Thursday, January 15, 2009

State of the City

I spent the better part of today at Brooklyn College attending the Mayor's annual state of the city address.  As expected, he delivered a sobering message about the state of our economy, warning of job losses and budget cuts to come.   As is typical of these kinds of speeches, the Mayor talked about a dizzying array of initiatives, including a renewed focus on addressing low-level crime and improving the quality of life in New York neighborhoods.  

If the speech had a theme, it was the resilience of New York.  Mayor Bloomberg was preceded by a short video that featured interviews with New Yorkers recounting their personal experiences during the major crises of the past 75 years (the Great Depression, the fiscal problems of the 70s, September 11th, etc).  Usually I find such things vaguely embarrassing -- New York talking about how great and unique New York is.  But I found today's film both touching and inspiring.  I think the film and the Mayor's speech were right on the money: in the short-term, things may look bleak, but better times are ahead.