Nobody needs to be told that crime-ridden New York City has a reputation that ranges from one of cold indifference at best to that of hostility and violence at worst.
What isn't always so well-known is that beneath this ugly exterior beats a heart that can be filled with care and concern.The better side of the big city's nature was shown this week when the Association for a Better New York gave the parents of Brian Watkins a check for $50,000 to establish tennis scholarships in his memory in Utah and New York.
So far, so good. But now how about also remembering Brian in a couple of other ways? First, by getting the U.S. Tennis Association to dedicate a court at Flushing Meadow, N.Y., to him. And, second, by mounting a more effective effort to make New York City a safer place to visit.
The nation was shocked when Brian, a tennis instructor from Provo, was stabbed to death late last summer while trying to protect his mother from a mugging attack in a New York City subway. The Watkins family was in New York to attend the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, an annual outing for them.
This sad episode capped a summer of random violence that gave New York City a nationwide black eye and made even residents of neighboring New Jersey less inclined to cross the Hudson River for fear of becoming another crime statistic.
The establishment this week of the tennis scholarship honoring Brian Watkins is, of course, an encouraging development. But New York City still has much more repair work to do.