April 3, 2015

We Need More of That

We Need More of That

It’s starting to look like winter is finally over, and the spring holidays arrive this weekend none too soon. Whatever your family’s traditions, it’s a pretty sure bet that lots of kids will be on the hunt for Passover matzo or Easter eggs in the next few days. Which has me thinking. There are some other things missing around here lately that hopefully can also be found.

Water in California
Governor Jerry Brown’s first-ever, state-wide water restrictions make it clear how dire the situation is, with reservoirs drying up and no end to the drought in sight. For those of us here on the East Coast, the shocking photos on the front page of The New York Times yesterday gave us a pretty stark idea of what Californians are going through. Regulating water use is obviously imperative as a stop-gap, but it’s not going to solve the problem long-term. The permanent solution is going to have to be a combination of behavior modification and technology, to preserve inventory, minimize waste and maximize re-use for industrial and commercial consumption. Water may be a renewable resource, but since we can’t predict the weather, the only alternative is to be more responsible in how we’re using the supplies we’ve got. Not only on the left coast, but everywhere. Some of you may not be old enough to remember, but I, for one, suffered through the New York water shortage of 1989 and I don’t want to have to do it again.

Common Sense
There are lots of candidates for this one, but today I’m aiming at Indiana and Arkansas. Did the governors and legislatures of these states really think that a law permitting businesses to refuse customers based on lifestyle choices would pass without outcry? In the United States of America, where every citizen is guaranteed the right to live as they see fit without fear of redlining or other forms of commercial discrimination? Even if Wal-Mart (the nation’s largest retailer) and Apple (the country’s most valuable company) hadn’t petitioned the two states to backtrack, and even if Connecticut and New York hadn’t banned non-emergency, state-financed travel there, shouldn’t simple common sense, not to mention fundamental American values, have prevailed in the first place? We need more of both.

The NYPD detective who let loose on that poor Uber driver on Monday could be the poster child for what is ailing society. Police Commissioner William Bratton said the officer’s torrent of abuse “violated every one of the tenets” the NYPD attempts to teach at the police academy. Too late for now-former Detective Patrick Cherry; he should have paid closer attention in school. And speaking of school, the 11 Atlanta educators convicted this week of gaming the standardized testing system to improve their own chances for bonuses and high building rankings are another example of power run amok. But that’s a whole other bullet point.

Chocolate-Dipped Bacon S’mores
OK, this one will have to wait until after Passover. But it will be worth it. This delectable treat from Pig Guy NYC will be right up there with lobster nachos (courtesy of Catch of the Day), Lemon Chicken drumsticks (Rao’s Specialty Foods), vegan pizza (Two Boots), short rib grilled cheese (Bowery Meat), Shake Shack burgers and a whole host of others on the new food court menus at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium in New York City. This gives an entirely new meaning to “ball park frank.” We can all use more of that (don’t tell my trainer).

Happy holidays, everyone. Enjoy your families and your feasts.