On a normal weekend in Williamsburg, with the L subway line running on schedule, several hundred people might visit artMovingProjects if it has a popular exhibit. But when the L train is shut down, owner Aron Namenwirth said he's lucky if 10 local artists show up.
But such is life along the L line. For the last three years, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been modernizing the line so that it can someday accommodate a higher capacity. In order to do the work, the MTA often shuts down the line on the weekends. Since January 1 of this year, the L line has been closed on four weekends out of nine. It's a situation that hits Williamsburg art galleries especially hard: Most are only open Friday through Sunday.A co-owner of Schroeder Romero gallery, which recently packed up and moved to Chelsea, said her gallery was losing about $10,000 a year because of weekend disruptions on the L line when it was located in Williamsburg. The neighborhood is known for its upstart art scene, but the problem also affects the bars, restaurants, and shops that usually do their best business on weekend nights.
The MTA originally promised to be finished by June 2005. The current estimate from them is June 2006.