will begin to fill its empty storefronts with retail shops catering to the needs of residents and visitors.

Southpoint Park will open for its first full summer of activity. It will be wonderful!
The Four Freedoms/FDR Memorial Park will be one year closer to opening.

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association will produce two elections in 2012 to give Gov. Cuomo the community"s choices to fill expired seats on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors. It"s all about government with the consent of the governed!

Residential development in Southtown will continue, expanding the population of this planned community.

And finally: The New York Mets will win the World Series. I can dream, can"t I?

 

POLITICS

Dan Garodnick.

Dan Garodnick, Upper East Side City Council member

President Obama will win reelection.

Mayor Bloomberg will step down and be replaced by his son, Mike Bloomberg-Un.

James Franco will have a sparkling attendance record in all his classes.

The Baron Davis signing will be turn out to be a steal for the Knicks.

The NY Giants will win the Super Bowl.

The tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village will succeed in their bid to buy the property and protect it as a stable and affordable neighborhood for middle-class New Yorkers.

The “Arrested Development movie will be shot next summer. Believe the hype.

Jessica Lappin.

Jessica Lappin, Upper East Side City Council member

The Democrats will keep the majority in the NY State Assembly.

Donald Trump will say he"s running for president.

Dan Quart, Upper East Side Assembly member

Ron Paul will run for president as an Independent.

The new 73rd Assembly District lines will include Yankee stadium.

Adam Lisberg.

Adam Lisberg, editor of City & State (a Manhattan Media publication)

The mayoral race will stay largely quiet. Just as the rumors always swirl about a business-backed would-be Bloomberg jumping in as a Republican, rumors will also swirl about a black or Latino challenger to try to undercut Bill Thompson among Democrat primary voters. Neither will happen. The existing major candidates have worked too hard, scrubbed their records too clean and raised too much money to let an interloper disturb their grim dance.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not fall to earth. He is too skilled a politician to believe his own press and is too focused on the mechanics of governing to let his attention wander. He knows there are forces that hope he settles into a sophomore slump, so he will stay focused on getting results and keeping on top of every potential threat. Beginner"s luck wears off, but he knows the finish line wasn"t the budget, the tax deal or gay marriage's it will be New York"s economy and job market in 2014. Or 2016.

New York"s media will stay robust and vibrant, even as more and more New Yorkers shift from reading newspapers and watching TV. A new iPad model and other competing tablets will give more people a reason to get their news in mobile form, not in an old format they have to buy every morning or sit down to watch. Yet the profusion of emerging sources of credible and interesting media will continue to grow's as Capital New York did, BuzzFeed might and other startups dream of's giving everyone in New York an explosion of good options. That"s good news for new media outlets, bad news for old media empires and scary news for journalists who hope to one day have an employer that contributes to their 401(k).

 

CITY LIVING
Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for The Straphangers Campaign

Sadly, the fare will go up at the end of 2012. That"s the MTA plan. Last time, in December 2010, the 30-day unlimited MetroCard went up 17 percent. If that happens again, be prepared for a $122 30-day card. It"s a good time to be in the 1 percent.

There will be some good news for long-suffering bus riders: You will soon be able to use your cell or smart phone to tell how far your bus is from your stop in real time. A new “Bus Time program goes Staten Island-wide in January 2012, then around the city.

“Poetry in Motion 's subway car ads featuring works from Shakespeare to Frost's will return from retirement. You may get stuck in a subway tunnel, but it will be your chance to catch up on Langston Hughes and Emily Dickinson.

 

Doug Blonsky, president of Central Park Conservancy

New Yorkers will discover Manhattan"s Adirondacks; Central Park"s best-kept secret is its north end, but it"s a shame it"s a secret at all. The Park"s wooded north end was originally designed to give city dwellers a taste of upstate New York without having to leave Manhattan. But more than 150 years after the Park was created, many New Yorkers still aren"t aware of the scenic woodlands ripe for exploration north of 100th Street. We predict that 2012 will be the year visitors discover the beauty of the Park"s north end, with its tumbling cascades, leafy paths and rustic bridges.

