Yes, 2016 was a terrible year — for politics, civility, discourse, death. New Yorkers were forced to create bandwidth in their brains to accommodate the reality that one of the city’s most storied and ridiculed tabloid personalities would lead the free world. David Bowie left his adopted city, and us. Homelessness rose. The Big Apple Circus, a beloved New York institution that brought the performing arts to poor children at no cost, had to shut down when it could not generate sufficient philanthropic interest. Skyrocketing costs forced the restaurant Da Silvano to close after 41 years in Greenwich Village. We could go on at biblical length before we got to the downsizing of Gracious Home, the Manhattan purveyor of upscale home goods. But let’s not. Let us instead, for the moment, consider the reasons we, as New Yorkers, may feel less terrible about the year that was and what’s ahead:
Resistance giving, resistance love
Many charities in New York and around the country saw a surge in donations after the presidential election, a proactive stance taken by those who fear how the poor and marginalized might suffer under the Trump administration. A few board members of the Brooklyn Community Foundation quickly came together to seed an immigrants’ rights fund to support Brooklyn residents with $600,000 pledged so far. In the Brooklyn district of City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, neighbors came together to host dinners for undocumented immigrants to better help them understand their rights. Who is going to make fun of Brooklyn now?