It has been a few months since I posted anything on the Second Avenue subway construction. The work started nearly a year ago and you can only imagine all of the planning and preparation that has gone when you realize and see that they have only just finished one side of a four block stretch. The work that has been done so far has been to move utilities and services out of the center of the street, so they can in a few years dig a huge hole and drop in a massive machine to bore out the tunnel for the future T-Line. (maybe T stands for tomorrows subway).
As the work on the west side of Second Avenue wrapped up a lot of finishing work was being done to fill in holes, close up gaps, all sorts of things to make it a safe passable sidewalk again. I started back to the reportage again at the beginning of February and I found this drawing from November from a day I was walking home and the chaos of construction workers denied me any way to get to the bank on the corner. So in waiting for their clearance, I drew the movement and rearrangement of fences and bodies and barriers. I felt like an animal that got loose and was being herded back into my pen. The only other time that I have felt like that was when I was doing a reportage on the Republican Convention in NYC a few years ago and ended up being coralled into the anti-protestor protestors cage that happened to be surrounded by the protestors they were protesting. Yes, I was confused at the time too.
Regardless, I knew I was in better hands with the construction crew, albeit at the mercy of their taunting and commentary, than I had been with the extreme lefties and righties fighting for their say. A few minutes later I got access to the bank, finished my drawing and walked home. I still don’t know what they were doing that day, it felt like it was just moving fences. But I am sure that some days that is all many of them feel like they are doing.
Ahh, the joys of living in NYC – you’ve really captured it!