It’s always been easy to criticize New York and we all know the list of reasons: high taxes; excessive costs of public education; legislative devotion to special interests; too many layers of government. They’re all true and it’s not even a complete list. This page has always been cheerfully ready to point them out.
Today, though, it’s worth looking at New York through different eyes. With this state’s professional, humane and data-driven response to the scourge of Covid-19, New Yorkers have cause, even amid the suffering, to hold their heads high. This state is leading the nation.
That’s thanks in large part to the seasoned leadership of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, serving his third term as governor and refuting the too-easy slanders against “career politicians.” Experience counts – today more than ever.
It’s not just Cuomo, though. New Yorkers elected him, after all. Even his critics, we suspect, recognize something of themselves in him. Call it old-school New York – smart, tough and wise-cracking, but always ready to offer a helping hand.
We see it in the way most New Yorkers are weathering these difficult times. There are complainers, of course – there always are – but for most of us, this has been a time to listen to experts, do what is best for all and work to safely sustain our important relationships.
New York has always been in the vanguard of states willing to reach out when natural disasters strike other parts of the country. When Cuomo pleaded earlier this month for equipment and medical volunteers from other states, he did it while extending a promise that didn’t really have to be spoken: New York will help you when you need it. That’s what we do.
And speaking of our health professionals, they continue to show up, every day, facing impossible, hazardous conditions to perform their saintly duties. That is true around the state, but especially in New York City, the worst hit region of the country. How do they do it? Who can say? But marvel at it. And be thankful for it.
There’s much more about New York to recommend it, of course. We know how beautiful this state is, but most of the country doesn’t. Mention New York to someone three states away and odds are they’ll think some distorted version of Manhattan. To them, the rest of the state is a blank. They don’t know about the rolling region of the Finger Lakes, the majesty of the Adirondacks, the deep green of Hudson Valley and the Catskills or our own wondrous region.
And, as far as that goes, Manhattan is fine, too – spectacular, in fact. Although many upstaters complain about The City, it’s a net giver to the rest of the state and, really, who doesn’t like prowling through the country’s most incredible metropolis?
Manhattan is what you’d get if you asked an 8-year-old to build his dream city: For sure, he’d put it on an island and link it to the world by underwater tunnels and astonishing bridges. She’d spike its streets with fantastical, improbable buildings and, in the middle, plop a gigantic playground – with a zoo. Come on. Admit it. That place is cool.
The truth is, there’s a lot about this state to like, Covided or not. There will always be plenty to criticize, as there is in every other state (and, yes, here maybe more than others). But for today – especially today – let’s just say this: It’s good to live in New York. And wash your hands.
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