Former Facebook president Sean Parker may be almost as disruptive to his New York City neighbors as he was to the California redwoods. A tipster told Valleywag that the outspoken billionaire turned 10th Street in Greenwich Village into a "total clusterfuck" today in order to have Verizon FiOS installed at his $20 million home.
According to the tipster, who provided pictures, bulldozers took the remaining snow cleared from the past few storms and plowed it into the middle of 10th Street in order give Verizon the access it needed to hook up Parker's six bedrooms, 7.5 baths, and indoor pool with faster Internet. The part of 10th Street closer to 6th Avenue featured a sludgey stripe of snow, however the road from Parker's home (in the photo above) toward 5th Avenue (the area with the orange cones below) remained miraculously clear.
I reached out to Parker through Facebook, Founders Fund, as well as his startup Airtime [here is his response]. This evening, Verizon's executive director of media relations told me that John Bonomo, Verizon's representative for the NYC Metro Area, might have the answers. But Bonomo said:
we would never provide any details of a customer's account. — orders, installation, billing, repairs, what services they subscribe to, or otherwise.
When I asked whether FiOS was available on that block and whether Verizon workers had permission to move snow in order to install it, Bonomo responded: "I would not have that information tonight."
If you enter Parker's home into the Verizon FiOS website, it says: "This address already has Verizon service." It also appears as though Parker's family is in town. His wife, Alexandra Lenas, posted public Instagram photos of his daughter, Winter, in Central Park earlier this week.
Commandeering a street so you can make Spotify lists faster is nowhere near as entitled as trampling across a coastal habitat. Either way: From the redwood forests to the Bacchus Houses, this land was made for Sean Parker, not you and me.
Update: A resident on the same block as Parker sent us more photos taken about 20 minutes ago. The neighbor noted that the digging and marks stopped in front of Parker's house. When I asked whether it was for installing FiOS, the resident said, "not sure why else they would be digging up the street and laying entirely new conduit from 5th Ave to only his house."
Update II: A homeowner who lives a few houses down from Parker (I verified the property record) said that the Department of Transportation came to 10th Street around 2.30 p.m. this afternoon to respond to complaints. The homeowner told Valleywag:
I wonder how Verizon, which has yet to fully restore services from the December water main break on 5th Ave. and 13th, can justify having a team of approximately 15 dedicated to bringing one FiOS line to one house? Not unimportantly, they have also misled the block about the project—we were told initially that FiOS was being brought to the block (for general access)— not to a single house. What a waste—why would they do that, I wonder? And Sean Parker's arrogance, indifference to his neighbors knows no limits. For this project cars that were legally parked have been towed, block access has been closed to all traffic (including cars owned by homeowners on the block, the noise has been deafening, for days….the street torn up. How does the city allow this? Will the street, now looking like a Middle East battlefield, be promptly repaired and resurfaced?
The homeowner was certain that FiOS was only being installed in Parker's residence because "the workers themselves tell me that."
"There is no question at all about that point—the line is going straight to his house. If you came to the block you would see the trench leading from Fifth Ave to Sean Parker's house."
Update III: Here is Sean Parker's response.
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