Monday, August 10, 2009

*Everyday Chatter

"New Yorkers who incessantly gripe about gentrification have become as grating as the near-constant noise of luxury condo construction... But David Freeland's affectionate, detail-packed tome...adds a lyrical song to the cacophony." [TONY] Freeland talks 8/11 at the Tenement Museum.

You could live in Langston Hughes' Harlem brownstone--hey, it's a buyer's market. [GLF]

On the enduring question "Is a Barton gym better or worse than a Barnes & Noble?" The Post chimes in, "Locals who complained about the closing of the enormous Barnes & Noble formerly occupying this space might note: While a bookstore is very East Village in theory, a 700-plus-store national chain that displaces ma and pa bookstores is not... online retailers that are hurting bookstores have made gyms 'the new town square.'" [EVG]

Does this Store for Rent sign mean the EV Tasti-D has become a casualty of the bloody fro-yo wars? Across the avenue, will "16 Hindles," with its massive "16,000 cups" trash attack, reign victorious?

Check out the Glitz & Grime of old (and new) Times Square. [Gothamist]

The storefronts of NYC, as seen by James and Karla Murray, are restored to life-size and covered in graffiti art at MOM & POPism. Open to the public 8/15. [UIP]

Discover what is "so stinking special" about Knickerbocker Village. [ParisB]

Here's an excellent suggestion for Coney redevelopment: "Go totally nostalgic. Re-create Luna Park and/or Dreamland and Steeplechase Park. Build them the way they looked in their heyday." [Ex]


KnicksBasketballNY said...

Discover what is "so stinking special" about Knickerbocker Village.

Obviously, the name alone makes it special.

L'Emmerdeur said...

Jeremiah, I've been thinking about your comment in your previous post about the new David Barton.

I agree about lamenting the death of books, but as one who has spent the last couple of years trying to recover from two decades of living a very unhealthy lifestyle, I'd say any gym that gets even a handful of people to start working out and get healthier is a positive development.

And if the only way to get people a bit healthier is to trick them by appealing to their need to be more "fuckable", well, that's not the worst motivation in the world - and it's certainly quite core to our existence as mammals.

I know that a gym, especially an over-the-top gym preying on peoples' narcissism and vanity, isn't exactly a step forward for the culture of this city. You cannot, however, expect the "right" retail to open and hope it will attract the Dorothy Parkers of the world to move back to New York. It just doesn't work that way.

This deculturing is a global phenomenon. My father was complaining that he has no interest to stay at our summer home in his hometown (on a Greek island in the Ionian Sea). Twenty years ago, he would stroll the main strip, run into friends, and spend the evening eating, drinking and talking about politics, history, old times (they lived through world and civil wars, and dictatorships), just about every topic under the sun. These days, he runs into some of the same folks, and all they talk about is fucking real estate and celebrity gossip.

Remind you of something?

Anonymous said...

Times Square is definitely getting worse again. I was there Saturday night and it was packed with street walkers and wiseguys with gold necklaces the size of jump ropes. Looked like a scene out of the 80's.

This was near Laces/McDonald's area.

The cops were posted on 6th ave and all of the shady activity was on 7th and 46th/46th.

It was so bad there were no tourist within a 5 block radius.

Not sure if this is a start of grime again or if it's temporary.

Anonymous said...

David Barton Gym is definitely worse than Barnes & Noble. At Barnes & Noble there was a New York section, people could learn about NYC. David Barton Gym scares the living hell out of me. I wonder what really goes on in that place behind closed doors.

It seems as if some crazy orgy party goes on judging from their sickening ads.

I would much rather have a New York Sports Club than one of those perverted places for yuppies.

Jeremiah Moss said...

exercise is a good thing.

i think we're seeing the result of 50-odd years of unbridled and very clever advertising. our reptilian brains have been repeatedly overstimulated for the profit of others.

a little reptilian stimulation's not a bad thing. but too much of it leaves our culture close to brain-dead.

L'Emmerdeur said...

Agreed. If there's one thing we can learn (or teach) here, that is everything in moderation. When we sacrifice certain aspects of everyday life wholesale, we become uni-dimensional zombies, bored and neurotic, eventually resorting to pills and hyperstimulation.

After all this years of seeing the pendulum swing one way, I am still a firm believer that it will swing back around - and we are seeing the first inkling of this reversal right now.

pwlsax said...

"Here's an excellent suggestion for Coney redevelopment: "Go totally nostalgic. Re-create Luna Park and/or Dreamland and Steeplechase Park. Build them the way they looked in their heyday."

What a great idea. But that's not what the anti-gentrificationists are nostalgic for. They're too young. Authentic to them means "redone, then rundown."