Last week, a small plot of open space on Canal and Varick Streets was transformed, nearly overnight, into Talking Transition, a Soros-funded effort to jump-start a civic debate about what post-Bloomberg New York should look like. Inside, you'll find talks, workshops, and lots of table-mounted tablets loaded with surveys about the state of the city. Visitors — anyone can just walk into this literally and figuratively transparent structure — are also invited to write down their suggestions for the city's new mayor and stick them on one of the large boards lining the main room. The vast majority of these ideas are laudable, if also fairly obvious — create more jobs, stop racial profiling, help the homeless, improve education, and so on. But there are also other ideas that are, um, not as helpful. But such is democracy.
Actually, we take it back — "more pet horses for bet[t]er things" might be exactly what this city needs.