i love being back in midtown. i think ivan does too. east 55th street was my very first address in the city – ivan’s too. i clearly remember december 8th in 1999 when i walked ivan home from his temporary residence at the humane society to e. 55th were we spent his first 2 years living together. we must have traveled down e. 51st street a million times because the entrance to the dog park is right off first ave at 51st and we went there three times a day. that was 11 years ago and back then, most of the buildings in the east 50’s were old and charming brownstone type buildings. today many of those building are gone and in their place, enormous high rises have spurted up on almost every block.
now we reside on e. 52nd street. our morning walks are like a walk down memory lane. we generally head west towards second avenue, make a left and another left onto e. 51st street. right at the corner of 51st and second there is an empty lot where an old building or two had been sacrificed to make way for 117 new, and no doubt outrageously priced, residential units. due to a horrible accident involving 7 fatalities in 2008, construction was halted and the lot remains empty with the exception of the port-a-potty. this is not your run of the mill port-a-potty because this port-a-potty has windows. windows on the sides and one right in the middle of the front door. the front window is approximately 3 feet up from the floor – just the right height for viewing passers by if you were inside and sitting down. sit with that visual for a moment.
when i passed by the port-a-potty with a view i couldn’t help but to take a look inside – never suspecting to actually see a man’s face staring back at me! i sped up so fast i almost choked ivan in the process of getting off the sidewalk and as far away from there as i could at a speed he is no longer used to maintaining at his age.
the next several times i passed by the port-a-potty i kept a safe distance but still shocked to see a man staring back at me. turns out it’s a “guard shed” and office to the security guard employed to protect the empty lot. (see related blog post here ).
one time the security guard was sitting in the port-a-potty, sound asleep with his mouth wide open. another time when i took my brother thomas to see the the port-a-potty with windows, the door was open because the security guard was too fat to fit in the ‘office’ with the door shut.
i have several questions. first, who even had the thought to build and market a port-a-potty with windows for someone to ‘work’ in? second, who actually placed the purchase order? and third, who are these men who took the job to sit in a port-a-potty with windows all day – or worse, all night long?
i’m sure i spend way too much time thinking about the port-a-potty with windows but after 6 months of passing by it, i have yet to think of a job that may be worse than sitting in there for 8 hours a day. i want to know who these men are that agreed to take that job. i imagine the following dialog:
job seeker: “hi, i’m here for the security guard position you have advertised.”
employer: ” great, have a seat. are you good at doing absolutely nothing for long periods of time day after day, after day?”
job seeker: “oh yes sir”
employer: ” good. are you comfortable sitting in a port-a-potty with windows and hardly any room to move for 8 hours straight?”
job seeker: “yes sir”
employer: “do you mind eating lunch in a port-a-potty?”
job seeker: “no sir, that would be nice.”
employer: “would it distract you from your duties if people got scared when they walk past you, or even laughed at you while you’re sitting in the port-a-potty?”
job seeker: “no sir.”
employer: “can you start today?”
the guards have cozied up the place by adding their own personal touches. note the xmas bulbs in th front window.
i love this town!