Main | Wednesday, April 24, 2013

UES Muck Houses To Come Down

A couple of years ago I took the above photo of one of the "muck houses" that went up all along the Upper East Side as part of the Second Avenue subway construction. Since then many businesses have gone under due to being blocked from the view of pedestrians. Some blocks have only two or three surviving shops out of the ten or so that used to be there. And don't even bring up the muck houses to the folks who live in one of the hundreds of blocked apartments, where they've spent the last two years in perpetual darkness.

Gothamist reports today that the MTA has announced that the muck houses are finally coming down.
"Really? I don't know whether to believe you," a waiter at an empty Japanese restaurant sitting in the shadow of the bland edifice on 72nd Street said when a reporter told him it would be broken down next month. "Ever since that went up, business has been going down, down, down, down." The waiter, who has been working at the restaurant for eight years and asked that his name not be printed, said that the MTA workers rarely came in for food. "Maybe it's too expensive, I don't know. They eat pizza."

Richard Barry, a clerk at the Pet Market next door, said that the Egyptian restaurant on the corner of 73rd, Pyramida Grill, was forced to close last summer. "He couldn't hold on any more. So now it's just us, the Japanese restaurant, and the CVS. There used to be a bakery too across the street but they're gone." "Who would assume that there's a pet store behind this big wall?" Barry said. "I have to ask people what the weather's like outside because I can't tell from here."
I've not read about the city offering any compensation to the businesses or to the apartment residents, some of whom have found it impossible to sell or rent their units. The MTA did erect lovely directional signs pointing people down the shadowy tunnels created by the muck houses.  The names of the now-closed shops on some of those signs have been angrily crossed out.

Labels: , ,

comments powered by Disqus