Ginia Bellafante, A Look Down the Line

Ginia Bellafante can turn a lovely phrase, and at the same time get at the heart of things, as in this example regarding the Brooklyn Queens Connector, a proposed streetcar line:

The Brooklyn Queens Connector, as the streetcar would be called, nimbly advances two political goals. Requiring no resources from the state, it allows Mr. de Blasio to counter the carnival of emasculation that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo subjects him to with such aggressive regularity. (Just last week, the governor portrayed a reluctance to fight for the closing of Rikers Island — an idea Mr. de Blasio called noble but unrealistic — as a failure to think grandly enough, reminding the world that he always thinks grandly enough, and mentioning, in particular, his plans for rebuilding La Guardia Airport and the Tappan Zee Bridge. Like a Real Housewife terrified that her Botox treatment might be overshadowed by someone else’s liposuction, Mr. Cuomo seemed to be suffering from infrastructure envy.)

The streetcar project also allows Mr. de Blasio an opportunity to deflect the criticism that he is unable to understand or implement visionary urban planning (or any urban planning at all). If completed, the Brooklyn Queens Connector would give him a visible legacy. Part of the challenge his administration has faced is that certain of its actions — the funneling of more resources into public housing, for instance — have simply never made it onto the radar of the many liberal affluent white voters who don’t like him. They cannot count what essentially they cannot see; a light-rail system on an increasingly populated, and increasingly glamorous, waterfront is hard to ignore.

I particularly enjoyed ‘the carnival of emasculation’ snipe.

Ginia Bellafante, A Look Down the Line

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Work ecologist. Founder, Work Futures. The ecology of work and the anthropology of the future.

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