Friday, July 16, 2010

Idle Indulgences

Cars can sit, idling or parked, but veteran servicemen cannot put up tables as sidewalk vendors near the Mercer Hotel.

In New York City, everybody is always getting parking tickets for trying to park on the street.

Except for around the Mercer Hotel.

Suzannah B. Troy has reported that she has witnessed police officers walking passed idling or parked cars outside the Mercer. Pictured here, Ms. Troy stands next to the Mercer, with empty parked cars behind her.

There is a sign that says, "No Parking," but the idling or parked cars around the Mercer are empty. The cars are supposed to be loading and unloading, but there is no one loading or unloading, and these cars are never ticketed. If you are looking for parking spaces in SoHo around Mercer and Prince streets, go over to the Mercer, where the cops don't issue you tickets for parking your car. But you have to be right in front of the Mercer, not across the street, where you will get ticketed.

Just don't try to set up a table on the nearby sidewalk to sell your arts and crafts.

Because around the Mercer, limos, private cars, Cadillacs, and Range Rovers, are allowed to park in no parking zones for the convenience of the hotel's A-list guests, but veteran servicemen are not allowed to set up sidewalk tables. Sidewalk vendors are part of what gives SoHo its sizzle and joie de vivre, but, according to Ms. Troy, cops are issuing tickets to sidewalk vendors, but not to the illegally parked cars around the Mercer Hotel.

Now that Ms. Troy has taken this story public, she has already experienced harassment and intimidation from an anonymous person, who Ms. Troy has said she thinks might be an employee of the Mercer.

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