Monday, July 28, 2014

The Twilight of New York's Horse-Drawn Carriages

As I mentioned earlier, Alice and I took a horse-drawn carriage around Central Park on Saturday. For some people, this was a controversial act. (And I myself have had misgivings about riding in the carriages because of concerns that the horses are mistreated.)

Ironically, now that it looks like the carriages may go away entirely, I have fewer qualms. The proposed ban makes me want to experience this time-honored New York tradition before it disappears.

From what I could tell on Saturday, our horse seemed to be perfectly healthy and happy. The driver stopped along the way to water the animal at a trough on 59th Street (it was described as a horse "gas station").

Alice, horse-crazed as she is, loved every moment of the experience. In fact, she refused to get out at the end. Only the promise of being able to pet the animal was enough to coax her out.

I'm not sure I'm ready to take a position on this issue, but I don't see the urgency of banning horses from Central Park.

The mayor has proposed replacing the animals with antique-looking electric cars. I like the eco-friendly sound of that, though I'm not sure the 3-year-old girls of New York are going to be swayed.