RELIGION + DOUBLE-STROLLERS = OY VEY

sukkah

The Jewish holiday Sukkot started on Monday and some restaurants have set up sukkahs to celebrate. One of those sukkahs, however, appears to be causing bad feelings. On 85th street between Amsterdam and Broadway, the sukkah in front of Prime KO apparently is too large to allow a double-stroller to pass. One person decided to post a note on the muni-meter next to the sukkah.

sukkah2

The person who sent us these photos headlined the email “Abuse of religious freedom for profit?”

“Looking at the space left on this sidewalk it’s pretty self explanatory that neighbors are outraged about the arrogance of restaurants abusing religious freedom for their own profit, especially if they are closed most of the time like Prime Ko.”

By Monday night, the note was gone but the sukkah was still up. The restaurant has not responded to a request for comment.

 

FOOD, NEWS | 81 comments | permalink
    1. Sophie says:

      Why does everyone have a double-wide? There are that many twofer kids?

    2. K8 says:

      ADA door clearance is only required to be 32″. If a wheelchair can fit, I think it’s acceptable. Double-wide strollers do not belong in a dense urban environment such as NYC, especially when there are double strollers available that do not take up such a wide berth.

      • dannyboy says:

        The sidewald clearance is reported to be 35 inches.

        How dense are we living that you rule out double strollers?

    3. Mary jones says:

      Can a wheelchair get through? Is this legal?

    4. josiah says:

      Don’t stores require a permit of some sort to build a sidewalk structure (albeit temporary)? Nonetheless, there is enough legal space. Indeed, many pedestrian walkways built in construction zones wouldn’t fit a double-wide…

    5. Shopper says:

      So, will we see same comments when the Christmas tree stands go up?

    6. Jay says:

      Never fear. I’m sure the folks behind the Shake Shack sidewalk complaints are already on it. Right?

    7. Steve says:

      Geez, folks with twins really do feel entitled. They have no problem blocking sidewalks for others but get all bent out of shape when their passage is obstructed.

    8. lmr says:

      It seems that many people on this site are quite mean spirited. The person simply did not want to have to go into the street with his/her child. While ADA requires a minimum (!) 32″ at doorways, “accessible” hallways are required to be 36″. The person who wrote the note was justified if the sukkah was built out past the property line of the building as it certainly looks from the photo. Note that it is built much further out than French Roast. I am sure that French Roast is using every inch of its allowed sidewalk space.

      • bravo says:

        Does the indignant double-stroller owner ever cross the street?
        I have news for her: for people around you, your SUV of a stroller is a much bigger nuisance then a temporary structure within legal limits.

        • dannyboy says:

          Is your indignance directed at the mother, the children, or both?

          Just clarifying.

        • Sean says:

          Yes, to get to the other side.

          • Paulo says:

            Agreed inr…seems like a lot of childless, angry-at-the-world curmudgeons on this website. It’s easy to tell why some posters don’t have kids- no one in hell would procreate with them!

            The only thing sad when they die will be their cats!

    9. Phil says:

      I just question the motives of the person who took time to think of their statement, go home, type it up, print it out, grab tape, take the tape and sign back to the parking meter, tape the sign on effectively vandalising it not realising their second wrong wasn’t making a right when less effort and time could have emailed the city and restaurant. I get your complaint, but your sign only alerts people to the fact that you have a complaint and does nothing to solve the problem which tells me you’re more interested in people hearing you than in solving the problem.

      • UWS Grumpster says:

        Funny how you wonder how someone has the time to run home, print this up, and tape it up, without wondering how you had enough to time to sign on to a website to complain.
        Come on. This is ridiculous. We shouldn’t be shrinking sidewalk space for any reason, especially not for symbolic religious reasons (I.e. Some safety reason ok, but for symbolism? Gimme a break!)
        I just can’t even with all this nonsense. Since when did freedom of religion mean everyone else has to accomodate you?

