10/24/2006:

Handball Court on Spring Street

Vesuvio Playground is across the street from my apartment at the corner of Spring and Thompson. It's a classic NYC playground, and a hot-spot of neighborhood activity-- lots of kids playing on the swings, old people sitting on the benches, and high-school kids playing handball in the yard. Sadly, it's been under construction for about six months, and the project isn't due to finish until sometime next year! All the old people have been displaced to the stoops across the street, and the high school kids are just lounging up against the fences. I think it's a disgrace that the city low-balls these park-renovation contracts. There's never been more than two or three guys working on the site at any one time. And anyway, all they are doing is replacing the fencing rehabbing the concrete surfaces-- a competent company should have been able to finish the job in about three weeks. Instead, the city accepts the lowest bid, from a company with two employees, and the project ends up disrupting the community for a year. Ridiculous-- it would never happen in a neighborhood with better local organization, like the West Village or Park Slope-- but because SoHo is totally dysfunctional, we're just going to have to live with it.