Friday, March 29, 2013

A day with a baby and a stroller in the city...Part Two!

So, in my previous post I started telling you about our journey to the city with a baby and his stroller. That was only the beginning ...

Once we got to the WTC station and after we traveled all over the station taking elevators, we finally reached the street.
We were so happy to find ramps (curb cuts) on every corner of the city. Well, not every corner, but at least most of them.

Unfortunately, our happiness soon ended when we realized that many of the ramps are not maintained. So, we found them almost impossible to use, there was either water or there were potholes everywhere or there were cars parked in front of them. But you know, it's not so complicated to cross a curb. No big deal, at least not for strollers. I don't know about the handicapped, maybe because in this city there are no handicapped people.

We continued our journey through the city. It was time to change the baby's diaper. Our first thought was to use a McDonald's bathroom. Where I am from, McDonald's are very family friendly, very clean and comfortable. Well, McDonald's in NYC is not the best place to do it, at least not the one we went to.

We decided to go to 42nd. street. Of course the best way to get there at 5.00 pm is by Subway. I have to tell you that before making this decision, we waited almost 1 hour to get a cab. I don't know why, there are hundreds of cabs in NYC, but every time you need one, you never get one.

The subway was another complicated journey. No escalator, no elevator, and the turnstiles are the worst! There are emergency exit doors in many stations, also used for the handicapped, but if you open it by yourself, it sets off an alarm. I had to ask an employee next to one of the doors how to use it.
After we finally reached the other side ... more stairs and more work out for us. Well, the trip back home was again a nightmare. But finally.... we were...Home. Exhausted!!!
To have kids or  to live in this city. The two are incompatible!!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A day with a baby and stroller in the city!

Part One:

I'm the father of a 3 year old boy. The first time we decided to go out and visit the city, he was only a few days old. When I say the city; I mean, "the big City," "The Big Apple,"... NYC. One of the most important city in the world.

So, let's start our journey from the beginning...

Ready to explore the city for the very 1st time!

We live in a very old brownstown in Jersey City, in the area of Hamilton Park. To go to the city, I have to take the Path, which by the way, is really great - very reliable, always on time, and very clean. I have two options, I can take the PATH from Pavonia or I can walk to Grove Street, both are a 10 minutes walk.

We usually like to walk to Grove Street Station. It is a nice walk.
As soon as we get in the entry of the PATH Station, we found that the escalator didn't work, so I took the stroller and carried it down. Once we were downstairs, we realized that the stroller didn't fit through the turnstile. Well, it's good that I am strong men, so we hoisted it again. As soon as we placed it on the floor, a new stair going down appeared. "Where is the escalator???" . Well, dear, there is no escalator, nor elevator, only stairs.

Finally, we get to the train. We took the train to the Work Trade Center site. I knew there was a handicap exit somewhere. I'd read that somewhere before. So we took the elevator at WTC station to the mezzanine level, then we took another elevator to the next level (just a few feet up), and we took another elevator, and finally we took the last elevator to street level.

Four elevators just to get out of the station! At least there are elevators. And it's under construction, so hopefully the new station (by Calatrava) will be accessible for everybody. The NY code requires that every new construction has to comply with ADA requirements.
Already tired of this inaccessible city!

I never realized how complicated it could be to have a child and live in this city. This city is not made for parents with little babies and strollers, nor pregnant women or somebody who broke their leg, old people, nor for people carrying heavy stuff. The city is only for young people, in their fullness of youth, perfectly healthy and athletic.

Thank God, my little boy doesn't use a stroller anymore, so I feel I am part of that group! :-) Other people, keep away from this city!

To be Continued....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Who I am?!

Hi, I’m Jorge Mastropietro.... Architect!

Since I was very young I knew I wanted to be an Architect. Who knows why.
My favorite thing to play was with blocks, like Lego, but not really lego's, because 40 years ago; Lego's didn’t exist in Argentina and thats where I grew up. I also played with wooden blocks and I absolutely loved it. I used to build towers, castles, and lots of houses.

My father was a Structure Engineer and he used to bring home all his drawing paper and I loved using them as the base of my block projects. So, I don’t know if the Architectural blood just naturally runs inside of me or if in deed it was my father who without knowledge, installed in me the idea to be an Engineer. Well, either way I choose to be an Architect!

Being an Architect makes me see life with  a different eye. I walk in the city and I automatically feel the rush of my Architectural blood kicking in. Growing in Buenos, you learn to walk looking up, because you will always find beautiful domes and beautiful cornices on top of the buildings;
but there are also times you feel you can improve the city. A bad design, a bab planning...

I’m not going to tell you my bio, you can see it on our website.

Now, I’m here working with a beautiful group of people, in which together we want to do something special for the space which is going to be occupied by people.

Welcome to our blog. Hope you enjoy it!