Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Coop Car Party

Last night, while the East Fifth Street Block Association held a neighborhood meeting to air grievances about the Cooper Square Hotel and its noise (see Grieve for the inside scoop), the hotel had a party of its own. Right across the street from the senior citizens' home where the community meeting was held, the hotel hosted an invitation-only product launch, the unveiling of Aston Martin's DBS Volante Convertible.



A fleet of four Aston Martins were parked and floodlit along the Bowery. Another sat dissected on the Coop's frontage, revealing its carbon-fiber bone structure. And a sixth convertible lay bathed in bright light on Fifth Street. Each car goes for about $285,000.

I asked a worker at the party if it was a charity auction. He laughed, "Charity? There's no charity at the Cooper Square Hotel."



As the disenfranchised neighbors stepped out of the senior center to continue their discussion on the sidewalk, airing their frustrations about the hotel, the music from the party poured over them. Limousines and Hummers disgorged slick-haired swells. Partiers flowed out of the packed outdoor patio and stood on the sidewalk smoking, sipping champagne, shouting into cell phones.

As one of the upstairs neighbors wrote to me, "Every once in a while, young women shriek in unison. Some idiot brought an air horn."

Noise pollution? What noise pollution?



Meanwhile, indifferent to it all, a powdery silver Aston Martin beamed and glinted. Men in swanky suits and long-legged women climbed inside. They stroked the sumptuous leather. They moaned with pleasure. They imagined feeling the wind in their hair.


See also:
Notes from the Backside 1, 2, and 3

34 comments:

EV Grieve said...

Ah, the Coop knows how to build long-lasting community relations!

I thought my head was going to explode when I saw this after the meting.

Anonymous said...

The meeting was exhausting, infuriating. Matt Moss is devoid of charm, diplomacy, social skills. One wonders how one earth he presides over such galas. He wouldn't even say he would stop guests from drinking IN FRONT of the hotel, which is in violation of his liquor license laws. He made ZERO concessions, showed no sympathy, and the residents at times devolved into fighting one another and telling irrelevant personal stories about other buildings and establishments that didn't illustrate the point.

Everyone agreed Sasha Petraske is a model for a perfect bar neighbor, including the block association head. Ironic that his Mercury Dime on 5th has been denied a wine/beer license while the hotel has "more outdoor space than any hotel in NYC" and several licenses? It was kind of ridiculous.

Bowery Boogie said...

I'm confident that if we keep speaking in unison, we will change their policies.

Anonymous said...

once day these yunnies will get old and die. one day the AM's status symbol won't have the gas to run them anymore and they will return to the earth a toxic waste.
One day, very soon, food will be more valuable than these symbols of wontan greed and stupidity.
In the mean time, these people and their rediculous wants, continue to live their shallow lives on the backs and off the sweat of others.
Mortals are so amusing, they think just because they are "rich" they will live forever. They will gasp in their final moments and realize the futility of it all and it's then and only then, we the breathing, we the caring, we the toiling, will get our reward. Knowing on a cosmic level, they p*ssed away their lives in the persuit of nothing.
It's not peace and quiet anymore, it's piece of quiet.

Goggla said...

I walked past this spectacle last night and just couldn't believe it...for something so obnoxious to be taking place within sight of the meeting about neighborly relations takes a lot of gall...

Why doesn't the hotel do something trendy like the New Museum and put a giant illuminated rainbow sign over their door that says "F*ck You!"

Anonymous said...

Where is Patrick Bateman?

Anonymous said...

As a frequent visitor of the Coop and as someone who was at the Aston Martin private unveiling, I think you all need to find something more productive to do with your lives.

"once day these yunnies will get old and die. one day the AM's status symbol won't have the gas to run them anymore and they will return to the earth a toxic waste."

We will ALL get old and die, but in the meantime, I'll have access to private parties, live in luxury buildings, have fun and buzz by you in my Aston Martin on a daily basis. Some people have it, some don't. Darwinism at its finest.

Let us party and have fun - after all, the top 1% pays most most of the city and country's taxes.

You grouchy, bitter, community boards don't like us because you're jealous.

