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Editor's Message

Make a Better NYC

It’s early June and already it’s a hot town. Personally, I don’t mind when the back of my neck is getting dirty and gritty, as long as that’s not a permanent condition. But I’m not here to deliver a sermon about the coming global meltdown. Instead, now seems like the right time to imagine a better New York City. Everybody’s doing it. Bloomberg has his PlaNYC. It’s time for Rail readers to create their own blueprint, too.

So we’re opening the floor to suggestions about what would make the city an even better place to live. Let’s call it the “Make a Better NYC” contest. Any ideas for improving our urban environment—both ecological and social—are welcome. You can submit oh-so familiar proposals, such as the need for more public toilets. Or your ideas can be a bit more exciting, like calls for dance parties in the streets. And, of course, they can be challenging—perhaps offering specific remedies for the city’s growing racial and class inequalities. The most creative, innovative solution to any problem wins.

In the spirit of the Bloomberg approach, we will offer incentives: 1st prize is a Rail t-shirt and a subscription sent to anyone you’d like; 2nd prize is two Rail t-shirts and two subscriptions. (Forgive me for that old joke, I once lived in Philadelphia.) In the spirit of more direct urban planning, we’re also setting a timetable for real results: June 22nd. Send your submissions to [email protected] (subject line: “Make a Better NYC”). Please include your name, home address and a phone number (no, we won’t use or sell your info in any way—that’s just not how we do). Rest assured, our ace team of Googlers will root out any connections you may have to various organizations. So if you happen to be, say, the executive director of the League for Public Toilets, please tell us.

No matter who you are, I’m certain that you have at least one idea as to how we can make a better NYC. So bring ’em on.


Theodore Hamm


The Brooklyn Rail

JUN 2007

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