Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Glassing West Chelsea

Now and then, I like to take a walk through way west Chelsea and see how things are progressing in the massive condofication that's going on. Every time I go, they're more enormous, more glassy, more metallic, just more, more, more.

chelsea modern

The Chelsea Modern on 18th is completely glassed, with crazy windows that pop straight out on springy suspension devices--perfect for losing cats or small dogs who like to sit on windowsills. Its neighbor, 459 18th, which was but a little sprout until very recently, looks completed, too. They grow up so fast, don't they?

We talk about New York changing, and we all know that the city is always evolving, but today it mutates like a cockroach, its DNA radically altering itself from month to month. At this rate, how long will it take for every block to be encased in glass?

459 and modern

Nouvel Chelsea has taken shape, towering, undulating, and accompanied by a big swaying crane. The L-shaped 245 10th, with its wobbly-looking beams, has wrapped itself territorially around the Lukoil gas station, and now has a scant skin of pockmarked metal and glass on its ass, just where it kisses the Highline behind it. We'll see these finished by the fall, no doubt.

nouvel chelsea

245 10th

Finally, HL23 has birthed a sales office--well, they call it a "Sales Tin"--tucked under the Highline, complete with neon lights and bamboo shoots for enticing buyers.

It's not news that the whole neighborhood around the Highline is being hurriedly buffed and built up in a construction frenzy for uber-rich investors to enjoy, at least occasionally, when they come to town. But recent reports show there might be a bit of trouble in paradise. Seems some ruffians have been abusing Vespas and putting garbage onto the hoods of cars. Head for the hills!

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