At the counter of Hale and Hearty on 23rd
Check Out Girl – You gots a roach on you
Woman Next To Me – I do? Ohhhhhh!
The roach lady jumps, and flicks something in my direction.
Check Out Girl – I just thought you should know.
Woman Next To Me – Thanks.
It’s impossible to navigate the NYC streets without passing under scaffolds. I go out of my way to walk on the side of the street without them. In the hierarchy of the construction industry, I figure the scaffold building team is the least skilled, so I assume they’re all on the verge of collapse. The recent rash of shit falling off of buildings confirms my fears.
My office block was scaffold free for three months. Today they started building one that will, most likely remain for twenty years. Notice the police camera on the street lamp. The scaffolding creates a perfect blind spot for crime. One of the guys building it had an ipod on his belt with the earphones in. Again, I’m not comforted by this. When the boss tells him to tighten the bolts, he’ll be rocking out to KT Tunstall. They had all of their i-beams laid out across the sidewalk so you had to step over them like a mini-hurdle track. I sometimes think there’s a tacit hatred of pedestrians among construction workers. They’ll often do the most bizarre and unsafe things right in the middle of the street. Last week one crew had giant planks of wood strewn across the sidewalk. They were using a sawsall to beams. This sent wood chips and sawdust was flying everywhere.
Here is my least favorite scaffold. It’s on 23rd street between Madison, and Park. If you’re on the south side of the street, there’s no way around it. High above, a giant crane swings big buckets of stuff back and forth. I realized, as I was running into the street, that I’d rather dodge oncoming traffic than walk under this thing. Who checks their safety? How often? If there are violation, are they immediately taken down or cordoned off? Is there any standard for who is chosen to build them or do they just get the guy who asks for the least amount of money?