Sempion said...

As a frequent commenter on this site, and admittedly a non-resident of the area in question, I have to say that your comment does manage to raise a point; in spite of the fact that it wreaks of indifference and narcissism, people who are effected by this issue should be more careful to stick to the "issue", and not engage anymore effort than is necessary to involve the clientele and their lifestyles who frequent the "Coop".

Whether or not jealousy enters into the picture is subject to each individual, and isn't relevant to what's actually happening here. To use that as a point of entry is equally as useless as lambasting the lifestyle of the "yunnies".

Agitated Dread said...

WOW... okay, that does it. just cause of this "Darwinist Douchebag" Im pullin out the bleach waterguns and piss filled water baloons and takin it back to the old days. Yuppie beware...

Willow said...

hahahahahahaha!

Oh, you nouveau riche and your delusions!

We don't like you because you're ignorant, materialistic assholes who seem to lack souls, not to mention any form of common decency toward fellow human beings - not because we're jealous.

You live a life of spectacle on the backs of other people, to the detriment of other people, and you aren't even aware of it.

I would say head-shaking disbelief and pity are more along the lines of what I feel...not jealousy.

Willow said...

I'd like to add that critiqueing excessively materialistic lifestyles and the effects they have on other people/communities/the planet is not useless. Far from it. In fact, more of this critique is necessary as a balancing counterpoint to the consumer capitalism and manufactured desires stuffed down our throats on a daily basis.

The End.

Jeremiah Moss said...

"they're just jealous" is an interesting phrase, often used by mothers to soothe a child's wounded narcissism, it can lead to an overinflated but fragile grandiosity and discounts other, important feelings.

i do think some envy is inevitable in these situations, but it's not the whole story. certain segments of the "haves" behave in a very aggressive way toward the "have nots," inspiring not "just jealous" feelings, but righteous anger as well.

for both the wounded and the wounding, "just jealous" reduces a complex situation to meaninglessness. it is not a valid argument.

Sempion said...

I'd like to add that when I wrote about not engaging in critiques about the yunnie lifestyles of the temporarily rich and famous, that my intention was to point out that it doesn't serve this particular problem very well in terms of a resolve. In terms of the bigger picture? Well, that's a different discussion. Just wanted to be clear.

Willow said...

It's true that some people may envy this lifestyle. A lot of blue collar people dream of living like this. But I really don't. It's not a front. Once you see through it and see the misery this inflated BS is built on...it just doesn't have appeal.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i admit to envy, but not of this lifestyle, which feels grotesque in its excessiveness and conspicuous desperation.

i envy the power that comes with financial comfort, the freedom from money worries, from worrying about when my rent reaches a certain level i may need to leave the city.

i envy people who have more space and more free time than i do. and i imagine more money could give me that. so, for me, there is envy.

but there is more. in the bigger picture, the culture depicted here, and its values, has proven itself to be deeply destructive in many ways. so i see it as an aggressive, malicious force in the world.

BaHa said...

Envy those whose life revolves around who has what, and the opening of the next hot club? I think not. The one whom I envy is the younger me, who lived in a neighborhood spilling over with art, music, and ideas. Perhaps I would have appreciated it more had I known it would come to such a grotesque end, teetering on high heels whilst stuffing its insatiable maw with froyo and cupcakes.

Willow said...

I see what you mean. I think most people desire those conditions, to be sure.

Also agreed that staying on topic is the best way to go. The topic is the noise problem. It's the important thing.

Anonymous said...

ahhh, people who feel the need to show off material goods and zoom by in nice fancy cars are just making up for things money can't buy -- like how their daddies never came home for dinner or how their uncles once touched their privates.

people with real power and tons of money are often respected because they never feel the need to show off -- they are confident, practical, secure in their success. they point and laugh at the shrieking masses: those sad silly fake-tanned, botox-ed, coked up, brainless twits. keep partying loud, i'll keep laughing at you as i snuggle with my brilliant husband and our beautiful daughters, as our private jet whisks us off for a well-deserved vacation.

Goggla said...

Sure, there are the haves and have-nots, but in this case, I don't think that's the issue. It comes down to simple respect and courtesy.

