Originally Published In Medium: https://medium.com/@AlexGInNYC/garrett-to-nyc-were-not-dead-afce47de7f27
If the middle-of-the-night clearing out of City Hall Autonomous was any indication, this city craves to get back to normal.
I was going to take a whole different approach to this piece, until it hit me. This week, the Mets will play in Flushing against the Atlanta Braves for their home opener. Where have we seen that SCENE of the Mets hosting the Braves after tragedy? Try September 21st,2001 at Shea Stadium. You want an example of a night where NYC showed it wasn’t dead, it was THAT ONE. Just ten days after horrible terrorism caused the destruction of the Twin Towers and killed 3,000 American lives, baseball was finally back! The pre-game ceremony, Liza Minelli, Diana Ross and of course Hall of Famer Mike Piazza’s home run that pulled this City back together (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J56bOSVOKVU)! While no fans will be attending either Yankees or Mets games right now, there is no doubt baseball can once again bring us a spirit of New York City that never dies! Particularly since no one really thought we would get to this point of even seeing a sporting event on television.
Fact is, we have lost thousands to this awful virus. Fact also is, millions are still blessed with the opportunity to wake up in this great city and witness and experience what will go down as more than just its re-opening, let’s call it re-birth of New York City.
A lot has happened just in this year alone, but I would say the biggest change I think felt between September 11th and now is that there is no honoring of our first-responders like there was on that Shea Stadium diamond. Instead the cheers for New York’s Finest has been turned to ‘defund’ cries. The support for nurses has only been vocal, with very little in hazard pay going their way.
Can I just remind you without our Finest (NYPD), our Bravest (FDNY) and without our hard-working nurses and doctors, many more would have perished, I truly believe that. Without them, New York City would have truly been on the brink of extinction. We see the Mayor of New York City praise the re-openings of baseball as we head in to phase four, but it seems he forgot how that could be possible.
He seems to have forgotten that the reason why we pulled through this wasn’t just because of the generic “New Yorkers” like the Governor and Mayor like to praise. NEW YORK CITY IS NOT DEAD BECAUSE OF THE WORKERS WHO DON’T GET POLITICAL AND JUST DO THE WORK NEEDED TO KEEP US SAFE! Yes, regular New Yorkers did extraordinary things to stay inside and stay safe, but the ambulances and cop car sirens ringing through the city during a time of crisis should be recognized as heroic, and not forgotten. Instead with many, including leadership, arguing the ‘de-fund’ rally cry, that heroism has truly been forgotten.
That is why today’s steps to remove the City Hall Autonomous Zone should be considered a step in the right direction. I have been feeling that those who want to have a better city have looked at all the negatives surrounding it. We should also shine a light on the POSITIVES in NYC. Yes, there are a few!
From my point of view, rolling past outdoor diners the last couple of weeks, in my veins I’m sensing a vibrancy returning to NYC. I’m seeing business owners that survived the pandemic are back out there working hard, setting outdoor tables up and getting life going again! I’m seeing signs of ‘welcome back’ coming alive.
To shine only a light on the incompetency of our leaders doesn’t do New Yorkers justice. Yes, we need to show how bad the destruction got and say THIS HAS TO STOP. Shining a bright light on awful behavior is only part of this story. The other part is that you can see life being breathed back in, just roll down Austin Street in Forest Hills. Roll down 2nd Avenue, Avenue of the Americas even and see people LIVING and enjoying life!
When the Mayor acknowledges this vibrancy and re-birth, that is great. How infuriating is it however, that he cannot bring himself to acknowledge the destruction and travesties he’s let parts of this city become by not having back of the NYPD. That 420,000 people leave Manhattan due to COVID and he offers NO incentive to come back? All he could muster is , “I don’t know what will happen” if more small businesses left. It’s truly infuriating and someone has to wake him and Gov. Cuomo up, and fast!
To those who are going along with the ‘de-fund the police’ sentiment, you aren’t helping breathe life into this city either. We can find better ways to discuss all of these issues that don’t involve inspiring real violent rioters taking this distrust as inspiration for literally bloodying the NYPD on the Brooklyn Bridge! I don’t believe those I know who are advocating for de-funding are bad people, at all. I just don’t think they understand how this kind of distrust in law enforcement is slowly killing our beautiful city that is, I remind you, NOT DEAD!
I don’t believe President Trump wants to tell NYC to ‘drop dead’ like Ford supposedly did in that famous headline. I don’t believe Governor Cuomo wants to see NYC in ruins, as he’s been the most vocal in favor of law enforcement as I’ve heard in a long time. I don’t believe Mayor Bill de Blasio understands that by letting criminals out due to COVID and on top of that try and mold the NYPD to mush, he is inspiring more crime! Why do I say that ? This is what Mayor de Blasio had to say in April “I think it’s unconscionable just on a human level that folks were shown mercy and this is what some of them have done.” (https://nypost.com/2020/04/20/unconscionable-for-released-inmates-to-commit-crimes-de-blasio/)
My message to all three of them is to wake up, stop the politicking and realize OUR CITY is not dead, it just needs a rejuvenation that is going to be needed even more than after the devastation of 9/11! Perhaps the Mets and Braves at CitiField on Friday July 24th, 2020, just like Friday September 21st, 2001 could truly show the nation that New York City is not dead, not even close!
Catch my podcast on this very topic HERE (https://www.spreaker.com/episode/39907514)