Well, you missed a relatively “mad as hell, not going to take it anymore” civic meeting at Temple Shaaray Tefila, and Oliver Stone’s poignant remarks at his mother’s St. James Episcopal Church memorial service. And while I got the gist of what was said at both gatherings, I wished the service, which a number of boomers and seniors attended, had been miked, And miked a bit more at the East 79th St. Neighborhood Association meeting, where the only ones under 40 probably were Councilman Ben Kallos and the elected official reps.
Ah, if only people would just speak a little louder. The populaton is aging, doogone it, and attention must be paid. And that relatively “mad as hell” civic meeting really needed some Trumpian pushback when told the police were doing all they could to overcome city bicyclists’ habitual disregard for the laws of the road. “But it’s still a war zone out there,” the concerned shot back - a little too politely.
And the Manhattan D.A’s office guest speaker’s relative unconcern about this ubiquitous non-compliance didn’t help, especially when he implied we’d better get used to New York becoming more and more of a bicycling city. And he wasn’t appalled that even when people were killed or grievously injured by motor vehicles, juries often acquit the drivers and let them keep driving. The most dangerous “failure to yield” violation still gets a pass.
Bicycling advocate Roger Herz was there, but oddly didn’t repeat his long-ago advice to this most active civic group: “Whenever you see a biking violation, shout out, ‘Red light!’ or ‘Wrong Way!’ or ‘Off the Walk!’ Yell at motorists, too.
So let’s all do that and join the association’s inspired bike lane monitoring project. Volunteers at its first day-long 79th and First bike lane watch, found many riders ran red lights, rode the wrong way and often ignored the lane. We can do this on our own and report results at the next meeting and to this newspaper.
And hey, bring them to the East Sixties Neighborhood Association’s annual meeting, Tuesday. Oct. 13, where the subject will be – yup, “Traffic and Public Safety” with the Department of Transportation and the police precinct giving their views. (6-8pm at Mount Vernon Museum and Hotel Auditorium at 417 E. 67th.) Remember, this is a city-wide and still minimally addressed illegal threat to public safety.
And while happy to learn that Liz Kruger’s Boomer/Senior Forums continue, I worry that the “finance related subject matter” will not address the social causes and biases undergirding so many older and old people’s problems and woes.
Which, at last, brings us to the Jacqueline Stone memorial service and how she remained a closely connected mother and grandmother. No family apartheid there and how we need her world renown filmmaker son, Oliver, to protest generational segregation, especially in families, and get it out there in media and entertainment which so shape customs and views. Incidentally, my family Stone connection stems from their once being neighborly neighbors of ours on the Upper East Side. And although I last saw Oliver at his father’s funeral in 1985, I was grateful to learn from a mutual friend how Jacqueline was so much a part of her son and grandchildren’s lives in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
And being in St. James’ reverently beautiful sanctuary, singing beloved old hymns, and reciting familiar prayers, made me realize how much I miss and need this experience. It may have been true for others there, too, including Oliver and his children, Surely nothing could make their adoring mother and grandmother more grateful than that.