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New York an Endangered Destination?

Yesterday the British travel web site Wanderlust published a list of endangered destinations for 2011. Listed along with Wadi Rum (Jordan), Coruh River (Turkey) and Lamu (Kenya) is New York City.

Why New York? Apparently because NYC's iconic landmarks are disappearing at an alarming rate (including the squeegee guys). 


What’s the problem?

The city’s famous yellow cabs are being replaced with Nissan soccer-mom-style vans. The Statue of Liberty has been knocked off New York’s Top 5 most-photographed landmarks list by 5th Avenue’s Apple Store. And Lady Lib herself will celebrate her 125th anniversary by being closed.

New York-born travel writer Doug Lansky blames former mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“First he got rid of the squeegee guys,” he explains. “Then he cleaned up Times Square.” Now, says Lansky, the Gothamness is being taken out of Gotham City: “New York is losing its icons,” he says, “and it feels like it’s losing its soul.”

What’s the solution?

Bring back the old Checker Taxis, says Lansky. “I’d like to see them get a rebirth – kind of like the Mini. A sort of new-fangled version with all the mod-cons.”

As for the Apple Store, we would suggest boycotting it all together. But it’s probably the best place in New York to check your email for free. Maybe just avoid the urge to take a photo of the iconic glass square out front: track down a squeegee guy and take a snap of him instead.

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