A new year is usually accompanied with promises of change, like quitting a vice or finally getting fit, but should cities be any different?
We here at Metro — and some of our fellow New Yorkers — don’t think so. That’s why we’ve created this wish list of things we’d like to see happen in New York City in 2018 — and beyond.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz
“My wish is for 2018 to be the year of women — with more women rising, organizing, running and governing across New York. A bonus? The New York Mets winning the World Series.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“In 2018, I want the Bronx to continue its upward trend, the federal government to start providing Puerto Rico with the help it needs and deserves and the New York Yankees to find pitching help to complement the one-two punch of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge so they can bring a 28th title to the Bronx.”
Marni Halasa, activist and former City Council candidate
“In 2018, my wish is to see more Americans getting politically engaged and take that engagement to the next level. As a lawyer, activist and former candidate for City Council, I believe it’s not enough to sign a petition — go out in the street and protest, write an editorial to your newspaper, visit a congressman’s office with a group of your pissed-off, politically-minded friends or even run for public office. Our world is on fire, and stepping up the resistance means resisting must be loud, reach the masses and happen daily. But resistance also needs to be local. New Yorkers also need to get more involved in local politics to protect our neighborhoods from becoming strip malls and skyscrapers. There is a reason why you see empty storefronts all over the city — it’s because City Council refuses to pass legislation that would allow small mom-and-pop businesses to thrive by giving them rights in the lease renewal process and the right to negotiate new and fair lease terms. With 1,000 business closing and 8,000 jobs lost each month, City Council needs to bring such legislation, the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, to a public hearing so this crisis of displacement can be solved once and for all. If they don’t, we will know councilmembers are owned by their real estate campaign contributors who believe that jacking up the rents by 400 percent is their God-given right. Make that first step and call/email your councilmember right now, or even better, show up on the steps of City Hall.”
Stan Fischler, subway historian and MSG “hockey maven”
“My wish list on the subway is both simple and comprehensive. The system is kind of in a chaotic state; it’s inevitable because we’re talking about a system that’s more than 110 years old. Sure, over some time, it has breakdowns and needs repairs, and that’s what’s going on now. The delays are unfortunate, but you have to fix things to make it run right again, and that’s the price we have to pay.
What they have to do is be as vigilant as possible, and alert the passengers. Lots of times you can’t figure out what’s being said on the loudspeaker, and the riders are left wondering what’s going on. It’s not good at all.
I don’t understand the ‘signal problems’ situation because these signals are built to work and to last, but again maybe it’s a case of inattention. It’s a big system — it never goes to sleep the way other systems do in other places in the world. When something goes wrong, it’s bound to happen. I’m amazed it’s worked so well for so long and so many decades.”
Indira Cesarine, founder of The Untitled Space
“Being an artist and curator, I would love to see more public art representing inspirational women in New York City. There is a massive gender gap when it comes to the city’s statues — currently there are over 150 notable male statues in New York, and only five statues of historical women. I think promoting gender equality in public spaces would be a great way to motivate equality in other areas, and inspire New Yorkers to greatness.
Aside from that, like all New Yorkers, I think our subway system needs a major overhaul! Compared to other major international cities such as Paris or London, it is sadly out of date, with delayed trains, dirty platforms and stations. It could use a makeover for sure — and more art, of course!”
Morgan Rousseau, Metro managing editor
“One tourist-free week.”
Joe Pantorno, Metro sports editor
“My wish for 2018 is for the Islanders to sign John Tavares to a long-term extension.”
Lenyon Whitaker, Metro multimedia editor
“To see new Yankee Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge have home-run record-setting seasons.”
Nikki M. Mascali, Metro staff reporter
“I wish that city officials would ride the subway or buses at least once a week so they know exactly what their constituents deal with on a daily basis — not just when something big happens. I would also like an Islanders Stanley Cup.”
Larry Penner, Metro transit columnist
“[My wish is that] Gov. Cuomo, who thinks he is the reincarnation of the late Master Builder Robert Moses, would find real money instead of picking the pocket of taxpayers and riders with bonding, long-term loans and other budgetary gimmicks to pay for his $100 billion worth of transportation promises. You don’t have enough space for me to list the balance of all his $100 billion worth of transportation dreams’ previous commitments.”