best place to realize the city's budget crisis is no joke (2008)

MUNICIPAL BUILDING JUST OFF UNION SQUARE

The City of New York has made poverty an unattractive career option by funneling applicants for food stamps and other public assistance through the hulking MUNICIPAL BUILDING JUST OFF UNION SQUARE. A trip through the maze of institutional-beige hallways reveals the city's cash crunch in depressing detail: falling ceiling tiles, peeling linoleum, twisted vertical blinds, and maddeningly erratic fluorescent lights. This place proves being poor—whether you're a city or a citizen—is no fun.