Pedestrians in Mumbai have no zebra crossings, no rights, and, by the law of averages, not a long life expectancy. There are barely any traffic lights to give a moment’s grace to those who have to get to the other side. Unencumbered by rules, training, or insurance, Indians drive with an ethereal airbag of reincarnation. They follow no laws of the road, only some eternal and unwritten commandments of existence. Stopping for pedestrians isn’t one of them.
Remember those giant “Welcome to New York” signs that appeared in Montauk two summers ago — only to be taken down after the public pointed out that they were not just ugly but totally pointless? They were part of a campaign funded by the state that was supposed to boost tourism by informing tourists who’d already arrived that, yes, you could eat and drink in New York, and visit unspecified “attractions,” and fill your days with delight by accessing an I ♥ NY app.
East Hampton Town needs a summer plan. Relatively recently, officials presented a set of hamlet-specific vision documents intended to guide redevelopment and new projects in the commercial centers with an eye toward a mix of business and residential needs and an emphasis on affordable living for workers. These studies were quite nice and contained some exciting ideas. What the hamlet plan authors did not do was look at the reality of East Hampton’s resort, day-trip, and short-term rental economy in a coherent way.
Does a person really revert to childhood in old age? Clearly, that can be true in extremes, as when dementia sets in. But what about ordinary aging, the kind that I and many of my friends now testify to? Our bodies give evidence of our having grown older, sure, but have our minds inevitably followed suit? No way.
A bald eagle was circling not far above the cupola on George Washington’s Mount Vernon when we visited this week. From the driveway at the end of the house tour, a sharp call could be heard, something like an osprey’s. It was a cold, early spring day, toward closing time, and most of the guests were ready to move on. A federal security guard standing by a wrought-iron stanchion did not look up. Nor did anyone else, as the national bird wheeled around several times and headed down river, still calling.