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Living in New York vs. London


Kikujiro
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The day I count Hampstead as 'metripolitan central' London is the day I move to Sydney, or Leeds.

I think the point, probably now irretrievable, is to do with how much of inner-city Manhattan is very sparse on green areas, compared to the centre of London.

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Wilfrid

Kikujiro might be comparing one NY park with five London parks, but I was directly responding to your claim that NY has far more square mileage of parkland than London. This is not true, even with your figures. So why quibble over where one makes the comparisons? In total NY has less parkland. Fact.

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Why are we quibbling over something that totally ignores the historical development within the context of NYC and London?

Lower Manhattan doesn't have a surfeit of green space (duh) unless you count the community gardens in the Lower East Side and the pocket parks in certain neighborhoods because historically speaking, these are neighborhoods where at one point in time, there was a disproportionally large concentration of the population living there, relative to one's social standing. Housing, in NYC terms, has always won out over green space -- you can't very well set up your living room in the middle of the forest along with the bears and raccoons, but I'd like to see someone try.

We didn't have kings and queens or MPs appropriating by either royal or legislative decree large portions of land for park usage. We had bureaucrats like Robert Moses and Henry Stern. :hmmm:

SA

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Ok, next time, when I refer to London, I'll just mean the area around Westminster Abbey and Parliament. The rest of the city is really a figment of my imagination, just like the Bronx and Queens are irrelevant to this discussion.

Whatever.

SA

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I agree with Soba's very good points, although I fear they may be wasted on those who think 59th Street is in Lower Manhattan.

Rarely, even on eGullet, have I seen facts selected so carefully in order to win a point. I am now relishing the new phrase "inner city Manhattan", which I've certainly never heard before. - a phrase of such precise semantic extension that it includes Central Park but not Riverside Park, which of course runs co-extensively with Central Park for a good part of its length, just a few blocks west.

JJS - your figures. It would help me if you have a citation, not because I doubt the accuracy of your reading, but because the New York figures are no less than forty per cent out from the figure I referenced on the New York Parks Department offical web-site. I wonder how your source is defining the cities?

Incidentally, the figure I gave of 28,000 acres managed by the Parks Department grossly underestimates the total acreage, since there are also some large State-run parks. I may be wrong about this comparison, but having studied maps of New York and London, I have always had the distinct impression that the former city is much greener than the latter.

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We had bureaucrats like Robert Moses

If Robert Moses were still alive, we'd get a high speed train to the airports of NY.

Since everyone is still on the parks, Washingtion Sq Park, Madison Sq Park, Union Square are hardly green. I never sit in them. Tompkins Sq Pl feels more like a park. Parts of Riverside aren't bad. But in Manhattan if you don't go to Central Pk, you don't get anything like the pockets of lush green areas that Central London offers, partly because the squares are so nice.

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Oh, cripes. I don't think an attempt to define the metro center is pointless, although it may be impossible. But once again, the comparison between Central Park and the Big Five central-London parks wasn't mine anyway.

SA's historical account is quite valid. One of the very few benefits of living under this ridiculous monarchy is the parks.

I happily fess up to using inaccurate terminology re. Manhattan. I don't accept that any definition of the metro center has to include the whole island.

I am confused by how, in a thread beginning with my confession that I'd rather be living in NYC, we have ended up here.

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"Inner city Manhattan".

Do you mean Harlem and Spanish Harlem?

Do you mean Morningside Heights?

Do you mean Washington Heights and Inwood?

Do you mean the Lower East Side and Alphabet City during the 1980s?

Help me out here, cuz we NYers think of the "inner city" differently. And none of our definitions are in the boro of Manhattan.

Gotta love outsiders looking in, don'cha know.

SA

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Correct.  And GJ needs to look outside central London at places like Stratford and Eastham if he wants to know where the ethnic "enclaves" have gone.

