Good News Story- The 'Big Apple' goes Green!

New York City may have hosted no St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish celebratory festivities this month but in 2020 it is more green than ever before.
Two weeks ago I came back from one of my favourite places on Earth. As a UCG student many decades ago, I took advantage of the J1-Visa programme to undertake summer work in the apartments and hotels (the world famous Plaza!) of Manhattan. Staying at Columbia University, eating in the nearby Tom's Diner and living there in the halcyon days of disco (Donna Summer, Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor, Village People, Anita Ward…), I remember every glorious mad moment as if it was yesterday. I have loved the affectionately known Big Apple ever since.
Two years ago Cepta, my sons and myself decided that we would save hard to be able to take a family trip there each year for as long as possible. It was an opportunity as well to meet up with my American cousins- Good to finally meet you Ed Eccles ‘in the flesh’!
What impresses me so much in the last few years about New York is that, even though it has been synonymous for over a hundred years as the ultimate city of skyscrapers, concrete, tarmac, consumerism and high energy consumption, it is now brilliantly reinventing itself as a Green and sustainable city. It was of course always famous for its fantastic public transport subway system and the great Central Park. But it is in the last few years becoming populated with neighbourhood gardens, rooftop gardens, urban apiaries, cyclists/pedestrians Greenways, organic food outlets, urban farmer markets, outdoor street cafes along a once traffic-congested Broadway, environmental science research centres, natural heritage learning museums, public parks teeming with wildlife and wonderful community/schools/business initiatives to clean up the once heavily polluted New York Bay and Hudson River.
Though a lot more needs to be done to make it a truly eco-friendly environment, nevertheless the Big Apple is moving in the right direction.
Over the next few weeks, I will post every few days a different thematic story on the Big (Green) Apple and provide details of our very own partnership initiative to make Galway a National Park City (coming soon!). As this time of crisis, we need some good news stories!

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