When I Look Up

November 20, 2006

As a transplant to New York City, there’s so much I love about this city. This post is not about that stuff. This is about one thing I have come to hate.


It may be the price of progress, but often as I walk around the city, I’m forced to wonder where the sun is due to the never ending parade of scaffolding covering the sidewalks.

Yes, it’s there to protect my little pea brain from getting cracked open by falling debris, but as is often the case in NYC, the scaffolding is bigger and better than any where else. Unfortunately, it is also more prevalent than in any other city I have been in.

And let’s be honest, one has to wonder if it doing anything other than serving as another advertising platform.

With all the skyscrapers and towering buildings, one is naturally inclined to look up in awe at man’s architectural achievement (or folly) — the problem is that you can’t see any of it.

A secondary, yet equally annoying issue, is that the scaffolding makes the sidewalk a maze to navigate. Polls, uprights, cross beams and joists all working together to prevent a human from walking a straight line. Given the human congestion on a NYC street at lunch hour mixed with a large dose of tourists and you’ve got a bumbling, pushy mess.

Add in a leashed dog or two and you end up feeling stressed from what should otherwise be a relaxing walk.

While it may be a necessary evil, I want to see the sky. It’s one of the reasons I go outside. So for the next mayor, I ask, “less scaffolding please.”