Letter from our President

Greetings Neighbors!

As the holiday season draws to a close, and we all catch our breath, I hope you will join me in hoping for a positive New Year. It’s been a tough year for so many of us. New York is not for the faint of heart… Rents rise faster than we can keep up with, small businesses are finding it harder to stay afloat. Oversized buildings are showing up everywhere, with little success from the neighborhood efforts to maintain some human scale. Traffic has slowed the city to a crawl, and the MTA has few solutions.

How about some good news?

We are so lucky to live so close to Central Park. The Conservancy has done such an amazing job keeping the park in post card shape, that a brief walk through it can knit almost any raveled sleeve!

Broadway has had an incredible year as well with so many great, successful shows. I recently saw “The Band’s Visit”, just terrific! And both the Met and Carnegie Hall have excellent programs coming up over the next few months.

Let me remind you about the 311 app. You can download it to your “smart” phone and send complaints directly, along with photos. I send out roughly three a day regarding the filthy streets and sidewalks on 56th street. It might seem like a fools errand, but it will provide me with ammunition when we file complaints with individual agencies!

6½ Avenue is still a great way to navigate the streets over the holiday seasonin the cold weather, and will bring you closer to some of our favorite stores like Myzel’s candies and Heather Floral, tucked in the lobby of Carnegie Tower.

And finally let me discuss something important to us all. The Neighborhood Association exists from a very small grant bestowed to us by our council representative. This is barely enough to keep our website up and running. If we are going to have a voice in this neighborhood, OUR neighborhood, we need to raise some money to help get our voices heard. For example, our friends at Transportation Alternatives are very well funded and can organize their membership to attend meetings and get biking infrastructure. Better funding for us would help us grow our membership, extend our outreach, and gain local authority, to make sure our views are heard. We have recently improved the website to allow donations from credit cards, so please check it out, and help us grow and represent you! Even small contributions are very much appreciated.

Dave Achelis
West 50s Neighborhood Association