Even though the recent warm weather has made it seem as if we're still in the fall or the summer, the holiday season is here. It's a wonderful time of year to be in the City of New York-with the stores and streets lit up, the great holiday traditions, the feeling of good will, and the city bustling with people visiting from all over the world.
The crowds are exciting. They're part of what makes New York City such a remarkable place. But there are a few things that we should all do to make life easier for the people around us. After all, the holidays are all about respecting and caring for other people, so there's a few basic steps we should take to ensure that a crowded city does not also become a frustrating or dangerous city.
If you drive, be sure to obey the traffic laws. Don't block the box, double park or violate the speed limits. The streets will be congested, so it's important that we all obey the rules. Otherwise, the flow of traffic could stop completely and dangerous situations could be created. That's why I've asked the police department to intensify their traffic enforcement.
And of course, as always, be sure that if you drink at a holiday party or any other time, you don't get behind the wheel of a car, because you're putting your life and the lives of others at risk. And, as you probably know, if the police catch you driving while intoxicated, they'll seize your car and arrest you.
I know that the vast majority of New Yorkers don't need to be reminded to do these things. The vast majority of New Yorkers, in fact, care so much about other people that during the holiday season they go out of their way to give food and money and time to people in need. There is, for instance, the City Harvest/New York Daily News food drive, which is accepting canned goods and other food at all fire houses and police precincts, as well as at churches, synagogues and mosques throughout the City. I know that especially after having a filling and fulfilling Thanksgiving meal, New Yorkers who can afford it will do their part to help those who are in danger of going hungry.
That's the spirit of the holiday season-but more than that, it's the spirit of New York. Despite our diversity of religion, race, culture and national origin-or maybe because of it-we share an overwhelming desire to be with one another, and to be part of the greatest city in the world.
I hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving, and is looking forward to a joyous and peaceful holiday season. This is Rudy Giuliani.
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