Day 21

orange umbrellaMy mother-in-law — a born and bred New Yorker — was the first to tell me about the orange chairs and umbrellas in the middle of Broadway.  Now that I’ve seen it for myself, I understand why the pedestrian mall at Duffy Square made her so happy.

No matter what I think of Mayor Bloomberg’s little stab at installing himself as emperor of New York, it’s impossible not to marvel at what his Department of Transportation has done to transform the city streets with a little green paint, some potted plants, and a beautiful vision for the Broadway Project.

Since Broadway is one of the only remaining original Native American paths on Manhattan island, it seems fitting that the DOT’s urban engineers would designate this boulevard as a safe streets multi-use project linking four parks — from Columbus Circle at 59th Street, to Madison Park at 23rd and the Flatiron Building — with green bike paths.

Some orange and yellow umbrellas, some silver tables and chairs, some good old muscle power and voila — where there was once nothing but traffic and mayhem, we now have a series of four parks linked by a 1.5 mile bike path with lots of room for pedestrians. 

Even in last week’s cold rain, the market merchants at Madison Park were out in their booths with an array of colorful products and foods. If it’s sunny this week, you should stop by and check it out for yourself.   Hey — maybe my mother-in-law will meet you there. Rosemarie’s always up for an adventure!