This weekend, the Times covered a brewing controversy right here in DUMBO, where people are apparently kind of upset that the Transportation Department is replacing some of the streets' old-fashioned "Belgian block" cobblestones with newer, still old-fashioned-looking cobblestones. Uh-oh. It's all in an effort to make roads more bike-friendly (and, in part, to comply with the Americans with Disabilities act), and anyway, the city is taking pains to artfully distress the replacement stones in the style of the old ones.
Still, in one of Brooklyn's most dramatically developed neighborhoods, people are pissed. Petitions are circulating, etc. For the time being, I'm staying out of it. But, this whole thing did get me to thinking. This is a city with a lot of history! Some of it great, some of it.... meh. Surely there are other things that, if not done away with in their entirety, could stand to be replaced with newer, better versions of their former selves? Why yes. There are. 5 of them, in fact.