The Lindsay Years

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Sam Roberts, urban affairs correspondent for the New York Times, and editor of America’s Mayor: John V. Lindsay and the Reinvention of New York, and Tom Casciato, director of the documentary "Fun City Revisited: The Lindsay Years," discuss the controversial legacy of John V. Lindsay, who became mayor of New York in 1965 by promising to rid the city of apathy and corruption. "Fun City Revisited: The Lindsay Years" airs on THIRTEEN Thursday, May 6th at 8:00 p.m. An exhibition, "America’s Mayor: John V. Lindsay and the Reinvention of New York," is on view May 5-October 3 at the Museum of the City of New York.


Tom Casciato, and Sam Roberts

Comments [9]

Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

I wasn't living in New York at the time. I was a kid growing up in Philadelphia. But it was very depressing watching the documentary last night on Channel 13. Being the misanthrope that I am, perhaps I shouldn't be shocked at the selfish, self-serving interests all fighting each other, no matter how much it screwed things up for everybody else. The biggest example is even after their union leader made a deal with Lindsay, and it certainly wasn't a horrible one, the sanitation workers went on strike anyway, supposedly because they were inspired by the bullying tactics previously employed by the transportation workers and their boorish leader.

May. 07 2010 12:21 PM
Alex from Brooklyn

Last year the online magazine Triple Canopy published an extensive study of Lindsay's urban planning program, "He Is Fresh and Everyone Else Is Tired." The authors suggest that Lindsay's far-reaching plan to transform the city was the main narrative of his mayoralty, encompassing all of his other concerns. Of course, it was also the root of many of the administration's grandest failures; most of the more sweeping plans were never realized. But the authors recover Lindsay's vision and articulate its lessons for the present day in a way that bring this era in New York's history to bear on the Obama administration's plans for the transformation of the entire country's infrastructure.

May. 05 2010 08:39 PM
Edward L. May from Queens

This certainly is a white wash of Lindsay. He was honest, good looking and idealistic. But in real life life just having good intentions only gets you so far. He probably did inherit many problems from his predecessors but certainly didn't improve anything.

The primary problem of NY was crime, very high and rising, with made vast area of the city a no go zone hence economically unviable. I remember any crime from graffiti vandalism to murder went unpunished. This was due to his devotion to unworkable ideals such as root causes of crime rather than the certainty of punishment. Noting that living in a high crime area will help to keep one poor. As far as saving the city from burning, the city burned in all Boros from the South Bronx to the Lower Eastside. John Lindsay was a start of a low point in the mediocracy that was the mayors of my youth. I alway fear a return to this era.

The only mayor to rise above this mediocracy, certainly not Bloomberg- a man mainly dedicated to property theft( crony capitalism) via eminent domain, is Rudy Julianne.

Under his watch lowered the murder rate from 2800/year to it's present 500/year.

Note the murder rate is unfudgeable unlike many lesser crimes will be unreported if deemed nothing will done about them-resulting in better looking crime statistics.
The ungovernable city made governable, a miracle from my time frame perspective.

Unfortunately many commentators want to denny his accomplishments or attribute them to the ages. I fear more for us( the city) repeating the mistakes of the past will make possible history repeat itself than Mr Julianne his proper credit-receiving credit where credit is do.

May. 05 2010 02:12 PM
Katharine Mukherji from Brooklyn, NY

I'm on my condo board. We have been asked by an owner whether he may install an outdoor compressor facing his deck, for central A/C. The decibel level in his specs is 53. Recent research mentioned that number as annoyingly loud. We do not want the sound to disturb his neighbors. What should we tell the owner?

May. 05 2010 01:45 PM
Mke C. from Tribeca

By the way, the word "gay" had been in use for decades before Stonewall, but it was an "inside" word.

May. 05 2010 12:40 PM
The Truth from Becky

Alvin your comment is too broad, my family was not a welfare family, they were also not renters they were home buyers. Fact check please.

May. 05 2010 12:35 PM
Alvin from Manhattan

This sounds like a whitewash of Lindsay, who by the way was my Congressman before becoming Mayor. He destroyed large, stable middle-class Jewish neighborhoods by moving Black welfare families (not middle-class Blacks) into the rental buildings. The greatly increased crime caused Jews to flee East NY, Brownsville, and many other areas. Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn changed from white to black in less than a year.
Oh, and the reasons there weren't riots after the assassination of MLK are: (1) He put two cops on every corner in Harlem after the assassination, and (2) Black riots in NYC tend to be over local issues, not national issues.

May. 05 2010 12:27 PM
Sang from Chinatown

Not sure if it was mentioned, but wasn't he an early opponent of Vietnam ?

May. 05 2010 12:18 PM
Dorothy from Chelsea

I came to NYC in 1967 -- New York was in upheaval, but the world was in upheaval. There was a snowstorm and Queens wasn't plowed as quickly as Queens residents wanted. Vietnam, Washington burned after the MLK murder. Lincoln Center was still new, the Met Opera gave us 3 operas each June in Central Park, the Philharmonic gave us 3 concerts in Central park each July. We brought roasted chicken, wine, straberries and had a wonderful time. There was a restaurant at Bethesda Fountain. We were young, gorgeous and thought we could wear high heels forever. Living life in NY was like living in a magazine spread. Lindsey was perfect for the time.

May. 05 2010 12:17 PM

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