From a New York Times column explaining why it has taken so long for the Bridge Cafe, a Lower Manhattan restaurant, to reopen after Hurricane Sandy:
Mr. Weprin confessed that part of the delay in reopening was because of his own obstinacy about getting building permits. He refused at first to hire an expediter, a person to climb the chutes and ladders at the Department of Buildings. "I called, she said $8,000, I went berserk," he said. He tried to do it himself but found himself nowhere after a month. The expediter cut a deal with him to do it for $1,200. Work is now under way.
I guess one way to interpret this is as Mr. Weprin's "obstinacy," but another way to look at it is as New York City's inability, even after nearly 12 years of Mayor Bloomberg's supposedly tech-savvy and incorruptible administration, to make it possible for a restaurant owner to repair his own flood-damaged restaurant without spending thousands of dollars on an "expediter" to navigate the city bureaucracy. It's outrageous.