This city used to run on coffee and conversation, but now it’s WiFi and the cloud. On bus and subway, citizens make personal space silos by plugging eyes and ears into smart phones. Today’s news is cleanly streamed and scrolled, not folded. Down at the new and shiny Hudson Yards, the neighborhood of the future presents an immaculate plaza, gleaming supertall glass towers, and a mirrored copper-clad staircase to the sky.
Undaunted, old New York standbys like graffiti and clutter persist on uptown streets like hardy weeds. Phone booths and large stacks of Sunday papers may be almost gone, but sidewalk boxes manage to hang in. So do random funny moments in an unexpected street scene. Here, four giveaway newspaper boxes line up like sentinels around a mailbox. Behind them, a big-eyed mollusk painted on a parked truck seems to grab the old print freebies. Only in New York: an octopus has snatched three dinosaurs.