Pay it forward, W.!
Such is the rallying cry of New Yorkers who, heartened that John Kerry will placate inconvenienced Bostonians with a free concert, have their own notions of how President George W. Bush and his Grand Old Party can compensate this city for its troubles.
"He should give us our money for post-9/11 security," said an at-first-hesitant Mike Nieves, chief of staff for City Council speaker Gifford Miller.
"No, I got it, how about getting the Yankees a starting pitcher?"
Yesterday, even as Democrats were scurrying to keep Kerry's July 28 Boston Pops concert from being derailed amid cost concerns, Republican counterparts outlined their own tip-of-the-hat to New Yorkers, "theme day" events running concurrently with the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 convention. They include some discounts at stores and a Central Park concert by the New York Pops and the Gatlin Brothers.
New York City Host Committee spokesman Paul Elliott also noted that NYC & Co.'s "Summer Breaks" program (www.nycvisit.com) is an open-to-everyone offer for savings at restaurants, shops and museums.
"What New York City is doing... to say thank you is keeping the city moving in terms of public safety and transportation," Elliott said.
"From what I've read about Boston's planning, that's a distinct difference in the way the two cities approach hosting a national political convention."
Still, New Yorkers hope for more tangible rewards.
Nethiea Canty of Queens Village, a Republican, thinks a few more tax-free clothes shopping days are in order.
"It costs parents a lot of money to raise children, and buying clothes is a big part of it," Canty said.
Keeping things light, Ed Koch, chairman of the Host Committee volunteer group, said he couldn't ask the president for any payback, because it would be unseemly.
"I have never yet asked a guest to pay for something," said the former mayor.
Author Frank McCourt, unleashing some vitriol, suggested the best thing President Bush could do for New Yorkers would be to resign.
"A letter of resignation ... I'd like it to be thrown up on the screen at Madison Square Garden," he said.
Others say in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 4-to-1, the president would be wise to mollify the populace.
Said City Councilwoman Margarita Lopez (D-East Side): "He should host a Texas-size barbecue on the Great Lawn and invite all the protesters turned away from demonstrating at the convention."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times