Wilfrid - as one of London's many young(ish) and pushed-to-the-edges-of-the-city professionals, I can assure you that places such as Stratford, Eastham, Southall, Harlesden, Camberwell, Peckham, Deptford, Norbury, Leyton (etc etc etc) are all getting pretty ethnically mixed thanks to our ever-rising house prices. :wink:

One of my fondest memories of NY is walking down 125th Street with Mr J - the only two ghostly white faces to be seen for miles - and being greeted at almost every step by shouts of, "Hey, how ya doin? Where you guys from?"

Spot the tourists. :laugh:

Edited by Miss J (log)
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Wilfrid, I think that you will find the reference to 28,000 in your link refers to the total amount of acreage in the entire city. To claim that my figures are around 40% away from yours means that you are implying that 28,000 is just over half the total acreage in the entire city, something which is not implied at all in my reading of your statistic:

'And with New York City's green space now totaling over 28,000 acres'

No mention is made of different bodies here, the statistic does not refer to the amount of acreage that is the responsibility of one body, but to a total acreage in the city. It says the word total. I think it is fair to say that this can interpreted as the total amount of acreage in the city. This is also roughly in line with the estimate I found. So unless everybody is wrong. Your website. My website. Then it seems fair to conclude that NY has less acreage than London. It is what anyone would guess, it is what the statistics prove, and it is a fact. I

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For the record. NY has approximately 26,138 hectares of parkland, London has 30,205. These are official figures.

Sigh. 26,138 hectares is about 40% of 28,000 acres (the latter figure being an underestimate). JJS, why not just take a deep breath and let us all know where your figures are from.

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VISITING NYC vs. London:

London:  pubs.  the Wenlock.  drinking pints all afternoon with strangers, screaming obscentities against the Dubyah and giant American cars.  sitting outside the Calthorpe on a warm summer evening, long past last bell, because your friends know the guvnuh, because this is their pub, screaming obscenities at the people at the next table, head swivelling, nose seeking the source of the reefer aroma wafting through the still air.  eating fried chicken livers in Covent Garden, accompanied by a bottle of wine, a brief respite from the gruelling task of perfume shopping.  afterwards, a forbidden cigarette with Ray, because he offers and I love him.  evening after evening of alcoholic surfeit.  conversation more stimulating than at home.

NYC:  a meatball hero in the Italian Market on Arthur Avenur, followed by an offal feast in Queens.  walking  in Williamsburg, Borough Park and Bensonhurst, pierogies in Greenpoint.  window shopping in Soho.  cupcakes at Cafe Spinoza in Gramercy Park.  so many people living together.  beautiful winter coats, jaunty scarves and recklessly conical fur hats.  everythingbagelscallioncreamcheesetallwhitecoffee from the pick-a-bagel.  sipping coffee in the Charbucks, because it's ass-blisteringly cold out, imagining that i live here.  riding the Q back and forth between Brooklyn and Manhattan, smiling along with the natives at the skyline......

Very nicely done, Stella.

I haven't been to NY in a long long time, but your pastiche of London resonates. Except for this Ray dude you mention.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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People might not get their phraseology picked to pieces if there was less of the barking triumphalism along the lines of "you may as well concede now, this is getting embarrassing", especially when the temple of victory is erected on the marshmallow-like foundations of unreferenced figures from someone who doesn't know a hectare from an acre.

So there.

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I am bored with you attacking my phraseology, especially as you conceded in a PM that there's more green space in London.

Um, this is not an attack on anything.

This is an attempt on clarifying what exactly one means when one makes a statement that has no bearing whatsover on reality.

I'm still waiting to hear what exactly you mean.

This has nothing to do with who has more green space (which was never an issue of mine to begin with anyway, as you'll recall).

SA

Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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For the record. NY has approximately 26,138 hectares of parkland, London has 30,205. These are official figures.

Sigh. 26,138 hectares is about 40% of 28,000 acres (the latter figure being an underestimate). JJS, why not just take a deep breath and let us all know where your figures are from.

I do appreciate that you arty types have difficulties distinguishing a numerator from a denominator, so let me do the math. 1 hectare = 2.46 acres. So NYC, according to JJS’s figures, has about 65,000 acres of park.

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