Hold the phone, Cuomo

I don’t write about NYC goings-on lately, and I think this needs to change. Considering that my readership is pretty much all over the place, and yes, I do have my New Yorkers reading too, I’m not exactly going to be shy about what’s happening here.

So. The governor is now all about revamping the subways. Cute! We’ve been hearing about this since 2009. The only things that have been happening so far is that the Q line from Sheepshead Bay through about Newkirk Plaza now looks like it’s somewhat functional, as the stations along that stretch got their facelift over the past couple years. Okay, great! But you know something? The service has been steadily declining while our fares have been going up.

You can argue that it’s all gone to the repairs that have been taking up the time and weekend service changes, etc. but you know something? It’s nearly 7 years since we’ve had the promises of a better subway, and instead all we got are cutbacks, cutbacks, and more cutbacks in service while our fares skyrocketed.

So you know what, Cuomo? Before you start on your campaign of service changes, why don’t you, I don’t know… audit the damned MTA to find out where all the money has been going?  And I don’t know about you, but I am very particular about how my money is spent. I am also a firm believer in getting my money’s worth, and the one thing I can tell you is that the NYC subway is not worth $116.50 a month. It’s not even worth half of that, the way it’s running.

Better yet, Mr. Cuomo, why don’t you come down to ride the subways? Especially on a Saturday night after 10pm. Because that’s when the “service changes” kick in and you’re lucky to get a train every 20 minutes. And I’m not talking the numbered lines, which serve the richie-rich neighborhoods. I’m talking about you taking the R train to Bay Ridge. I’m talking about you riding the N to Coney Island and counting the number of times your train stops and gets delayed. Please, go ahead. Come down and ride the subways. And while you’re at it, please tell me what that substance is dripping from some of the ceilings of the N-line stations. Inquiring minds want to know.


But wait, there’s more!

Now he also wants to expand the Javits Center!

Hold on there. Who’s paying for all of this?!

Because it better not be the astronomical amount I pay in NYC income tax off each paycheck.

Look here. There’s too many tax shelters – oops, I mean luxury apartment buildings – coming up all over NYC. You’ve seen them. Beautiful condos that are priced so high that an average Joe NYC will never be able to afford them. in fact, if you have to think about it, how many of those luxury high-rises that are all over the place are even occupied? Who’s living in them? But no one has to live in them for the investors to be able to claim the depreciation on their tax returns 27.5 years, if I remember correctly. Right now, the average Joe NYC makes too little money to afford these “luxury” apartments – which, honestly, are not all that and a bag of Spicy Doritos – and makes too much to be considered “low income”.

Seriously! If you make 50K in NYC, as little as 10 years ago, you’d be able to rent a halfway decent apartment on your own. I’m not talking about luxuries, I’m talking about running hot water, heat, Internet access, possibly laundromat a block away. Right now, 50K gets you two roommates and a prayer that the rent hike won’t mean that you would need another person in an apartment that, let’s face it, shouldn’t hold more than 2 people in the first place. And this is considered “middle class” income. Really? What middle class?

And in all of this, Cuomo is expanding the Javits center?

Give. Me. A. Break. Seriously.

Supposedly, there was a move, with money allocated, to build more “low income” housing in NYC. I have no idea what they mean by low income, because apparently, the real estate bubble has inflated to the point where even 50K a year is actually low income, since rent will eat half your monthly pay, at the absolute least. But the bigger point is this: Where is the ‘low income’ housing? Where is any housing that’s not ‘luxury’ in NYC? And why is it that instead of making the residents a priority, the governor is suddenly all about expanding the Javits?

I don’t know about y’all, but I think it’s a travesty that the city that I live in is wasting our tax dollars on something that, let’s face it, should’ve been done years ago (MTA) and on something that has absolutely no immediate use to the city whatsoever (Javits).

What’s more relevant to the city than Javits? Rent prices, which are completely out of control. Rent control is little more than a joke; it subjects an apartment to a cap on increase, not a cap on the actual starting rent price. This needs to be standardized and capped.

What’s more relevant to the city? Police racism and brutality.

What’s more relevant to the city? A standard of school tuition that doesn’t render people broke.

There are much higher priorities in NYC than the renovation of Javits Center, and I don’t know about you, governor Cuomo, but I should like to think that those of us who actually live in this city, who have grown up in this city, who have devoted our lives to this city, would like some better things to happen with our tax money than this.