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Shafted! Second Ave. Subway Kicking Upper East Siders Out

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For something that won't even be available for public use until 2617 2017, the Second Avenue Subway sure is messing with the Upper East Side something fierce. The massive construction effort has zero fans among area business owners (those that haven't been driven out of business, of course), and now the Times reports that the apartment dwellers facing forcible relocation due to subway infrastructure construction also have serious gripes with the MTA. Some 60 homes up through 96th Street have to make way for various ugly ventilation shafts, and the MTA is required by law to find comparable housing for the soon-to-be-homeless. Only some of these folks have lived in big rent-stabilized apartments for 40 years, and?shocker?New York City housing is expensive! "They told us to think outside the box," one senior citizen says. So what's the MTA's definition of "outside the box?"

Dave Zigerelli was told to consider low-income housing across from an on-ramp to the Queensboro Bridge. The first apartment shown to Nicolle Poian was half the size of her own. Ann and Conrad Riedi, ensconced in the same rent-stabilized apartment for 40 years, said they were encouraged to move out of Manhattan — and their dog, Biscuit, might not be allowed to come along. That's right: The MTA killed their dog, or something like that. The MTA's spiel is that they don't relocate people outside their current district, but when shown evidence that the agency is trying to do just that, the MTA reversed course and said it wanted to offer as many choices as possible. But for Upper East Siders, those choices aren't good enough. Some Harlem apartments have also been offered, but according to the MTA's spokesman, "No one seemed to be interested." That's right, even in desperate times the Upper East Side still gets its shots in at Harlem.
· Tenants Making Way for Subway Ask: You Want Me to Move Where? [NYT]
· Second Avenue Subway coverage [Curbed]