Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer in the City

This summer in New York City is starting to resemble a horror movie—and it’s only one day old!
Subway service has reached an all-time low point. Recently, there was a story about an F train that got stuck for 40 minutes between West Fourth Street and Broadway/Lafayette (the route I happen to take home from work every night), with passengers literally trying to claw the doors open in order to escape. Yesterday, I read about a subway passenger who started walking on the tracks in order to get away from a delayed train. This makes The Taking of Pelham One Two Three look like a joy ride.
Also yesterday, my partner went shopping for jeans at JC Penney and he saw a rat in the store. Not a mouse, a rat. And I’m not talking about the sales help.
Now, in addition to the garbage trucks waking me up at night and the delivery trucks idling on my street in the morning (despite of the fact that there’s no parking on my street because it’s a snow emergency route—that’s right, I’m like Diana Fucking Ross!), there’s New York’s newest (and loudest) nuisance: garbage recycling trucks.

Now, I’m all in favor of recycling, but these trucks are so noisy, my building actually shakes while they’re doing their dirty (no pun) deed. (OK, I also live in a shitty building.)
I’ve tried complaining to the company, Clean Air Group, and they just stonewall and say they’re not breaking any laws and they have a right to be there. (I have a feeling they either get a lot of complaints or they’re just really good at being belligerent.) For the record, their number is 718-746-1497, but chances are their office won’t be open if you call them when they’re actually creating a disturbance.
I’ve complained to my City Council member, the useless Margaret Chin (who somehow has remained in office despite never venturing north of Chinatown and having a track record that makes Trump look like an overachiever) and I’ve gotten the same response: they’re not breaking any law, so there’s nothing they can do. Her number is 212-788-7259, but chances are you’ll get her voicemail.
I’ve even tried filing a complaint with the ridiculously named Department of Environmental Protection. If 911 is a joke, 311 is hysterical. It’s as if Scott Pruitt had drilled down to the city level and rendered them as useless as the E.P.A. You can also fill out a complaint on their website, but you won’t get any response.
Not surprisingly, the main client of this recycling truck is La Esquina, a fake “celebrity restaurant” in a neighborhood full of them. (The recently closed Mexican Radio had better food and was a better neighbor.) I tried complaining to the manager on duty and was told that the owner was “out of town.”
Of course. These carpetbagging restaurant owners never actually live in the actual neighborhoods they’re destroying. (Or, if they do, they live in a luxury co-op with soundproof windows.)
Speaking of which, since I’ve been working nights, I’ve been amazed by the sheer amount of money sluicing through my neighborhood during the day. Where does it all come from?
Now people are lining up at this new place, The Pokéspot, which serves “poké”: basically a salad bowl with grain in it. What genius invented this idea?

And across the street, there’s Chef's Club Counter which, as far as I can tell (since I won’t actually set foot inside the hallowed space that housed Spring Street Natural for 40 years), is “designer chef” food served cafeteria style, so you pay more but get less—kind of like Trumpcare. 
And next door, they’ve opened a restaurant that serves ice cream and popcorn in a carnival-like setting. Seriously? Is this a restaurant or some conceptual art piece?

Oh, well.
I guess when you’re living on mommy and daddy’s money, New York is just one big amusement park.
Happy summer!