A seat too far: Bus stop at Lex/50th. Alongside a lamppost that always has a huge trash bag and bicycle circling it on a street with heavy pedestrian traffic. So where to wait for the bus? Looming several feet away from the bus stop there are nice, clean metal seats surrounding the entrance to the newly renovated subway stop. The enclosed street level area includes Godiva and Starbucks shops. The seats are obviously intended to include seating for bus riders waiting for one of the MTA buses headed for the East Village or South Ferry. When seated, you can see the bus approaching the stop. However, since the seats are not within the bus stop, the driver cannot see the seats. So, if a passenger isn’t getting off the bus and no one is standing in the bus stop, the driver won’t stop. BIG problem if you are sitting and waiting for a bus. Local buses run irregularly about every half hour or longer, so seating needs to be available for those with disabilities and seniors. Unfortunately, the ability to stand within the bus stop is minimized by the perennial trash bag and bicycle, deliveries, and passersby schlepping carts, wagons, luggage - there are several hotels in the immediate area - the Waldorf, the Benjamin, the Marriott, the International. Don’t know MTA rules about drivers having to stop at every bus stop when there’s no one standing or sitting (when there’s seating) within the bus stop. But there ought to be a law: buses must stop at bus stops.
Dog’s best friend: Hands down is Linda Rosenthal after the legislation she sponsored allowing doggies to dine al fresco with their people was enacted into law. Now the assemblywoman is working on legislation to ban the horrific practice of declawing cats. Let’s keep Linda reigning for cats and dogs.
An app for all reasons: Homeless lady soliciting in a fast food establishment. As she’s approaching a customer, the customer waves her phone and points to the debit card app she used to pay for her food, adding apologetically that she doesn’t use cash. Restaurant manager made a beeline toward the homeless lady, telling her to leave, not to disturb customers, and to never return. Before she could finish saying that only 3% of customers pay with cash, the solicitor assured her that she knew all about it and was getting an app for those who don’t carry cash.
Big Daddy’s got sidewalk: After about two years of suffering the slings and arrows of the disruption caused by 2nd Avenue subway construction - machinery, concrete, a shortened sidewalk - Big Daddy’s at 83rd and 2nd has been given approval by the MTA and CB8 to bring back the unenclosed sidewalk café for outdoor dining. Good to have Big Daddy back where he belongs.
Who gets second? Not CVS if the Turtle Bay community and Food Emporium employees have their way. The store, located at at 51st and 2nd, was owned by A&P, which filed for bankruptcy and put their various brand names (Waldbaum’s, Pathmark) up for bid to retailers. CVS beat out Key Food and local residents are up in arms. They are calling local public officials and agencies. They are petitioning and disseminating flyers. Anything to keep another pharmacy from occupying the space. Millie Margiotta and Lee Frankel of the Turtle Bay Association and Lexington Club District Leader Meryl Brodsky are in the forefront of the fight. Right now there are at least 10 pharmacies within nine square blocks of the densely populated Turtle Bay/Sutton Place district. The closest supermarket to the 51st St. store is D’Agostino’s on 1st and 53rd. Not everyone can or wants to or should have to walk that distance to buy groceries, and not everyone wants a delivery for several small items. Another pharmacy ignores the needs of the diverse community of young families, seniors, singles, couples, boomers, millennials. Be interesting to see who gets to 51st and 2nd.
Holiday signs: Ruppert Management had a delightful annual Halloween display surrounding its 92rd St (between 2nd and 3rd) building that made you smile. Ghosts, ghouls, skeletons and tunnel fun house. Watch for the Christmas holiday display. And thanks to Ruppert for being a good neighbor.
Catering to cats: Don’t know about your cats but my thre - Betty Boop, Gracie Allen, Molly McGee - are under doctor’s orders to have only Fancy Feast Classic canned food. It gets mashed into Betty’s DM food for her diabetes and Gracie’s k/d food for her renal diet. Four-year old Molly has no health issues. She gets chicken with her Fancy Feast. Now about that Fancy Feast. The cans are small, 3 oz., but oh can they be pricey. A personal survey disclosed a big disparity in cost per can in local stores: Petco, 75 cents; CVS and Key Food, 85 cents (5 for $4), Kings Pharmacy (90th/3rd), 99 cents; Duane Reade, $1.39; Gristede’s (89th/Lex), $1.19. Price varied at Fairway 86th between 79 and 88 cents. Most local markets, 99 cents. Food Emporium, 69th and 3rd, least expensive, 69 cents. Best selection, Key Food. That’s what happens when you go fancy.
Arlene Kayatt’s East Side Encounters runs bi-weekly in Our Town. The column marks a return to Our Town for Kayatt, who has lived on the Upper East Side for more than 40 years. She worked for the paper from 1973 to 1986, as a reporter and as managing editor. Know of something she should include in the column? Email her at email@example.com