        • bravo says:

          How do you deal with street vendors? Christmas trees sellers? Or you reserve your indignation for some very specific “symbolism”?

      • bravo says:

        Probably a sociopath who always, ALWAYS is looking for perceived abuse of her inalienable rights. Measuring the inches on the street is probably automatic for her.

        • dannyboy says:

          You managed to diagnose the “indignant double stroller owner” and the “sociopath” who was put off, within 10 minutes.

          You’re good!

      • Steven says:

        The sign was taped to the parking meter, not the sukkah, so it was not vandalized.

    10. Iiari says:

      I think it’s pretty crazy for someone to live in Manhattan with a double-wide. I mean, it’s 2015. There are lots of longitudinal stroller designs now that hold two kids that are far more city-friendly than the double-wide. We own one of those and it’s narrow enough for the aisles at Fairway and everywhere else.

      • UWS Grumpster says:

        Yes, SO CRAZY! Insanity!!! I mean GOD FORBID anyone have twins!! I mean the outrage!!! Good grief. That religious nonsense should be able to take over PUBLIC sidewalks, while we shine about double strollers? Gimme a break. Since when did we (or should we?) sacrifice public space for (private) religious observance?

        • Sophie says:

          Let them move to the ‘burbs with their double-wides and get themselves the requisite mini vans.

        • Iiari says:

          Troll say what? Maybe you missed the part where I mentioned all those alternatives available that work beautifully for twins (and even triplets) as well.

          And yes, you’re quite right, since when should we sacrifice public space for private religious observance Christmas trees sidewalk Santas manger displays

    11. Mark says:

      Let’s do a Hunger Games competition. Religious people vs. double stroller moms.

    12. bravo says:

      Yeah, the world rotates around the double-stroller army.
      Next time I see one blocking the street, I’m calling 311.

    13. Joan says:

      Does this restaurant have a permit to expand on to public property? It’s not only a double stroller, but it blocks the passage for any caretaker and young child or children holding hands. This is a safety issue not a religious issue

      • UWS Grumpster says:

        Totes. I object to any private enterprise/religion taking over public space. This is crap. We shouldn’t sacrifice any public space to this. Go build your silly hut… And your silly Christmas tree stand…. Far out of the way of the public walkway.

    14. Andrea says:

      Hey neighbors – just in case you forgot, there is a bigger world and much bigger issues than our little UWS world has to offer..try to keep some perspective please. No need getting your knickers in a twist over things you can avoid by crossing the street.

      • richard says:

        Apparently our Community Board believes otherwise given their recent ruling on the lines at Shake Shack. That is also clearly a case where one could easily avoid a problem by crossing the street, but then Shake Shack doesn’t operate under some nonsensical religious beliefs. (and yes I’m Jewish).
        The double standard here is just typically classic UWS – all the bitching and moaning about a fence for the Pope’s visit, yet support for this nonsense.

    15. Off Duty says:

      Now….If only such righteous indignation could be raised over citibikes taking up all the space that car owners need.

      • Jay says:

        I didn’t realize there was such a shortage of places for cars in this city. Seems like almost half the real estate is dedicated to cars.

        I think more room for sidewalks and less for cars would actually be a better thing. Maybe then we’ll hear fewer complaints about sidewalk area from a few folks.

    16. drg says:

      I am very very upset.
      How will the restaurant delivery bikes be able to get through on this sidewalk to bring me my take out dinner??!!

    17. Irene says:

      We are fortunate to live in a multicultural city. Sometimes this means living with a minor, temporary inconvenience in order to allow someone else to celebrate their holiday. Is this really that big a deal?

    18. LMN says:

      This particular one does annoy me every year because it definitely causes congestion on that side walk since people can’t figure out how to move quickly past it… and no one ever seems to actually be using it! However, it’ll be gone soon enough. What fun would living in NYC be if there wasn’t daily obstacles (both literally and figuratively) to dodge!

