[Marxism] An American tragedy
ernestleif at gmail.com
Sat Jan 25 13:31:34 MST 2014
Soon I'll be starting short documentary portraits of workers, those who
move the city yet remain invisible to the those in our tony neighborhoods.
Any ideas for subjects are of course welcome.
On Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 1:45 PM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> NY Times, Jan. 25 2014
> Bicyclist Killed by a Bus Rose Above Usual Anonymity of Deliverymen in the
> By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS
> Launch media viewer
> Pedro Santiago, 45, was known as a gregarious deliveryman who made friends
> with customers, and sat and read Dostoyevsky and Cervantes in two languages
> during his downtime.
> In life, he was another anonymous bicycle deliveryman who traveled the
> streets of New York City. To many pedestrians he was no more than a
> nuisance, and to his customers, never fast enough.
> In death, he was still anonymous. The news reports identified him only as
> Pedro Santiago, 45, who was riding his bicycle around 1:30 a.m. Sunday,
> when he was struck and killed by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority
> bus on West 125th Street in Harlem. He was one of four people fatally
> struck by vehicles on the city’s streets last weekend, leading a spokesman
> for Mayor Bill de Blasio to declare an “urgent need to make our streets
> Mr. Santiago was among the forgettable faces of the workers in the service
> economy, the person who facilitated the lifestyle that New Yorkers take for
> granted. They cook, they clean. They make it possible for children to grow
> up thinking that when the doorbell rings, it is time to eat.
> “All of us kind of use them a lot,” said Henry Rinehart, the owner of
> Henry’s, a bistro at 105th Street and Broadway, where Mr. Santiago once
> worked, “but they completely fall below the radar of the human scale, and
> Pedro is a really good example of that — educated, smart, very thoughtful.”
> To a close-knit network of waiters, dishwashers, deliverymen, street
> peddlers and restaurant managers up and down the Upper West Side of
> Manhattan, this was not just the anonymous death of an anonymous Pedro. He
> was the gregarious deliveryman who made friends with customers, who sat and
> read Dostoyevsky and Cervantes in two languages during his downtime, who
> sent money back to Mexico to support his family and who took classes at
> Columbia and Hofstra Universities, with the dream of becoming an engineer
> who would build bridges and roads.
> “I think he liked serving food,” Mr. Rinehart said. “Henry’s has a lot of
> repeat customers. He was always very able to connect with people very
> quickly. He was everything you would want in an employee. Very punctual.
> Very thoughtful, very considerate of others.”
> Even after Mr. Santiago moved on to another job — always trying to balance
> his schedule with his continuing education classes — he still went back to
> Henry’s often to say hello.
> About nine years ago, Peter Soter, then the owner of Morningside Bookshop
> near Columbia University, noticed a pudgy, good-humored customer who came
> in every couple of weeks to order books in English and Spanish. “What are
> you going to do with these books?” Mr. Soter asked. “I’m going to read
> them,” Mr. Santiago replied. At the time, Mr. Santiago did not speak
> English well, but Mr. Soter was so impressed that he offered him a job,
> sweeping, delivering books, sometimes helping customers.
> “After working for me for four years, he became like part of the family,”
> Mr. Soter said. “I trusted him with my kids. When I went on vacation, he
> fed my cats, watered my plants.”
> Mr. Santiago, who had lived in the United States for about 17 years, had
> crossed the border from Mexico twice, spending frigid nights in the desert,
> according to his father, Serafin Pedro Santiago. Eventually, he got his
> high school equivalency diploma, friends said.
> Over the years, he bussed tables for Columbia students and professors at
> the old West End bar and delivered cookies late at night for Insomnia
> Cookies, friends said.
> The day after he died, Mr. Santiago was scheduled to start a new job as a
> runner — the person who brings the food to the table — at Amsterdam
> Restaurant and Tapas Lounge at 120th and Amsterdam Avenue, his friend
> Neftali Tapia, a restaurant counterman, said.
> Mr. Santiago rode his bicycle everywhere, even when he was not working,
> stopping often to greet people he knew. It was like a part of him, Mr.
> Tapia said.
> Mr. Santiago was traveling east on 125th Street toward Lenox Avenue on his
> way home to East Harlem, on the driver’s side, near the double yellow line,
> when he was hit by the Bx15, an articulated bus, at 1:26 a.m., the police
> said; he passed the bus as it was pulling away from a stop, and
> “immediately pulled in front.” The police said the driver hit the brakes,
> but the bus hit Mr. Santiago’s rear tire, throwing him to the pavement,
> where he was run over. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Harlem Hospital
> Center. No one was charged or given a ticket.
> Marisa Baldeo, a spokeswoman for the M.T.A., said Thursday that she could
> not provide details of the driver’s record because the accident was still
> under investigation.
> Riding on the left side is the safest way to pass a bus, because the
> cyclist is more visible to the driver and less likely to be squeezed if the
> bus pulls toward the curb, according to Caroline Samponaro, a senior
> director at Transportation Alternatives, which advocates walking, bicycling
> and public transit as opposed to driving.
> “I would do the same thing, to be visible,” she said. “Inevitably, you do
> have to pass buses at times.”
> But the lack of a bike lane on 125th Street and the busy two-way traffic,
> even at night, make it dangerous, Ms. Samponaro said.
> Mr. Rinehart, who worked as a bicycle messenger in his youth, said Mr.
> Santiago had always been concerned about safety. “When there was bad
> weather, he’d say, ‘I’m going to be a little slow,’ ” Mr. Rinehart said.
> Friends are now trying to raise money to send Mr. Santiago’s body back to
> his family in Mexico, where he has parents, two daughters, a son and a
> grandchild, with another on the way. The Mexican consulate has promised
> His friends said Mr. Santiago’s family hoped the M.T.A., as a kindness,
> would pay to ship the body. But Ms. Baldeo said she could not comment on
> “I was told that we couldn’t answer any questions about compensation
> because it’s still under investigation,” she said.
> Send list submissions to: Marxism at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu
> Set your options at: http://greenhouse.economics.utah.edu/mailman/options/
More information about the Marxism