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In The News: Where the Sidewalk Ends

If you've ever lived in a large city, such as New York or Los Angeles, you know that space is at a premium, especially outdoor space. Yards are virtually unheard of, so what's a gal to do when she wants to dine al fresco? Why, take it outside — out to the sidewalk, that is. In a recent New York Times article, "The Dining Room Takes to the Streets," writer Penelope Green looks at a group of rather atypical rebels who assert their elbow room by dining on the sidewalks outside their homes or even in nooks atop the Brooklyn Bridge.

It turns out that hauling your dining table and chairs onto a sidewalk is actually perfectly legal. Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the Department of Transportation, says, “Public space is the glue that holds our city together and makes it worth living in . . . I always say the streets are the living rooms, so I guess that makes the sidewalks the front porches. We’re trying to remove the barriers to enjoying that space. The D.O.T.’s priority is safety. If someone wants to use the sidewalk for a casual dinner, they just have to be considerate of the neighbors.”

Andrew Henderson for the New York Times

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