Tuesday, February 05, 2008

On shopping and voting....

Last year, December 24th, the weather in the NY Metro area was wicked. It was just above freezing, (about 35° F), raining, and windy—sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 45mph.

The local (and not so local) stores --were packed with shoppers.

I live next to a small (very small by national standards) shopping complex --not quite a mall, but a collection 5 national chains (Sears/Marshall's/Bed, Bath & Beyond/Old Navy/Circuit City) in a single 2 story building with a attached multi-story parking complex— and I could see this for myself.

A mile or so away, there is a real mall (multi leveled, 150 + stores, with even more national chains, (Target, for one, and a food court of restaurants) Parking at both of these locations is not free, (not even with validation!) and it too was packed.

In NY, as in much of the nation, these stores opened early (4 am in some cases!) and were open late.

And, in spite of the rain and winds and cold, every where in the local area, the stores were packed. News broadcasts carried stories of scaffolding being blown over and of shoppers walking over it to get to the stores to shop.

Out side my window, there was traffic, and congestion (and honking of horns, and police directing traffic) at the shopping center across from me. And this being NYC, a large percentage of the shoppers didn't drive to the stores. The local stop of the subway was busy, (as was the next stop at the larger mall (Queen's Center))--and more cops were stationed there.

Nothing, not even foulest of weather was going to keep people for spending money they didn't have, for things they didn't need, to impress people they don't like.

Today, it's overcast today.. and humid, but it's not raining.. (though has rained earlier, and looks like it might rain again, later.)

It's unseasonable mild—with an expected high in the 50° (f). It's not a great day to cut school or work, and to be out and about, but it's far from being the sort of day that makes you want to snuggle up on couch with a warm drink, and good book.

It's a grey day, but not bad weather, not by any stretch of the imagination.

And it's primary day. NY is a big state, and we have a 'local' politician running for an elected office.. (a big office).

My electioneering district covers my apartment complex (6 hi rise coop buildings, about 1200 residences) and some other residences, (mostly 1 and 2 family homes). OK, so many of my immediate neighbors are perhaps, not yet citizens—many of my neighbors are immigrants, from points all round the globe.

So, lets say half— 600 residencesor so—house families that have eligible voters.

And of these 600, some,maybe, many are families.. (the buildings are a mix of studios, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartments) and a percentage of the these families are likely to have 2 adults*,--so perhaps, there are 800 potential voters—from my co-op alone. (*Even single parents are likely to have adult (college age) kids living at home.. this being NY)

I voted in the primary this morning, as one of my list of 'chores' (a list that started with breakfast with a friend!) I was, at 10 am or so, the 27th voter (for my party--the big one in NYC) ) in my district.

How sad.

I sometime thing there should be a poll tax..

That you should have line up and buy the right to vote—there should be early bird specials, and end of the day discounts.

Nicer polling places could have carpeting, and complimentary beverages—or maybe just a Starbucks franchise in place.

The poor, (as the poor always do) would have small, dark and dingy polling places.. but all the big national candidates would still vie to have there candidate positioned in these polls,--just as cigarette and soda distributes vie for space in the smallest quikee mart, and bodega.

Of course, some of the poor would go to vote in the fancy polling places—paying the poll tax with a credit card, and spending months paying it off (at 26%apr).

Maybe, if we felt as strongly about voting as we think about shopping,
more of us we be doing it.


Angie said...

Well, I for one am going to try and vote during my lunch hour and if that doesn't work out, after dinner tonight. It could be that some people had to go to work and are waiting to vote later in the day. Of course, they could also be lazy and be thinking, 'what is one less vote?' when in fact, that one vote could make all the difference in the world.

Lauren said...

I'm always glad to hear someone voted!

I don't get to vote in the primary until May. By then the race is usually pretty much decided. Bah.

Shea said...

That's where I'm headed to in just a few minutes!

Anonymous said...

You are missing the real problem - - the most abundant party for registered voters under the age of 40 is "independent". We independents are not welcome to vote for any real candidates in the NYS primaries. Only registered Democrates and registered Rebublicans were permitted.

zippiknits.....sometimes said...

I voted absentee. That way there is never a problem with machines, as there was in another election for State offices. You voted in some pretty hellish weather ofTroy, and I think you are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

OFF TOPIC: could you describe the double knitting I saw on the Lion Brand website? Your potholders? I couldn't find the tutorial here. Thanks a bunch. Love your creativity and how your mind works. Bonnie