Magazine April 16, 2018, Issue

Street Scene

(Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

The city’s streets are caught in a struggle between money and effort. Since effort sometimes generates money, the struggle is endless. Big money, longing to grow even bigger, erects towers that, when they are not magical, are blocks of dullness, darkening the sun and depressing the spirit. But effort always seeks to hold or find its own corners to work in, however small.

I saw the struggle epitomized on one of the dreariest corners of midtown. The side street approached the avenue like a meager thread between two megaliths. But, hugging the sidewalk, stood a line of food carts, little points

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