Ten plagues for 2014


Each year at Passover, Jews gather to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt and enjoy an abundant meal. The story includes a recitation of the 10 plagues visited upon the Egyptians that ultimately convinced the Pharoah to allow them to gain their freedom.

The Passover service, the Seder, offers an opportunity to reflect on all manner of philosophical thoughts from the sublime to the ridiculous and to reflect on how little things have changed since Biblical days. 

Here’s a whimsical listing of modern plagues in our community — some serious, some silly — in no particular order:

Appliance makers’ ego trips. There’s no real reason for LG to build a headquarters that towers over the Palisades other than ego. The company has plenty of land in Englewood, N.J., to build a more restrainted and responsible headquarters. 

Potholes. Here’s one that needs no explanation. They crop up every spring with bone-jarring, teeth rattling frequency. 

Over-the-top animal rights advocates. Whether they’re harrassing local veterinarians or distorting the mayoral election over carriage horses in Central Park, they’ve got to cool the rhetoric.

Putnam Trail hysteria. There are good arguments to be made on both sides of the debate about paving the Putnam Trail through Van Cortlandt Park. But if farmers and cowmen could get along in Oklahoma, bikers and hikers ought to be able to find a compromise in the Bronx.

Greenway doomsayers. Yes, we should protect bucolic Riverdale Park and our country lands, but Riverdale will never be overrun by hordes of Tour de France-style cyclists, nor will a pleasant path along the waterfront usher in a wave of apartment tower development.

Expansionist medical facilities. Medical care is changing fast and not necessarily for the better. A prominent doctor based elsewhere in the Bronx offered a chilling comment about the consequences for Riverdale if Montefiore goes ahead with its plans for a mega-center on Riverdale Avenue. “Forget about seeing your current local doctor,” he said, “they’ll all be shutting their doors.”

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