January 18, 2005

Who Moved the (Street) Furniture?

If you live and/or work in Manhattan, you may have noticed something this week: those rows of alt-weekly newspaper boxes that have always been on every other block are suddenly all gone, with only occasional solitary boxes remaining. I’m not exactly sure why this is –as there’s thus far been no mainstream media coverage whatsoever of the issue- but I do think this is quite an unfortunate development.

Matt Taibbi of New York Press wrote a piece almost two years ago about an effort in the city council to regulate “street furniture,” being shepherded by councilwoman Eva Moskowitz, that passed in 2002. But I don’t remember that bill specifically banning the boxes, nor was their any indication in this week’s issue of either NYP or the Village Voice that such a wholesale removal of the boxes was going to take place imminently.

Since coming to the city I’ve been a regular reader of the Press, Voice, The Onion, and numerous other papers, and enjoy being able to pick them up all around town. I’d like to know what exactly is going on here, and why hundreds of newspaper boxes could just disappear seemingly overnight with no fanfare whatsoever.

Posted by Stephen Silver at January 18, 2005 10:48 PM

It could always be Montreal, where newspaper boxes (and street food vendors) are illegal. The old dictatorial mayor, Jean Drapeau, was a bit of a stickler about aesthetics. Oh, yeah, and all numbers on houses had to be a uniform style too.

Posted by: Matthew :) at January 19, 2005 12:19 AM

Because no one cares...

Posted by: A at January 19, 2005 10:10 AM
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