Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Midtown Manhattan: Peaceful Plazas?

Midtown Manhattan in the heart of NYC is not exactly best-known for its lazy walkways and peaceful pedestrian plazas.  But the city wants that to change.  With that in mind, there are plans to construct a promenade  to connect six areas through crosswalks, thus linking 51st to 57th Streets between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.  The idea is that ultimately, a pedestrian plaza spanning a quarter-of-a-mile via building lobbies.  While doing this, according to NYC lawyer, Jonathan C Reiter, the Department of Transport will set up stop signs in the middle of blocks, as well as crosswalks and speed bumps in an attempt to enhance pedestrian safety.

Driver Distress

But while these plans may indeed help pedestrian safety in the city, drivers are stressing that they will worsen traffic.  However, since the Tri-State Transportation Campaign identified the most dangerous roads in the area and thus put forward the implementation of safety measures, it seems safety has to take a front seat, even if this distressing to drivers.

Environment Meets NYC’s Streets

But maybe there is a solution for these concerned drivers.  The bike-sharing program is being planned for NYC for July which will definitely be good news for traffic in the area.  It’s a great idea, and for sure good for the environment – cycling is definitely better than driving – but one of the concerns of New Yorkers is the placement of the bikes. 

So here are the answers that have been given so far: there will be around four dozen bike stations along the West Side of Manhattan, including: Broadway (east side); Columbus Circle to Pennsylvania Station. Then there will also be smaller stations on sidewalks including the southeast corner of Eight Avenue and 41st Street in front of The New York Times Building, as well as parks, like Hudson River Park. Cyclists will have the option of taking out a yearly membership (for approximately $100) and be given a key, or to pay on a one-time basis at kiosks.

Perhaps once the pedestrian plazas are introduced in Manhattan, the addition of cyclists will limit the amount of drivers and thus the traffic situation in the city will remain the same (or even improve) but certainly not get any worse.  That is at least the hope for the Big Apple.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cheapest Manhattan Pizza

What is the cheapest pizza to be found in Manhattan?  One dollar isn’t exactly expensive, but if a slice can be found for less than a dollar, then that has to be a real bargain.  Well, now, the midtown Manhattan New Yorker can just cruise along Sixth Avenue amidst 37th and 38th Streets and indeed pay a mere 75 cents for a slice of pizza. 

Origins of Cheap Slices

So how did the pizza at 2 Bros. Pizza eatery get so cheap? Well, it started off with a nice neighborly brawl.  Sixth Avenue Pizza dropped their slices to 79 cents and thus 2 Bros. Pizza right next door had to respond in kind, offering their pizza slice for 75 cents too.  Not wanting to let this go, Sixth Avenue Pizza dropped the four additional cents to stay competitive.  According to the manager of that store Mohit Kumar, the aim now is for “maximum sale, minimum profit.”

Since so many Pizza places in the area already offer a slice for $1, there had to be something in these Pizza stores – the managers felt – that would draw in the clientele.  And that is exactly what has happened.  Although it seems that while these stores are competing nicely, they’re making practically zero profit on each slice, resulting in just the customers being the winners.

Thankfully neither Pizza store owner has any plan to further decrease the already ridiculously low price.  At least, that’s what they’re claiming.

One might want to keep frequenting these pizza joints though since the New York Pizza Department no longer exists. It has been replaced by the Plaza Mexican Grill on the corner of Chittenden Avenue and High Street.  Here, there are no pizzas in sight; this is a restaurant offering Mexican food.  And it’s a little pricier than the above Pizza eateries, with prices starting at $1.50 for chips and salsa to $6.99 for a taco salad or burrito.