Dog poop. That’s the metaphor Anthony Moor, Yahoo’s Lead Local Editor, used to explain what I should be looking for when I’m writing a neighborhood piece. If I happen to come across some, um well stuff (fill in what `stuff’ comes to mind), if it gets my attention, there’s a good chance it will impress others too.
That brings me to this week’s neighborhood journal. Usually my `nabe’ is Yorkville, which is on the East Side of Manhattan north of 86th Street. Although I often take my neighborhood for granted, there are times like now when it demands my attention.
Anyone who has been on Second Avenue in the past few years can’t help but notice the construction of the Subway line. Even if you’re blind, you have to move around the newly arranged sidewalks and streets. It’s just an ugly massive archipelago of barriers, construction equipment and steam pipes that scars the Avenue up and down. I never thought I would find concrete and cars to be so beautiful, but at least they’re normal in a busy town, and they don’t mess up the views across the streets.
Already some great local businesses have been kicked out or threatened. The Rainbow hardware store on 94th Street is gone-it was the most affordable place anywhere. Since the sidewalks have been either torn up or the storefronts are visibly blocked, the all-important foot traffic has slowed a lot. Luckily Nina’s, the Argentine Pizza place, near 91st Street is still getting patrons. Nina’s is a hybrid of a classy Italian bistro and an affordable pizzeria with some lovely Argentine wines and empanada fare on the side.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said that the subway won’t be finished until at least 2016. 2016!-Are you @#$%ing kidding us? Why can’t we subcontract this work to somebody who could actually finish this project? Maybe we could have the Chinese do it? Leave it to the Communists to complete a competent public-works project (at least in under a decade).
I guess for now the subway line has become my local Moby Dick: my white-washed, serpentine pile of, well you know.
New York November 23, 2010