The State of SoHo and So Forth

“Things change.”

–Don Ameche

After complaining about traffic in SoHo and warning that pedestrians are being hit by vehicles rushing to New Jersey at an alarming speed — some character in a Jeep decided to accelerate as I was crossing IN the crosswalk, WITH the light, while being watched by a Traffic cop. It took 20 years. But, it was bound to happen because the City of New York, despite its many Traffic plans, doesn’t give a shit about pedestrians. Only lawsuits. So, I’m suing them. During all of this time, Sadik-Kahn from the DOT a biker who worked for Bloomberg, was able to get bike lanes installed all across the city. What did that dynamic duo do for pedestrians? Nothing. What does that tell you? Nothing. I have a bad back and too bad for me. As well as a lot of other people — some of whom are dead.

What I did learn was, that there are Traffic Agents and then there are Department of Transportation Agents. One gives out tickets and the other directs traffic. They don’t do the same thing or even talk to each other. So, you guessed it. The guy on the corner of Watts and Thompson who stands on the corner, occasionally hiding out with a SWAT team of ticket issuers, can’t walk a block over and ticket the vehicles trying to hit me or the woman pushing her baby carriage while in the crosswalk — with the light. But, the Traffic Agent does watch out for the bike riders. What a relief!

And, then we have Law & Order SVU. Those of you who have been reading the SoHo Journal blogs and magazine since the 1990’s know that film crews are favorites in SoHo. Not of the residents, though. They’re popular with the Police. They are so popular, in fact, that if you park legally the cops will still tow your car somewhere else. So, here’s a brief warning. As we exit the pandemic (in the minds of many, not in reality), the film crews are returning. Like the one which takes place this coming week. “SVU Season 23” begins shooting in SoHo. Naturally, Law & Order is not suffering since they have our neighborhood as a free back lot. Along with a Police escort that allows them to hobnob with the stars — well, maybe not real Stars. These Stars are starting to look a little rough around the edges and Dick Wolf doesn’t really need the money, especially with a net worth of $550 million. But, hey, who am I to complain about how he’s going to pay for his next cheeseburger? Except that WE won’t be able to walk down our streets, park a car or find a space in OUR neighborhood or avoid the line for our new Covid-19 test clinic now located in a residential building with kids who are unable to be vaccinated. The landlord decided to install a pop-up testing facility in one of our storefronts without any notice.

We’ll have lines of possibly Covid-19 infected people without masks lined up and mingling with the Law & Order stars at the film caterer tents. You know, it’ll be like the old days — another film shoot, where “Night of the Living Dead,” meets “Law and Order in SoHo.”

So, in anticipation of the party it is not-exactly SoHo, also known as SoHo West or Hudson Square, depending upon whether you’re a greedy landlord, Felix Sater or Ivanka Trump trying to sell another condo in the now-defunct Trump SoHo. It’s now The Dominick, of course — which has reopened. However, be forewarned. Stay away. The real SoHo attractions are no parking, the Holland Tunnel traffic whether you are driving or walking and, now, Law & Order “Stars”, lines of possible Covid-infected patients without masks, and building owners who would sell Dracula’s blood to a hospital ICU if they paid in cash. Fortunately, Fashion Week, which AOC got a free ticket to while others paid $35,000, is over and, yes, you missed the invite.

It’s starting to feel like the rich are all around us and WE are all being ignored by the politicians and screwed. Is this the new Gilded Age? Maybe. Is this a precursor to the Bradley-Martin Ball of 1897 and we haven’t been invited to the Waldorf?

Stay Tuned.

SoHo parking sign.

NIMBYism or do 60 families with children deserve a break? Pop up residential Covid-19 testing?
West Broadway storefronts
Prince Street restaurant arcade
West Broadway redux
Crosswalks and Traffic Agent security in SoHo? Cross at your own risk.

Former Hamptons D.A. Thomas Spota.

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