For the past two months, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has gotten a taste of what it's like to live on the Upper East Side in the middle of the Second Avenue subway construction shit-storm. And even for a big shot politician insulated up in a tony high-rise, it still tastes like burning! Stringer, whose permanent residence is over in God's country on the west side, temporarily relocated to the east after fire damage rendered his apartment temporarily uninhabitable. According to this cute story in the Times, Stringer was not prepared for the horror that awaited him:
Stringer, a dyed-in-the-wool West Sider who gets his gazpacho at Zabar’s, has long been aware of the challenges of East Side living (for one thing, no Zabar’s). But this experience, he said, has been “a whole new way of living. We live in a blast zone. You don’t hear the birds chirping in the morning; you wake up when the drilling starts.
"When I say goodbye in the morning to Elyse, I don’t say, ‘Have a happy day.’ I say, ‘Be careful of the construction outside... My first day, getting coffee, I can honestly say I did not know which way to walk or how to navigate the streets. Do you go left, under the crane, or do you go around the corner, under the cement truck? You almost need to have your own personal GPS system to figure out how to walk around."
Residents and local merchants have lambasted the MTA for not doing more to compensate them for the upheaval wrought by the construction, which is expected to definitely be completed before the Sun goes supernova. (The MTA's current estimate is for the first segment to be finished in 2016; insert your own editorial throat-clearing.) Stringer, having personally felt the locals' pain, organized a "forum" today between disgruntled residents top subway officials, to try to find ways to mitigate the construction's negative impact.
But his tour of duty has ended, and after the meeting, he'll rotate back to the World on the Upper West Side. But don't worry East Siders; Stringer won't soon forget about his heavy experiences in the shit. For him, the flashbacks and the night terrors are only beginning.