In a recent article in the New York Times, C.J. Hughes reports on how the public feels about the city of New York’s new proposed ban on smoking in public parks. It seems that most people feel smoking in the parks is the least of the park goer’s worries.

I tend to agree with the people of New York. I understand banning smoking in closed areas like restaurants and bars; however, banning smoking in an open field just seems absurd. Besides, have you ever seen someone who needs a cigarette? Maybe the theory is the less options given to a smoker to smoke the more likely they are to quit. But I think a person can only truly quit when they are ready. Necessity is the mother of invention and if you keep banning smokers, a bigger problem will arise.

In the article, many of the people Hughes spoke to wanted to see the pigeons banned or maybe people talking on their cell phones. One person wanted people fashionably challenged to be banned. Another person would like all the foul language banned.

While perhaps their suggestions are tongue and cheek, I think it brings up a good point. New York is looking at the wrong issue. Instead of putting a ban on smoking in the park, why not have someone come collect the trash from the overflowing trash cans?

I think of my time spent sitting in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. I can name a few things I would like to see banned from the park.

  1. People who feed the birds. I was literary just sitting down in a nice shady bench opening up my newspaper. There I was  ready to just sit, read, and enjoy the day. All of the sudden an older man sits on a bench opposite me. He pulls a bag of bread crumbs out and it looked like a scene from a movie that would have made Hitchcock proud.
  2. Dogs. Again, I was sitting in the park just looking forward to listening to my IPOD and writing. Out of the corner of me eye I see this big blonde dog coming my way. The dog sniffs me once and begins to pee on my leg.
  3. Dressed up bums. It was the same day as mentioned above but obviously before the sudden shower. I was just enjoying the day when this well dressed man comes and sits down next to me. Next thing I know he is begging for money. Actually he wanted me to go buy him a sandwich and there was no way I was leaving my bench. Hindsight says I should have gotten him the sandwich and he would have gotten the golden shower.

Now, these are just a few things I would like to see banned from the park. I don’t think I am being to unreasonable, am I?

Here’s the article from the times: