Artist Jacques Rosas has a Facebook site called “The Nightmare on West 39th street in Manhattan" featuring videos and pictures of the deplorable conditions on the block.
Rosas owns Shop Studios near the corner of 39th Street and 11th avenue. There, he displays and sells his art, rents out space for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and for television and film production. A few years ago, the Goodyear Tire and Auto Center up the block sold half its space to the Halal Food Garage. Ever since then, Rosas says the street has become clogged with double parked cars because Goodyear’s garage is too narrow and its AAA tow trucks have no place to put the vehicles they bring in. The halal business puts supplies and carts on the sidewalk and street.
On many days the sidewalk is completely blocked. There is lots of trash and dozens of discarded tires.
Rosas says the conditions have affected his business in a big way. He has complained to 311, the NYPD, the Sanitation Department, the Mayor’s office and the office of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who represents this area.
“They said they were gonna clean it up, but nothing ever happened," Rosas said. “My business is being suffocated. My first year on this block, I hired 74 employees. This year I have five.”
After Rosas reached out to What a Shame at PIX11, we contacted the police, sanitation and Johnson’s office. In just two days, there has been a dramatic turnaround. The Goodyear shop and the Halal garage were put on notice and some cars were ticketed and towed. Now, almost all the cars are gone, as are the Halal carts and supplies. Even the old tires are gone.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this.
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