If you ever want to know the impending weather, or the political forecast, or how a community is feeling at a precise instant in time — spend a few minutes in your local McDonald’s, and you’ll instantly know if it’s going to rain that day, or if there’s rage on the street, and you’ll learn how neighbors feel about each other.
During one recent stint in the McDonald’s coffee queue, I witnessed a Jersey City municipal worker, a restaurant regular, who walked in and pointed to the current special on the menu board — two Sausage Biscuit with Egg sandwiches for $3.00 USD — and he said he wanted four of them, but only the sausage and the egg part, for a grand total of $6.00 USD out the door.
Not so fast!
If you’re big into City Living in the urban core, you likely have imprinted experiences that can foretell precisely what will happen before it happens when it comes to those living around you. Today, I will share with you my secret for instantly knowing if your new neighbor is a good person or not — and you don’t have to meet them, or speak to them, to find out. Their one behavior will tell you everything.
A week ago, in our Panopticonic blog, I wrote an article — BigBelly Solar Recycling in Jersey City — and less than a week later, those divine BigBelly landmarks in our urban core have become geographic eyesores as red graffiti pocks the new surface of the metal bins. Here’s how one BigBelly looked after its aesthetic destruction at the hands of some Jersey City Heights hooligan:
Here’s how that same BigBelly looked less than a week ago:
I love it when cities are shamed for the bad behavior and poor performance of their citizenry, and now we have empirical evidence of the fitness index of some of our major residential areas. Out of the top 50 urban cores, the New York City metro area placed 30th. Not so great.
We know half the world is urban — but what will our world look like in the year 2100? We will be compressed even further up and away from each other in skyscrapers? Or will we begin to winnow out and find room to stretch the horizon?