Friday, December 01, 2006

Other cities make me feel like a dork

I love New York. There’s nothing like the view of the New York City skyline as you approach it at night. Whenever I’ve been away, even if only for a day, I still get butterflies when I catch sight of the skyscrapers all lit up. My favourite is the view as you approach from JFK, down the BQE, across the Williamsburg bridge; this gives you the iconic perspective immortalized in the opening credits of so may TV shows and movies. Blah blah blah blimey, and clearly New York is also the city that makes me take myself far too seriously, because I was about to come out with some pithy epithet like ‘but the city that never sleeps is also the city that’s bleeding the planet dry’. Ahem.

Anyway, as we greenies retreated up the West Side Highway tonight after a wonderful two-day whistle-stop visit, I was overcome with ambivalence, half misty-eyed about my fab city, half thinking how bad all those lights needlessly left on are for the planet. (Were any of you around in that big blackout in 03? It was creepy. Made you realize how much New York kind of is electricity. I lived on the 11th floor and had to walk up and down the emergency exit stairwell lit only by a tea light (talk about claustrophobia). I had no water because the water was pumped up to my apartment by an electric pump (nothing to drink, no shower in August heatwave, couldn’t flush the loo – yuk). Of course no AC or fans, no phone, and I had no money and couldn’t get any because the ATMs were out, so I couldn’t buy water or food. Mental. But the weirdest thing was the skyline just disappeared.)

So I would really love it if New Yorkers would get better at turning the lights off. But the question is, would it still be New York if we did?

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At 4:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about London? not much better in my opinion except for the fact that it's never had to deal with hot humid summers such as NYC...regarding the US energy system, the blackout was a result of a very archaic grid system, not from being anti-green! Not to mention England's temps don't reach those of the US at least for now...


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