“Thanksgiving should be at least a week earlier,” my neighbor Karyn, a teacher, wisely opined. Too much is crunched into December. Personally, there’s also my birthday on St. Nicholas Day (a most kindly saint) and two family birthdays Dec. 30, and it’s also family reunion time.
Too much to crunch into this column, too, but here goes: Yorkville’s mighty thankful that the Cherokee Post Office has been saved—but use it or lose it. And here’s hoping that all-out civic “endeavoring” will now be directed against some too-little assailed chronic oppressors, like:
1. Crimes of traffic. And hey, why is this “foremost champion” against them never consulted? (To quote a 2006 tribute from Rep. Carolyn Maloney.)
2. Noise pollution still gets a pass, where we live (neighbors!) and walk (horn-blowing and over-loud emergency sirens) and ride (the artic buses’ oppressively loud “climate controls” and most buses’ piercingly shrill kneeling step “warners”).
3. The over-drinking, because it can so adversely alter behavior, should be more feared than the hugely deplored over-eating and smoking. Open AA meetings need universal attendance so drinkers can learn how hazardous even one over-indulgent time can be.
4. Ah, but Sexaholics Anonymous may be the most needed of all self-help groups, even for one seemingly morally upstanding champion golfer. A famed rocker just joined. Let’s hope Gov. Eliot Spitzer is a member. Would that only males were “what’s love got to do with it?” addicts. And an ever more “lustualized” society needs some indicting.
Undermining other home front devotions is the usual flood of how to survive “the dreaded and dreadful family-of-origin reunions,” where elders are often the heavies. My two “not fit to print” letters to the New York Times’ home and science/health sections rued both their one-sided view and their failure to include “get along” communication/skill rules. Yes, Virginia, they do exist and “how to” manuals should be a life-long required study and practice. Lesson number one: share the talk—so nobody is left out.
Related: the food, clergy and volunteer hospitality at St. Stephen of Hungary’s first community Thanksgiving dinner were simply four-star. But my table’s three twentysomethings’ acting-related shoptalk never tried to include their two elder tablemates.
Also related, here’s to Logos Book Store, on York between 83rd and 84th, featuring communication skills in its monthly “Kill Your TV” free book discussions. And let the Monday children’s story hour stress positive intergenerational interaction. This most gracious of stores has a wide collection of philosophical and all-faith books, along with pretty much G-rated secular ones. May the community, especially faith groups, strongly support it.
And if ever all-out civic action were deserved, it’s for Assembly Member Micah Kellner’s bill to assist small businesses ravaged by Second Avenue subway construction, by giving landlords a property tax break for reducing rent (see Nov. 26 story, “Subway Construction Updates”). Mayoral opposition has it stalled in the State Senate. Affected business owners are asked to call Kellner’s office at 212-860-4906. So should those businesses that will eventually be affected. Surely a just society does everything possible to protect people and places from any hardship caused by a public interest project; it’s bad enough when it’s the private, for profit, kind.
Lest we forget, the Park Avenue memorial trees honor all who gave, and alas, are still giving, their lives in this nation’s wars. This most meaningful and reverently lovely city tradition was begun by several New York women whose sons were killed in World War II. And so many thanks are due the now-retired Marge Ternes, for her 40-plus years of directing the all-year, private donor-supported, enchanting Park Avenue Mall plantings and, of course, the truly wonderful memorial trees. n
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