    19. Ted says:

      It’s kind of like that old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial.

      “Hey, you got your entitlement in my privilege!!”

      “Hey, you got your privilege in my entitlement!!!”

      “Now you can get two great tastes of narcissism in one yummy bite. New Upper West Side Selfish Cups. Get one today. No one else deserves it.”

    20. Eddie says:

      A few thoughts:
      Double-wide strollers are not just for twins. If you have a one year old and a three year old, you are likely to use one too. So lay off the twins!
      That sukkah does look like it is really pushing the limits. Kasbah (on the other side of Broadway) used to have a fairly big sukkah that was a bit of a pain to get around and I noticed that they don’t have one this year.
      In addition to being difficult for strollers and wheelchairs to get through, I think this narrow passageway will make it hard for people weaving back and forth on the sidewalk while looking at their phone to get through as well. There is a huge contingent of these types in our neighborhood as well. If some of them accidentally bumped into a parking meter, that might be a hidden benefit of this situation.

      • sam says:

        I actually know at least one person who only has one kid but ended up with a double stroller, because she does a nanny-share with another family, and that requires that they have a stroller that the nanny can use for both kids. I absolutely agree that the “front-back” double strollers are much more sensible on city streets than the side-to-side doubles, but there are a multitude of reasons aside from twins that necessitate “multiples” strollers.

        Also, because we live in such a “walkable” city, it ends up resulting in kids being in strollers at much higher ages than out in the burbs, where as soon as they can toddle, you can get them into and out of your SUVs without dragging the stroller around (or carry them short distances). Here, precisely because we walk so much, having an extra seat handy to deal with your cranky, refusing-to-walk-to-the-point-where-you’re-literally-dragging-them-down-the-street 3-year-old, is a different situation.

        (I don’t have children, but I’ve witnessed the phenomenon enough to sympathize)

    21. ScooterStan says:

      Well, to paraphrase P. T. Barnum (or whoever else may have said it…see Wikipedia):

      On this holiday, ‘THERE’S A SUKKAH BORN EVERY MINUTE’ !!

      And, on the UWS, a kvetcher born every 10 seconds!

      • dannyboy says:

        ScooterSten,

        You do know that you just kvetched about: (1) sukkahs and (2) Commentors with differing views from your own, all within 2 sentences.

        Now, that’s some top-notch KVETCHING!

      • Cato says:

        Of course there’s a kvetcher born every 10 seconds on the UWS. That’s why there are so many double-wide strollers nowadays.

    22. josh says:

      If the Sukkah is violating the law, then the complainant is justified regardless of the double-wide conundrum. We should view the Sukkah no differently as we would a sidewalk cafe — it is there for the benefit of patrons of the establishment (although I calculate it can have only 3 days of use, so it seems a waste of time and money). If it is legal, the complaint should be to the City, as with any other city-sanctioned obstruction.

      I don’t know the complainant, but I do know many (including friends and family members) who would be incensed because of the orthodox-religious nature of the obstruction. They wouldn’t mind as much if it were anything else — they might roll their eyes at the inconvenience, but they wouldn’t be incensed. And, unfortunately, that response is indeed bigoted. We see it often times when an Eruv in constructed in a town or some other religious obligation seemingly interferes with others’ notion of what their ideal world should be (to the religious, they aren’t merely “symbolic” but a god-imposed obligations — we shouldnt judge their beliefs). So let the complainant look into his.her own heart and determine what motivated them to spend all that time running home to print the sign and post it.

    23. Nelson says:

      Well, that didn’t take long! Looks like the Pope’s messages of peace, tolerance and inclusivity are already forgotten.

      I, too, am amazed that the Double Stroller pusher found this necessary to address when it is a temporary situation. A Nanny wouldn’t be so distressed, so I’m assuming it was a parent with some bottled-up aggression to diffuse.

