Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Your Tax Dollars at Work: A $1 Million Head in Bay Ridge

Holy crap, so to speak. We somehow missed this one in the Brooklyn Papers until we saw a link to it on the Bridge and Tunnel Club blog. B&TC concludes that this story should serve "as a useful reminder to the Parks Department PR machine that some things are better left unpimped."

The story is about a $1.136 million public bathroom in Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge. (To be fair, Owl's Head is a very nice park and significant capital improvements have been made over the last several years.) We'll let the Brooklyn Papers fill in some of the oddly compelling detail about the Big Bucks Head in Owl's Head:
To make our own ceremonial first flush, The Brooklyn Papers sent its top cub reporter to seek comfort in the so-called “comfort station.” After a brief campaign of shock and awe, he declared it a mission accomplished.

Refurbished with a wheelchair ramp and a ventilation system that keeps the air warm and fresh on a cold day, this is one state-of-the-art outhouse.

The structure’s stately brick gives it a Colonial feel, and the natural glow from the skylight adds a nice modern touch.

In fact, it’s such a pleasant comfort station that visitors have been known to seek a lot of comfort. One man, for example, stayed in one of the two stalls for roughly 45 minutes (yes, it’s that clean a bathroom).

He finally came out with a strong endorsement.

“It’s beautiful in there,” he said. “Thank God.”

No, thank City Councilman Vince Gentile (D-Bay Ridge), who pushed the Parks Department to finally finish the $1.1-million project after two years of contractor bungling. The renovation will help to flush memories of past years, when the station was so rank that portable toilets were set up as an alternative.
Well, thank God that problem is solved. You never know when you've have to go in Bay Ridge.


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