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Saturday, August 23, 2008

If At First You Don't Succeed, Try Again and Again and Again....

Residents of Oval 21 were shocked to come back from work the other day and see the beautifully designed landscaping on the building's northern end gone and replaced by evidence of work crews digging up the ground--again. Yes, gone was the lovely jungle of dirt-crusted ferns and dead or dying newly planted trees that Mexican day laborers planted two months ago, and in their place was a tractor, an ugly fence that didn't even have the courtesy of saying "pardon our appearance," and signs of furious work all around.

This spot has been a particular bane for landlord Tishman Speyer, with scenes of periodic upheavals testifying to something amiss. Though it is believed important piping runs through that area, rumors persist that housed deep down is the beating heart of the idea of affordable housing, and that Tishman Speyer is doing its best to kill it and cover up the crime. I don't believe these rumors and just assume it's the typical mess that TS gets itself into whenever the company's improvements struggle against the natural order of things. Once work is finished (again), we can expect to see the return of the Mexican day laborers and an approximation of the stunning foliage that was already there.

Coming up on this blog: Pressurized walls, the dog issue, the connections between Mayor Bloomberg and Tishman Speyer.


Jane said...

We all agree that the digging and redigging is ridiculous, but I for one have no quarrel with the workers being Mexican? Do you?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Not at all, Jane. It's just a descriptive. I would have used the appropriate one had the workers been Bulgarian, Lithuanian or Columbian. What I did debate was whether to add "illegal" or "undocumented." New York City is a sanctuary city, so it would seem a moot point, but the larger picture is whether Tishman Speyer is contracting out to companies that employ cheap labor to keep costs down. If cheap labor were not found, could Tishman Speyer have initiated its massive landscaping project? Would Stuy Town have been left in peace? Perhaps there's a story in that, perhaps not.