      • dannyboy says:

        Looks like the Pope’s message of peace, tolerance and inclusivity had good effect on one person here, who writes:

        “so I’m assuming it was a parent with some bottled-up aggression to diffuse.”

        I’m feeling the Love.

      • bravo says:

        The pope apparently had a heart-to-heart with Kim Davis and told her to keep it up. That, instead of telling her to quit her job and pray full time or something.
        So the demagogues who pretend that a job must conform to them and not the other way around, they have the pope in their camp. Very sad. I tried to think more of him.

    24. Mark says:

      I’m tired of sukkahs and strollers getting in the way of my drones.

    25. Bryan10024 says:

      Wow, there are enough angry, mean-spirited, unsympathetic, selfish, ignorant, too-much-time-on-their-hands cranky white people on WSR to start a UWS chapter of the Tea Party.

      What kills me is these same people come around ONLY when it happens to them.

      • dannyboy says:

        A very peaceful, warm-spirited, sympathetic, selfless, wise, productive, well disposed, non-racist remark.

        Thank you for setting a new standard. Not only for discourse, but to be more like you.

      • Mark says:

        Just curious, how do you know which posters are white?

    26. Senyc says:

      Wow – talk about a First World Problem!!

    27. bernie says:

      Here’s another take: Why is the parking device set so far in from the curb to begin with?

    28. Amy says:

      Double wides are usually less expensive than the longs. Also, not all doubles are with twins – sometimes they are close in age.

      Nobody who uses those strollers ENJOY using them. THey are big, unwieldy and pretty impossible. To get that stroller out to the sidewalk (finding a place between cars) then back again is not easy… not to mention dangerous to push the stroller out between parked cars.

      I don’t have an opinion re: the sukkah or not, but seriously? The harshness towards the parents with double wide strollers is a bit over the top. (Past mom with two boys in double wide and hated every minute of it & couldn’t wait to get the little board that goes on back when one was old enough to stand.)

    29. Cato says:

      They need double-wides for the same reason they need SUVs — they’re bigger Bigger BIGGEST!!

      How else do you demonstrate to all around you how affluent you are?

      • Amy says:

        Yes, of course. How silly of me. Because of course there’s an easily available other way to transport two infants when you are only one person.

        • Cato says:

          Double long, rather than double wide — as discussed elsewhere in these comments (if you’d read them).

          Works as well, just not as conspicuous (or disruptive).

          You know, like SUV versus normal car.

    30. mlm says:

      I am a childfree senior citizen. Yes I am annoyed by strollers, double strollers, and 2 people with 2 strollers walking side by side across the sidewalk. Annoyed because I see indulgent parents who indulge children in all sorts of ways.

      I know these kids will grow up, but I wonder how selfish or kind-hearted they will become. I repress the anger inside my head, and feel guilty. This urban area cannot handle all of us, children, old people infants, etc. But we try.

      • dannyboy says:

        Dear mim,

        I just read your Comment and believe it might be best for you to work a little harder to repress the anger inside your head.

        It’s coming out, that’s all.

    31. nakorn says:

      The double wides are a problem for others, esp in stores with narrow isles.

    32. Christina says:

      There Is such a thing as crossing the street! If I can’t pass through a street, I go to the other side! Simple as that!

    33. melba says:

      Seriously, this is a temporary situation. Get over yourself stroller people and walk a different direction for a few days. It isn’t that big a deal so don’t make more of this than it really is. How arrogant to think that your stroller should interfere with someone practicing their religion?

    34. PGG says:

      Hey, I wonder if anyone will ever create a double decker carriage! Of course, the prefab pushing around have to be quite tall!

    35. mj says:

      This is another obnoxious abuse of power by the “religious” just like Sabbath elevators. What a joke.
      Can’t have it both ways people. Are you religious or just selfish and greedy and hiding it under religion??

    36. Lottie says:

      More tired of double,strollers,who take up the sidewalk every day while succort is 10 days of the year