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Prohibition Gets Its Revenge on West Village's Bedford Street

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Our Scaffolding Nightmare Investigative Patrol of Persistent Youngsters (S.N.I.P.P.Y.), aka Curbed interns, is bringing light to the darkest underbellies of unsightly construction. Got a scaffolding nightmare that needs investigating? Drop us a line at

Reader report: "The West Village scaffolding nightmare is on Barrow at Bedford and seems to be sheathing a corner building the locals are saying once housed a speakeasy called Chumley's. I moved to NYC 3 years ago and it has been there the whole time and looks like it will be at least another 3 years before renovations are done. It is ruining a beautiful corner and is surrounded on the Bedford side by a row of offensive orange plastic barriers which make for a convenient place to squat behind at night when the need arises. EEUUW! With $3500 rent for a 1 bdrm, who needs this shit messin' up da hood?"

S.N.I.P.P.Y. sez: The process of gutting and remodeling iconic neighborhood speakeasy Chumley's has been fraught with delays since the tragic chimney collapse at 86 Bedford Street a few years back. Now this once quiet corner of the West Village is truly a scaffolding nightmare, one that might last for another three years. At least the full dumpster means work is in progress?

As you approach the target of our investigation, the usual sense of tranquility that characterizes the narrow West Village streets suddenly disappears. At first, the renovations going on at 82-86 Bedford Street seem like any other construction project. However, upon closer look the nightmare fully comes to life...

The sidewalk has been swallowed up, forcing West Village fashionistas and that one guy in the white into the street, protected only by a temporary barrier that totally clashes with everything.

We're sure that the combination of the traffic barrier, permanent dumpster and cars parked on the other side of the street lead to traffic jams like the one we happened upon in the few minutes we were over there:

A large truck on Bedford Street was unable to squeeze past the mess, causing a 5+ car backup and effectively shutting down the entire street for 10 minutes while all of the cars had to back up and go around. Scaffolding nightmare, meet traffic nightmare! And then there's the sad state of dear old Chumley's.

After taking this picture through an open door to get a better look, two construction workers began heckling S.N.I.P.P.Y. and asking questions. One rudely asked if S.N.I.P.P.Y. was from the Department of Buildings or Labor or something, and the other suggested that people should get used to the construction because it isn't going to end anytime soon. And from the looks of the photo above, we believe him.

On the Nightmare Index, this one's a bed-wetting shitshow: 4/5 Kruegers!

?S.N.I.P.P.Y. field investigation conducted by Blake Peterson
· Scaffolding Nightmares [Curbed]