The nice Jewish lady riding the train to her midtown Park Avenue neighborhood says the city is clean and green. Greener than just about anywhere with the subway and all, because you just get out and walk and take the subway, right? It’s not like the 1980s when the city was a wreck of grey and graffiti, left to flounder as the suburbs reached their apex. Now things are turned around and kids don’t bother with a driver’s license.
The city is a plastic city. Everything you buy comes in a ready plastic bag, wrapped in more plastic bags. All the takeout comes in a paper bag, with plastic inside, or tinfoil pans with plastic lids. All the plastic jars and tubs and bottles are gathered in plastic bags. They wait all night on the curb for the trucks to take them away. Once a week there are heaps of them: plastic encased in plastic.
Yesterday the fleeting alternative decamps between West 56th and 57th streets a short walk north. Apples fresh from the upstate tree, lettuce from New Jersey plots. I buy some of both. It is served to me in plastic bags.
Seattle is in its second month of a plastic bag ban. What would this town do without plastic bags?