on today’s midday walk, ivan & i were accompanied by an 8 year old friend of ours, sammy. as we rounded the corner from 1st to 51st street, sammy noticed the port-a-potty with windows and kept his eye on it as we passed by.
“there’s a man in there! why is he in there?” sammy shrieked after seeing the man sitting inside the port-a-potty with windows.
me: “he’s working. that’s his office and he works in there.”
sammy: “how do you know he’s not pooping?”
“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
~ Dr. Seuss
i used to think being a toll booth collector had to be the worst job in the universe; standing inside a small booth sniffing exhaust fumes all day long. that was before i saw the guy riding in the mini two foot wide cart on the side rails of the holland tunnel. can you even imagine being jammed into a cart narrower than your shoulders and riding the side rails through all the car exhaust inside of the holland tunnel everyday?
but which would be worse – being the tunnel cart driver or sitting in a port-a-potty with windows all day long? seriously – there’s a job like that.
on the corner of 51st and 2nd avenue there is a vacant lot where building construction has been halted for at least 3 years due to a fatal accident involving a crane and 7 deaths. you can read about it here. apparently this empty lot now must be guarded. since it’s just an empty lot, there was no ‘office’ space for a guard, no lunch room, water fountain or even a rest room. the sidewalk outside of the empty lot is covered by scaffolding and is home to a port-a-potty with windows! all day long and throughout the night, in that port-a-potty sits a guard.
i have a number of unanswered questions about this situation. i’ve listed them along with additional commentary here.*
“ I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a life.”
– Maya Angelou