New York sure treats pedestrians better than Seattle does.
I’m in Manhattan for a few days, walking loops from the Battery to Harlem. Being used to Seattle, I’ve rarely felt so coddled by a city.
Many Seattle annoyances are gone. Sandwich boards are neatly out of the way. Jaywalking doesn’t require looking for cops first (still honoring right of way of course), and sidestreets are narrow so crossing is quick. Tree wells aren’t designed to hurt you or make you walk single-file. Dog owners keep their leashes short so they don’t trip people. I’ve yet to see a push button. Cars stop before crosswalks, not in them, in part because there’s (presumably) no free right turn, and in part because they’re not rude.
In other words, both New York and its public have learned that walkability is more than platitudes, and living close together comes with a code of conduct. Seattle should learn from that.
Without waxing too poetic, I love this city…not in the critical but permanent way I love Seattle, but more a deep admiration. Manhattan’s density of buildings, residents, tourists, jobs, and transit is phenomenal, both in ambiance and in the great things it supports. And the architecture! It’s scientific fact that the two best highrises in the world are the Chrysler and Woolworth Buildings, and the midrise vernacular…
My hotel computer is running out….off to the view from Empire State!