Friday, May 12, 2017


Last August, I wrote about the section of the Waterfront Greenway that runs along the East River down the block from where I live; or, more to the point, how it was falling apart apparently with the city's approval.

Well, once again, we get results! A few months ago, the city announced that it was spending $6.4 million to fix two -- count 'em, two blocks -- of sinkholes, rotting trees, and damaged drainage areas.

I was quite cynical about the chances of any repairs being done anytime soon. Or, as I predicted about the biggest eyesore, pictured on the left, "this thing isn't going to be fixed before ISIS is eliminated."

Well, I'm happy to stand corrected. (That's a better way of saying I was wrong.) 

In March -- or, to put it another way, seven months after the piece first posted -- city workers spent a week or two rehabilitating that particular section. As you can see, runners, walkers, bikers, and stragglers alike can now travel that section of the path without tripping over the fence or falling into the hole.

A nearby sign informs us that this is a "temporary patch" in order to allow city workers to figure out a proper drainage system to prevent the sinkhole from happening again. Presumably, the hexagonal blocks will return when the job is completed, according to the sign, by 2020.

Let's put this in perspective. It took 410 days for the Empire State Building to be completed. But it's going to take up to three years to figure out how to install a good drain. To paraphrase General Electric, Progress in nowhere near New York's most important product.

That patch leaves a dozen or so other catastrophes-in-the-making waiting to trip, swallow up, or fall upon unwitting Upper East Siders. The latest happened -- make that enlarged -- last week.

To refresh your memory, the first piece of destruction on our previous stroll was this beauty on the left, behind Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the Mayor of New York. A fence had been casually set up in order to prevent people from breaking their ankles by stepping into a hole that had been there probably since 2015 -- because what's the rush fixing a little ol' hole way up near 90th Street?

That was before last Friday's tropical-style storm, when almost a month's worth of rain dropped in a matter of hours. Even when viewed from the safe confines of my living room, it was scary. Ever see comedies where the upstairs bathtub floods into the room below? Imagine the entire sky like that from roughly 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Cars on the West Side's Henry Hudson Parkway were submerged like you see on the news during flood season in the South.

We folks on the East Side weren't spared either. Before the storm was over, that
humble little hole in the photo above had taken it one step -- or rather, 25 feet -- further. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Mayor de Blasio's back yard.

As you can see, city workers risked life and limb to string up plastic tape reading NO ACCESS. That's tellin' 'em!

Since then, they've put up the usual temporary fence in front of the tape to at least give the impression of safety. And despite that 6.4 mill burning a hole in City Hall's pockets, there isn't a shred of evidence that repairs are even being contemplated.

But here's the punchline to this hilarious shaggy dog story. They put up this sign at the end of the fence:

Maybe they're waiting 'til after Saturday, when another jumbo storm, similar to the last one, is expected to hit the city. Might as well let the rest of it go kablooey before getting to work.


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