That’s One Way to Deal with the Scourge of Scaffolding

Businesses have long complained about scaffolding that obscures their entrances and cast them into shadow.Some local businesses have blamed scaffolding for causing them to close.

But the scaffolding in front of Cafe Lalo on 83rd Street near Amsterdam is now — dare we say — attractive! Purple flowers — looks like wisteria to us — and plants dangle from the metal poles.

Thanks to Barbara Migdal for the photo.

NEWS | 20 comments | permalink
    1. grow says:

      These look fake but they should actually grow real plants up these (which are often in place for years) becuase it would absorb some of the pollution from traffic!

      • Filatura says:

        Real wisteria would take down that scaffolding in a season. I’ve got it growing up, down and around the metal ventilation pipes on my roof terrace. They’re probably strong enough to stand up to wisteria’s thick, winding stems and heavy greenery, but the wooden fencing I used to have wasn’t. Glorious plant, though, especially when in bloom.

    2. Rob G. says:

      Love it! I think we should build souks under them.

    3. Charlie says:

      Everything’s fine until someone hits their head on a wisteria bloom…

    4. Jon Delfin says:

      I used to know a guy who worked on such things, and would become incensed if someone referred to a sidewalk bridge as “scaffolding.” Here’s hoping he doesn’t see this!

      • Catherine Arcure says:

        I totally agree. I’ve been to a lot of cities and have never seen this proliferation of scaffolding. I thin it is a scam.

        • Woody says:

          Then you’re probably ignorant of NYC laws that require frequent facade inspection and repair. It’s much easier to be cynical than informed.

          • Glitter says:

            It’s still a scam. It’s cheaper and easier to have scaffolding put up to avoid the greater cost of actually fixing the facade problem. There’s definitely some sort of racket going on. My building has had scaffolding for 6 out of the 7 years I’ve lived in Nyc.

            • Woody says:

              You’re missing the whole point of the scaffolding. It’s required when any work – either inspection or repair – is done on the facade. The scaffolding is not just put in lieu of such work.

            • Woody says:

              Before you jump on my previous comment about scaffolding that’s been up for 6-7 years, there are situations where scaffolding is put up because repairs to the building facade have been neglected but those are not the norm for all the scaffolding you see in NY.

    5. “Scourge of Scaffolding”. I’ve written about that a lot! It still blights the UWS and shutters businesses especially restaurants.

      As nice as this idea is, it’s still lipstick on a pig.

    6. your_neighbor says:

      I’m pretty sure that the cafe’s insurance company wouldn’t be pleased.

    7. PMae says:

      Aaaaand that’s why Cafe Lalo was the only “job” I ever sought in the city outside my normal career. It’s a special place because it is run by special people, and this is just one example 🙂 <3

    8. Catherine Arcure says:

      I agree that scaffolding is a scourge. There is a need but I think this city overdoes its stress on this practice just to keep those in the scaffolding work in business. I bet there is a lot of corruption surrounding this.

    9. MOI says:

      Pretty! Meanwhile today for the first time, I noticed that all the millions of sidewalk sheds mostly have no scaffolding above them. Nice! They’ve be there forever and no one does anything about getting the building owners to shit of get off the pot!! .. Do the work or have the city get seriously involved. Impose serious fines. Our beautiful UWS is looking so grim these days.

      • Rita says:

        Lanmarks has a lot to do with how long the scaffolding is up. Even when a building is doing a “No-change” renovation it will take a year to get approval if you are lucky.

        • MOI says:

          UWSiders have become so complicit in sitting back and not giving a shit about a shed or two on each block! They look awful and are the reason the neighborhood is going to hell. When I lived on WEA and 79th my building had to get pointing done on it. MCI’s were added to our rent but the work was finished within a year and the scaffolding removed.
          No wonder the middle class have left the City in insane numbers. Who wants to live in a slum neighborhood? Pathetic.

      • Kat French says:

        The scaffolding and sheds must be installed when ANY work is going on above the sidewalk, to protect pedestrians. People who complain about them would also be the first to complain if they had paint, water, etc. dripped on them from above. The way to improve the situation is to patronize the businesses under the scaffolding! I make it a point to try new places simply because they are “under cover.”

    10. UWS40 says:

      The scaffolding around the Apple Bank must be there at least 10years. Never saw anyone working on it. Why is it there?

    11. Why doesn’t WSR sponsor a Best Scaffolding Decor contest via photo submission? Even simply Christmas lights turn that ugly scaffolding into something to which all can smile.