As government shuts down, New Yorkers and tourists peeved
New Yorkers and tourists alike were disrupted by the government shutdown yesterday, as national parks, some government buildings and services, tourist attractions and more were shuttered while Congress continues to feud over a plan to reopen the government.
The Statue of Liberty was closed, forcing sightseers to make other plans or settle for lesser views of the icon, and some New Yorkers looking for help from Social Security were out of luck.
"We were really disappointed. [Congress] was stupid," said Chelsea Griffo, 28, of Austin, Texas, who wanted to see the Statue of Liberty. "It's one of the major sites to see in the city, especially if you're an American!"
Various federal agency offices and programs were closed or scaled back services, including the city's Social Security field offices, which were open only for limited duties and were not supplying or reissuing Social Security cards.
"For me, this is a big problem: If I can't get a Social Security number, I don't know if they will keep me at work. I took the day off from work to do this," said Diaby Karamba, 22, here on a visa from Paris who was applying for a Social Security number. "Now I'll have to take another day off," Karamba said.
The city seemed more annoyed than anything about the shutdown.
"Any closure of our national parks would be disappointing to some travelers, but we do not foresee it creating a major impact on New York City tourism," said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, the city's tourism agency.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't comment on the shutdown Tuesday, but had said it makes the U.S. look like a "third world country."
With Ivan Pereira