Two decades of NYC’s struggles with growth


This month is a milestone New York-versary for me: I will have lived in the Big Apple for two decades. It’s easy to construct a rational narrative of how I got here and conclude that I had a plan.

In reality, it has been one random thing after another, and it would be equally fair to characterize it as a miracle or a still-impending disaster.

History is always on the periphery of our lives, and what ­reminded me of this marker was stories about the 20th anniversary of JFK, Jr.’s death in a plane crash. I was packing up my 10 boxes of belongings in the sweltering heat of New Orleans to ship them to the more sweltering heat of Brooklyn when I learned that JFK, Jr., his wife, and sister-in-law were missing.

What seemed a national tragedy unfolded as I left my $237.50-a-month apartment for the last time. Today, it seems more a tragedy limited to two private families, another affable young man who couldn’t assess the risk of his own behavior.

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