This silhouette of the State of New York has come into common use in recent days. I’ve seen it on milk cartons. I’ve seen it as an app. And you know what? New York State is really weird-looking. It’s probably the weirdest-looking state in the country. It looks like, at the bottom, there is a cigar sticking out of its foot.
New York State would look so much neater without this sticking out. And it makes you think that New York State might have done something bad to get Long Island like this. Something political. Some kind of takeover or something.
Long Island should be its own state. If it were, from tip to tip, it would rank by population as one of the largest—I think 11th, just below Michigan, but greater than New Jersey or Virginia.
The capital would be Brooklyn, of course. (Population 3 million.) Brooklyn was a separate city for more than 200 years, possessing a beautiful city hall, legislature and courthouse complex. It allowed itself to be annexed into the City of New York in 1898. Now many of the civic buildings are either abandoned or have lesser uses. We could spruce them up and get them humming again.
Queens, Nassau and Suffolk would remain the same. No need to change anything. And maybe out here on the East End, we could have a new break-away-from-Suffolk County called Peconic (population 150,000).
I wouldn’t continue to call the new state Long Island, though. That name is kind of a downer as a state name. Long Island is a “place,” not a state. Too vague. Think about it: None of the major sports teams have latched onto the name Long Island. We have the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Islanders, the New York Jets. All on Long Island, or, what I would call it if it were a state, The Maritimes.
We are surrounded by water lapping onto beautiful beaches. Boats, fishing, ports, surfing, sunbathing. Windsurfing. Call us The Maritimes. Two words. Like New Hampshire or New York. Only we are not new. We are The Maritimes. And we get two senators. Lots of clout.
There’s only one thing that will prevent us from becoming The Maritimes. The American flag had 48 stars in neat little rows until 1959. Then, in six months, Alaska and Hawaii became states. So the flag had 50 stars. Another group of rows. And think about it, these territories had to come in two at a time. If only one of these territories got entered and a long wait followed for the other, the flag would have to have 49 stars for a while. I don’t see where on the flag you’d put the 49th. The same is true if The Maritimes got to be the 51st.
I’m thinking we go in holding hands with another new state. Maybe Puerto Rico? Guam? Washington, D.C.? The House of Representatives just proposed Washington, D.C. be a state. With four states, we’d be 54. And that would work at nine across and six down.
MORE STUFF, THIS TIME IT’S MY IPHONE
In many ways, the old days were not as good as what we have today. But because of smartphones, it’s the other way around.
Way back when, you’d get up, open the curtains and take a deep breath to greet the day. Then you’d go out to get the newspaper and have breakfast.
Here is what happened this morning when I got up. On the way to the curtains, I tapped my smartphone. I learned that Daylight Savings Time results in a spike in stroke and heart attacks for the few days that follow. A similar spike occurs when we go back to Standard Time, but it’s not as big a spike as what happens when we jump to Daylight Savings Time.
I learned that consuming ultra-processed foods such as commercial salad dressings that have food additives, chemicals in packaging and high temperature processing can lead to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
And I learned that some 13% of cell phone injuries resulting in hospital emergency room visits were because of older adults walking while using a smartphone resulting in concussions, broken bones, cuts, bruises and sprains. I’m now an older adult.
I opened the curtains and looked out the window. Then I closed the curtains and went back to bed.