This hotel has thumbed its nose at the community from Day One. If they'd demonstrated any empathy or tried to work with the neighborhood at all, it wouldn't be so reviled.

Why not just encase the patios in sound-proof glass?

Willow said...

I think it helps to remember that there are many forms of power not linked to money.

The ability to not be bought is huge. And to keep speaking up when you know you should. That's what changes things, I think. Outlasting them. It freaks the hell out of the people whose only power is money. They can push people around, but they never truly overcome that spirit.

It also helps me not to equate value with money, self-worth with money. This blog is a perfect example of the difference between what is valuable and what is profitable. Not the same thing, in most cases, these days.

Also with work...many of us do work that is not monetarily valued as highly as it should be. And we do it because we know it has to be done. It's the right thing to do, and it falls to us. There is definite value and power in that.

But doing that largely unpaid work definitely does wear a person down at times.

Ed said...

If I had the sort of money Anonymous (4) is talking about, I wouldn't be living in New York. There simply are several more interesting cities to live in at this point, if you had the money where you could move anywhere (if you have to work for a living, you are pretty much tied to your job).

I certainly wouldn't be going to an "Aston Martin party", whatever that is.

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, one of the stipulations of the hotel liquor license is, that given its proximity to to an assisted living facility and residential apartment building, the garden is to be "a quiet gathering place for patrons and guests." Last night's event brought enough complaints to bring in the police. When residents went to inquire for the hotel manager as recommended by Matt Moss at the meeting, she was "unavailable."

Jeremiah Moss said...

you're right, willow, there are many kinds of power. as i've gotten older, i've come to value money more than i used to. earning money, saving it, and spending it can all be empowering acts. it's when the emphasis on money becomes excessive, when it is valued above all else, loved fetishistically and unquestioningly, that we have problems. but not valuing money also leads to problems.

i wrote more about this in my post on "thrift":
http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2008/07/thrift.html

Anonymous said...

Ed said...
"If I had the sort of money Anonymous (4) is talking about, I wouldn't be living in New York. There simply are several more interesting cities to live in at this point"

Honestly curious, which cities would you put on the list?

Anonymous said...

One more point in the "they're just jealous" discussion. The (extreme) envy of others is necessary to the narcisstic lifestlye promoted by cooper square hotel and its' evil cousins (les thompson). People like anon #4 become especially virulent when others are unimpressed by their material possesions and worse, have no desire imitate their lives. The idea that people have inner lives and outer lives that don't depend on having bigger and more expensive things and the constant external validation of others, is something that, ironically, that they envy themselves.

Ed said...

"Honestly curious, which cities would you put on the list?"

I'll suggest Berlin, Istambul, Shanghai, Tokyo, Rio (substitute Sao Paolo if you want something faster paced), maybe Madrid as more interesting places right now. Though I'm probably giving the developing world short shrift.

New York is still the largest city in the US, so there is really no place that has stepped up and replaced New York culturally. But because of the high rents, NY has become a place that musicians and artists come to after they've found success elsewhere.

The main industry here is being the financial center of the US. Not good positioning for the future.

If you are a douchebag, maybe London, Dubai, Miami, and Moscow are more cutting edge in terms of douchebaggery.

Rx said...

All of us who managed to remain employed throughout this financial meltdown probably work just as long and hard as douchebag #4. Though we're probably not compensated nearly as well. To make the kind of money it would require, Jeremiah, to alleviate the anxiety you feel from not having enough of it, is likely more of a burden than you might wish. Such is the nature of having been born in a soul-sucking, mind-numbing economic system as this one. Where one's every moment is spent struggling to make a dollar, and hoping to be able to sustain that deadening, though necessary, activity.

Douchebag #4 gave up his soul long ago, if he ever considered the possibility he may have possessed one in the first place. So he has no idea how empty he has become, because, for him, life's a party! The distraction is enough. And will be until he dies.

"In an industrial society which confuses work and productivity, the necessity of producing has always been an enemy of the desire to create."~ Raoul Vaneigem

Anonymous said...

