R5 Extinct in 2020

Even Barack Obama will no longer be president in 2020. Here’s what else you can bid farewell to.

Remember the year 2000? Everything turned out Y2OK! Indeed, who would have believed 10 years later we’d be dining at the White Plains Ritz while our Roomba takes care of all our vacuuming? But with the advent of the new comes the loss of the old. Remember when AOL cost money? Shopping at Saks in White Plains? And how cool was that Concorde? What surprise extinctions does the year 2020 hold? Maybe in these tough economic times, we shouldn’t have wasted our May editorial budget on a magic crystal ball. Oh well. Here’s a peek:

1. [Houses] First of all, who can afford them?  Second of all, those skyscrapers in White Plains ain’t just for the looking at. Cappelli and Trump have real estate to move and you better believe they’re going to fill those rooms up. On the bright side, you don’t have to shovel snow anymore, unless you need the extra cash to afford the rent…which you will. Good thing shovels are half off at Target these days.

2. [Parental relaxation, or, what’s left of it] What’s that you say? Your schedule couldn’t get any busier? Right, and the stock market hit its low in January. We already live in a world where kids don’t just study for the SATs, they study fro the Pre-SATs, aka PSATS. And you know what is next: the PPSATS. And forget about chilling in the summer. Entrepreneurial sorts across Westchester are setting up pre-camp camps, so kids have something to do (and you have someone to pick up and drop off) before actual camp starts. By 2020, when scientists finally perfect a Red Bull that excises the need for sleep, eight more hours will open up for activities, and finally your son or daughter can play in the soccer, baseball, and lacrosse leagues without having to split them between seasons. Hurray!

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3. [Trips to Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium—now Citi Field]
We keep hearing that Yonkers will be home to a minor-league baseball team any day now. Well, with President Obama doling out dollars for massive infrastructure improvements, we’ll bet that Mayor Amicone can convince the Feds that a ballpark would be an “improvement” over the areas of Yonkers where the plan is to build it. Thus Yonkers soon will be as attractive a place to visit and live as other cities that recently invested in minor-league teams, like Bridgeport, Newark, and Camden. You know, on second thought, we hear the Nets are looking for a place to move.

4. [Westchester County Government] We’re not taking sides in this debate, but we hear that a certain Greenburgh Town Supervisor has recently formed a committee to abolish the county government. And there’s a website on the subject, too (www.rethinkingwestchestergov.org). We’d say “yeah, right,” but this is the guy, Paul Feiner, who, according to the New York Times, once wrote letters to papers “extolling the virtues of smoke detectors for the deaf,” and created a matchmaking service for local singles.

5. [Restaurants with a sub-20 Zagat rating] It’s not all bad news for the year 2020. If there is one thing we Westchesterites fail to tolerate, it’s bad cooking. And with the recent success of Tarry Lodge, X20, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, we anticipate a splurge in high-quality cuisine. Yes, that means there is going to be a lot of dough for Mario Batali to twirl and lots of clams for Peter Kelly to shuck. But when getting reservations to their current restaurants takes a month, it’s clear more locations are needed. And while we’ll miss the Chinese counter-service restaurants scattered throughout the county that provide good-enough food at all hours, we can’t wait until our midnight munchies are satiated by a little nosh from Peter Kelly’s new fast-food joint: X20-on-the-Go!

6. [DVDs] Remember Hollywood Video stores? Yeah, neither do we. And soon the same could be said for Blockbuster. The once requisite stop on a Friday night recently announced it was investigating bankruptcy options. And even the new big disk in town, Netflix, is streaming videos online and through X-Box 360s for those customers who don’t want the hassle of getting off the couch to put in a DVD. So what to do with the little round disks that seem to be going the way of cassette tapes? Modern-looking coasters? Shiny skeet for the shootin’? Nah, we’ll just store them for 30 years and then sell them as retro art. Ca-ching!

7.  [Libraries and Post Offices] Now that, as part of cost-cutting measures, White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino has closed the White Plains Public Library on Sundays, it can’t be long until it’s closed on weekends, then extended weekends (Friday-Sunday), then really extended weekends (Thursday-Monday), and then for good. But Delfino’s not the only government official tackling budget constraints by taking away days when public services are available. The Postmaster General recently proposed not delivering mail on Tuesdays. Sheesh. We blame Amazon.com’s new Kindle 2 reader, which allows users to download books out of thin air onto a portable wireless reading devise. At least when books were only on tape, or, if we remember correctly, also on paper, you had to either pick them up at the library or send away to a book club for them. What’s next, Amazon? Expanded online technology sales that bankrupt brick-and-motor tech stores, like Circuit City? Oh, wait.

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