Central Park will look different this spring. Central Park suffered two destructive storms in 2011: Hurricane Irene in August and the Halloween snowstorm that cost the Park nearly 1,000 trees. The result in spring 2012 will be a thinned canopy that will both open new views to visitors and allow new undergrowth to flourish. We predict that the year ahead will remind visitors that Central Park is a living, ever-changing thing to be explored over and over again.

There will be more ways than ever for New Yorkers to make Central Park their free “staycation destination. New Yorkers know that Central Park is the place to be on a beautiful day, whether to take a walk or lay a picnic blanket down on the Great Lawn. But there are so many ways to enjoy the Park that New Yorkers don"t realize, all at little or no cost. How many people realize they can visit Central Park and in one day go swimming, fishing and people watch with a great gourmet sandwich? With free programs and performances, innovative playgrounds and more food offerings than ever before, there"s no need to board a bus or a plane for a day trip. We predict that in 2012, New Yorkers will use Central Park as their ultimate “staycation destination.

 

HEALTH
Alicia Salzer, M.D., and Leslie Miller, M.D., founders of Medhattan

Sustainable eating habits: 2012 is the year to stop the insanity. It"s out with fad diets and in with moderation. 2012 is the year to realize that subsisting on grapefruits or bacon or whatever the latest trend is is not sustainable. Family meals help balance work and family while cutting down on unhealthy takeout. They are a time to model healthy eating for the kids and teach them that it"s worth the time to try to eat healthy.

Saving money at the expense of health: The insurance industry"s answer to rising health care costs is to increasingly offer high-deductible plans and catastrophic-only insurance that only covers surgery, hospitalizations and the like. This means that in 2012, tons of New Yorkers will avoid going to the doctor to save money. That"s a problem because it means you miss the chance to diagnose problems in the early stages and intervene before things get out of hand. We hope that this insurance trend does not translate into people ordering prescriptions online and trying to diagnose themselves via the Internet.

Accountability: In 2012, some little talked-about habits will start to surface, namely the rampant overuse of sleep aids and painkillers. 2012 is the year to confront these issues with honesty, discuss them with your doctor and learn to love the person you see in the mirror without reservation.

Keeping it local: All over America, when people get sick, they take advantage of their neighborhood Urgent Care Center's except in New York. The Big Apple is very late in joining this national trend, yet our ER wait times are some of the longest in the country. Sixty percent of people who are in ERs don"t need to be there, and we all know how hard it is to get a same-day appointment with your doctor. Visiting an Urgent Care Center like Medhattan Immediate Medical Care is a new option in 2012 for New Yorkers who want the ease of top-notch care brought to their own immediate neighborhood. Hallelujah for convenience in the New Year!

 

REAL ESTATE
Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats

I predict a limited supply of new rental and sale product will enter the market during 2012, thus keeping properties in both categories in high demand. It"s still the Big Apple, and everyone wants a bite.

Looking at the city"s sales market, prices will remain stable and may even appreciate slightly if the economic outlook improves. However, a lot is riding on potential home buyers" access to credit.

2012 will see a continued influx of international buyers. Despite how expensive we New Yorkers think our city is, it is still a value when compared to other major international locales. Furthermore, for the wealthy who live emerging economies, New York real estate is seen as a safe long-term investment.

With rental prices near record highs and mortgage rates near historic lows, the city"s tight rental market will push more clients into purchasing in 2012. In fact, I believe now is a golden opportunity for people who have been waiting on the sidelines to purchase real estate before the economy improves and prices rise.

I predict developers will plan more “hybrid buildings in 2012. In a difficult lending environment, buildings that mix retail, hotel, condos and rentals are a good way for developers (and banks) to hedge their bets.

Look for increased development activity along the Queens waterfront and the far West Side of Manhattan. I expect these neighborhoods to be the major growth areas in 2012.

Continuing on the theme of growth in Queens, I predict that despite the loss of Beltran and Reyes, 2012 is the Mets" year to take it all.

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