On Nov. 7, four days after Election Day, Rudy Giuliani hosted a press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a small business in a neighborhood of Near Northeast Philadelphia. The event was held at the company's garage door and parking lot, with several hose holders and a fire extinguisher flanking the cadre of folks lined up against the door. At least someone had time to wallpaper the otherwise industrial (but extraordinarily clean) garage door with campaign signs. 

Though there was nothing identifying the backdrop as being Four Seasons Total Landscaping, luckily for them none other than the President of the United States had given them a shout-out on his gigantic Twitter platform. Talk about free advertising. The landscapers immediately tried to capitalize (literally) on their luck, with two apparently new catchphrases: “Make America Rake Again” and “Lawn and Order” on their new merch line. 

Unbeknownst to the many citizens who have tried to buy a “Make America Rake Again” hoodie, Irvington’s Board of Trustees had already beaten Four Seasons Total Landscaping to the punch. With little fanfare, the Board passed a new local law amending the noise ordinance that banned the use of gas-powered leaf blowers, commenting as they voted that they wanted to make America rake again. 

Well, eventually. The new law doesn’t go into effect until 2023, and country clubs and tennis clubs and municipal government are exempt in any case. Plus gas-powered leaf blowers can be used to remove snow, so all the worried condos and co-ops can “breathe” a sigh of relief. 

Don’t worry, Irvington. At some point we will be raking again. How lucky are we that our village board is so good at marketing. We can claim to be among the righteous for actually banning gas-powered leaf blowers while at the same time not actually banning them, plus coming up with a new slogan for the Irvington merch line (even though most people think it was Four Seasons Total Landscaping’s idea). 

Ann Acheson


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