To be perfectly honest, during the daytime we do everything we can to not walk down Broadway, especially Broadway below Houston. We'll take the filth and cobblestones of Crosby over the SoHo shopping crowds any day of the week. But we can say that on the rare occasion that we do find ourselves walking on Broadway we're continually struck by the shear amount of litter that seems to constantly accumulate. That litter is at the center of one of the City section articles in the Times today. Since 1992 the SoHo Partnership has been paying homeless and poor men and women to sweep, shovel and generally keep SoHo clean for the tourists (uh, and the people who "live and work" there). The Partnership pays these workers from fees collected by neighborhood businesses. If all the neighborhood businesses kick in the required money (in the case of the SoHo Partnership the annual fee is a measly $750) then everyone gets clean streets. Which makes sense to us, but apparently a large number of the big-name stores that line the "shopping planet" of Broadway aren't interested in pitching in their less than one grand.
Of the 85 stores on Broadway only 18 contribute to the Partnership (some companies that aren't paying up? Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic and Express). To protest the lack of money the Partnership had four "no sweep" days in August ("the garbage was piled up like mountains") and plans more for the future. On the one hand, when Gothamist hears of a "neighborhood partnership" asking for "business donations" to "keep the streets clean" we immediately think "organized crime," but in the case of the Partnership, which really has been doing a pretty good job for the past 13 years, the impression we get, and that the Times is clearly pushing, is that these companies really are being stingy. Anyone get a different sense?