Back in the last century, Briggs & Stratton used to release a list of the best 10 lawns in America. In 1998, this seventh floor garden at 30 Rock ranked among them. Seen here is head gardener Eric Pauze 24 years ago, when he earned the honor. Among his duties are planting pink geraniums and trimming hedges, as the gardens are designated state landmarks and must be treated with dignity and respect.
But mowing stripes seven stories high is the least interesting thing he does. Yep, he’s the Christmas tree picker for Rockefeller Center! Not the fake version you see on all the Hallmark movies; nope, he’s the real deal. He visits nurseries throughout the tri-state area, searching for the perfect tree. He’s been known to scour trees in other states as well, and says he’s never been turned down by an owner, though they are skeptical that he is the actual man with the coveted tree-procuring position. Well, here’s the proof.
July 6, 1911. It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s New York. Hygiene is sorely lacking. There’s no chilled Coke. No frosty A&W. No Slurpees available. So why don’t we stick some blocks of ice on the hot asphalt of a dirty city street and invite some unvaccinated urchins to come lick it? It’s not like it’s a bat or anything.
Over three days in late July, a three-bedroom house in East Orange, N.J., was listed for sale for $285,000, had 97 showings, received 24 offers and went under contract for 21 percent over that price.
Last month’s New York Times article on the Big Apple’s mass exodus only told us what we’d been hearing for months; many Yankees want out. And who could blame them? The thought of quarantining without a back yard sounds confining, restrictive. Living in close quarters in small boxes, sans rolling hills with fresh air, offices still shut down after all this time, the germs of cabs and subways. Ick. And can you imagine how stir crazy kids must be? In addition, the divorce rate has skyrocketed. As some spouses shoved together for six months now are able to return to work, instead of enjoying the reprieve from one other, one fears for the safety of their families, now more than ever exposed to the virus by a spouse daily coming into contact with all that death and tragedy. Arguments ensue. Spouses separate. Mom packs up the kids and flees to the ‘burbs.
And in the midst of this often-applauded “freedom” to terrorize and slap and shove and spit upon others who don’t share your views all across big cities, it’s easy to give in to the allure of the suburbs, not only for the hope for folks to remain civil, but for a home that doesn’t share walls with thoughtlessly loud neighbors, not to mention lower taxes and lower crime and available parking and more quiet and even grass and trees. Less gunshots. NYC is strong and resilient, but it’s losing out to the housing market in Jersey, where moving vans cannot keep up with demand. Homes list one day, and sell the next at thousands over list price. And if in fact, many folks, continue to work remotely for years, why not do it in a 3-2-2? Or maybe make the move upstate?
I realize J-Lo is about to turn 50 in a few days, same age as the first moon landing. That’s what they want you to think. But how do you explain this cartoon rendering of her from a 1936 New Yorker magazine? Same hat, same halter top, same flared pants and ample posterior, surrounded by a diverse group of creatives, as they now say. I mean, she IS Jenny from the block, and that block was The Bronx.
“During the Great Depression, which began in 1929 and lasted approximately a decade, shantytowns appeared across the U.S. as unemployed people were evicted from their homes. As the Depression worsened in the 1930s, causing severe hardships for millions of Americans, many looked to the federal government for assistance. When the government failed to provide relief, President Herbert Hoover was blamed for the intolerable economic and social conditions, and the shantytowns that cropped up across the nation, primarily on the outskirts of major cities, became known as Hoovervilles.”–www.history.com