Uh..."if you're a douchebag, then maybe London, Dubai, or Miami, etc." At the risk of appearing self-conscious, what exactly would be "douchbaggery" consist of in your opinion?

Ed said...

Sorry, the douchebaggery comment was a joke. But I suppose if you would define the term it would consist of absolutely mindless activity, done in a way to inconvenience as many innocent bystanders as possible, combined with irritating smugness, a good deal of selfishness, and a complete absence of taste.

Think of a big black SUV driven by someone talking on his or her (usually his) cellphone, turning a corner at over 50 MPH, nearly hitting some pedestrian who has the light and is trying to cross the street.

Or three people walking three abrest in Midtown with bags filled with stuff they just bought, at a pace where people behind them have to do the moonwalk to keep from running into them.

Or a loud party in a residential area focused on a series of movies that was last good about forty years ago, while the spokesman for the hotel is in a sort of gym fielding complaints from the people who live in the area about the noise from the hotel.

Anonymous said...

That would indeed explain douchebaggery if ever there was an explanation-- brilliant.

Anonymous said...

When I wrote:

once day these yunnies will get old and die. one day the AM's status symbol won't have the gas to run them anymore and they will return to the earth a toxic waste.
One day, very soon, food will be more valuable than these symbols of wontan greed and stupidity.
In the mean time, these people and their rediculous wants, continue to live their shallow lives on the backs and off the sweat of others.
Mortals are so amusing, they think just because they are "rich" they will live forever. They will gasp in their final moments and realize the futility of it all and it's then and only then, we the breathing, we the caring, we the toiling, will get our reward. Knowing on a cosmic level, they p*ssed away their lives in the persuit of nothing.
It's not peace and quiet anymore, it's piece of quiet.

I was neither jealous nor am I envious. I was just pointing out the obvious. That the assumed rich, certainly not the wealthy, build their existance upon a massive support system. And that system is only as strong as their character. And since they are weak in character, as pointed out by the few comments on here defending they yunnie ways, they are teetering on the edge of ruin. They like to lie to themselves and call it the truth. Hey, what ever gets them through the night, but at some point, in their empty lives of faux charades, they will need these same systems that currently support them, to actually help them. And where will those people be? Moving on. Like the profit Ralph Gramdon once said, "when you climb up the ladder of success, the people you meet on the way up are the same people you meet on the way down".
So yunnies, please, by all meens, keep p*ssing on the poor, you will join them soon enough.

Anonymous said...

If I had the sort of money Anonymous (4) is talking about, I wouldn't be living in New York. There simply are several more interesting cities to live in at this point, if you had the money where you could move anywhere (if you have to work for a living, you are pretty much tied to your job).

June 3, 2009 11:09 PM

____

LMAO @ "more interesting cities than NYC". Where? Portland? Knoxville? Orlando? Wait, to people like you "interesting" probably means decay. Detroit?

Stop lying to yourself and face the reality - interesting people with $$, such as myself, people who want the best like and want to be in New York and it would be of immense help if you finally give up this anti-development, anti-money, anti-fabulous bs and leave us "yunnies" or "yuppes" alone.

And FYI, you would do much better if you left New York all together since cost of living in other cities is significantly lower than New York. Don't worry, New York is not the only city where people work. You can eaily find a job elsewhere.



__
I certainly wouldn't be going to an "Aston Martin party", whatever that is
__

Of course not, you'd be at Toyota.

That's all.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand this anti-wealth sentiment on this blog.

Since when was it a crime to be wealthy and like good things (i.e. ASTON MARTIN, fashion, travel, etc?

How DARE I prefer the comfort of a new luxury building to a dingy walk-up on the LES? I must be another soulless yuppie!

I must be soulless, since I buy $1,000 shoes, party, travel, shop, work, shop, party, travel, work, shop, party.

I work hard and I like to pamper myself. Get over it and stop being jealous. Not everyone wants to live a low class lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

I'll suggest Berlin, Istambul, Shanghai, Tokyo, Rio (substitute Sao Paolo if you want something faster paced), maybe Madrid
_

So basically, you would prefer to live a third world lifestyle.

Yuck. Sorry.