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Occupy Wall Street' protesters are a headache for Main Street


HuffPo reports (emphases mine):

Zuccotti Park is more of a granite-clad pedestrian plaza than a park. On a normal weekday, pre-protest, the area would be crowded with "suits" eating their lunches or drinking their coffees, courtesy of the nearby food trucks, sandwich shops and pizzerias. Today, it's difficult to navigate the area moving north to south, as pedestrians and onlookers encounter human roadblocks once they hit the Liberty Street and Broadway intersection. Double-decker tour buses roll by the park to allow patrons to snap pictures of a "real New York City protest," while clogging crosswalks and slowing traffic. These days, the sidewalks opposite the park are empty except for camera crews setting up their shots, and the few people walking by have their backs to the businesses, their eyes fixed on the growing commotion across the street.

For Tzortzatos, the "occupation" has resulted not just in a loss in business. "I've had a lot of damage from the protesters," she said. "I've had to put a $200 lock on my bathroom because they come in here and try to bathe. The sink fell down to the ground, cracked open, pulled the plumbing out of the wall and caused a flood. It's a no-win situation. If I open the restroom for one, 30 people line up outside, disrupting my business."

A manager at the nearby Essex World Cafe -- who asked to remain anonymous -- shared similar complaints. Referring to three young men waiting at the end of the counter, he explained, "They want to use the toilet, the phones, we give them free water and free ice. They sit here and don't buy anything, but they recharge their phone batteries with our plugs, and I tell them, 'Hey, if you guys are going to come, I need to do some business here. We are suffering, too!' And then they start with their own words, going against you." The three young men eventually left the cafe, each carrying large containers the staff had filled with hot and cold water for them.

This manager also cited damages, including graffiti on his restroom walls. "For eight and a half years, there was nothing on those walls," he said. "Now it says 'Viva la Revolucion' everywhere. Yes, 'Viva la Revolucion,' but don't write it on my toilet. I let you use my facilities without being a customer and this is what I get?"

Mayor Bloomberg should ask himself: WWRD -- What would Rudy [Giuliani] do?

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