Volume 78 / Number 6 - July 9 - 15, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since

Talking Point

An alphabetical anthology of our construction woes

By Peter Rippon

In May, I attended a meeting of the Construction Impacts Task Force, formed through Community Board 2, at St. Vincent’s Hospital. The task force was convened to hear our respective complaints about what’s occurring on our street, and to discuss what might be done about it.

I thought I’d save time by making a list of the impact it’s had on me personally. (I live and work on W. 12th St. between Washington St. and the West Side Highway in what I now have to call “The War Zone”). At the meeting, I read the following:

A is for Accidents, Asbestos and flood,
Not to mention being totally surrounded by mud.

B is for Buildings, too big all now looming,
Aren’t three 12th Street sites all at once too much booming?

C is for the Cracks that have appeared in my wall.
Plus that Crane on Bethune, we pray doesn’t fall.

D is for Dewatering, cement Dust and Doom,
Poor West 12th Street’s new aspect of gloom.

E for E.P.A., one more depressive Federal joke,
Hoisted on all the poor West Village folk.

F for Fed up, which is how we all Feel.
Oh, and adieu Florent, our last affordable meal!

G for Bill Gottlieb, his Grasping, his Greed;
We should have listened harder, but paid him no heed.

H is for “Hardship,” that loophole of stealth,
B.S.A. given to those with the wealth.

I for Inspectors, wherever they are,
Who check Infrastructure, now strained, way too far.

J is for Justice which we’ll be lucky to see,
And for Jurisprudence, that’s been so ignored, seems
to me.

K for the overcrowded Kids’ parks,
Dog runs and toilets all now rarer than quarks.

L is for Landmarks – too little, too late.
Overcrowding, it seems is our ultimate fate.

M’s for the Money driving this Madness.
That lurks at the heart of this neighborhood badness.

N for New Neighbors we’ll not see nor hear,
’Cause they’ll only reside for a third of the year.
It’s also for Noise that seems Never to end,
From 6:30 A.M. till we go round the bend.

O is for OSHA, when something’s not right
Quite unenforceable at every job site.

P is for Public Schools, Parks and Pools,
That our local kids can’t get in, ’cause of new rules.

Q is for lost Quirk Quality of life,
No Meat Market or hookers now, just lucre and strife.

R is for Real Estate, we’re told is worth more,
“So what…” I say, “weren’t we fine being poor?”

S for Superior, no, not what you think,
But for an overall attitude that really does stink.

T is Three One One helpline that’s helped not a jot.
Also for “Tax Breaks” developers got.

U for our UPS guy whose back is in pain,
From shlepping to reach 12th Street’s ever-closed lane.

V is for Views now effectively blocked,
Except at prices at which we’re all shocked.

W for Weekend work permits, quickly gotten and passed. Why can’t Bloomberg clear up our trash just as fast?

X is the factor, or so we’ve been told,
That decides if the new buildings will ever get sold.

Y is for Why can’t we all just say NO!
There’s a limit beyond which our town just can’t grow.

And finally,

Z is for all the city’s new buildings’ Zoning,
That new West Village style that should be called CLONING!

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