Friday, December 18, 2009

*Everyday Chatter

The ever-wonderful and endangered Skyline Books is having a 50% off All Books sale. Check them out--before they're gone, too:


Searching for Gatsby's Valley of Ashes among the garages of Willets Point's Iron Triangle. [Architakes]

Fabulous 1970s photos of NYC. [FP]

At Anthology, "Who Killed Teddy Bear" is "a peepshow record of a now-vanished New York City." Coming in January.

Miss G Train crowned. [McB]

Frank Gehry on urban planning: "Look, I went to city planning school at Harvard and I discovered that you never got to change a fucking thing or do anything. Urban planning is dead in the US." via [Curbed]

A good review for the East River String Band. [SG]

"Bike Bag of Piss" is not something you see every day. [BB]

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah,
Having been raised in the 70s, I too am a fan of photos images of New York from that period. But there's so much nostalgia for the 70s and 80s on your blog as though you imagine this hyper-gentrification actually swallowed up NYC 20-30 years ago. Are you a crotchety old man or a culturaly relavant critic?

Yes I know that New York's gentrification seeds were planted in the late 80s, but really things only got out of hand about 10 years ago. How about some photos/blogging of the 90s? NYC was still "NYC" then -- gritty and creative and full of energy. Bringing up anything from that very recent past as opposed to fetishising the city 30 years ago would really drive home the point of how much this once unique place has changed so rapidly.

Jeremiah Moss said...

well, definitely crotchety, not sure if i have any cultural relevance. one can only hope.

you're right about the past decade being phenomenally destructive. i have posted some 90s photos--check them out here:

http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2009/09/times-square-90s.html

but Alex in NYC is the king of 90s pics:

http://vassifer.blogs.com/alexinnyc/2009/11/then-now-astor-place-st-marks-place-the-bowery-beyond-edition.html

Philip said...

He kinda has a point there on the 90's, though I def. have seen 90's stuff linked to here.

While the high school era for me and my friends ('88 to '92) was probably the rawest in my experience--being too young to really feel the craziness of mid-to-late 1970's, the 1990's in general still had so much to offer.

Even though it was Giuliani Time (ugh) during the 90's, I don't think you start seeing the extreme entitlement of yunnie types until the early 2000's. Even the sometimes-annoying Internet Boom carpetbaggers at least seemed to come with the intention of blending in. These days, people are trying to mold the city to reflect their suburban edge city banality.

But that 70's photo album is the bomb.

Side Note: The link to the Frank Gehry bit was funny! In addition to "star-chitect," I suggest a moratorium on the following in 2010: Staycation, frenemy, bromance, "SoBro", personal brand...

Ed said...

I have to agree with Anonymous and Philip. The attitude I often see here and on other blogs (notably EV Grieve) that someone flipped a switch in 1978 and turned off the New York scene puzzles me. In my experience the switch was flipped in early 2004 (a few months after the blackout).

There is a much bigger difference between 2004 and 1994 than between 1994 and 1984. The yunnies didn't really start to show up until after 2001. The 1980s and 1990s yuppies were never as bad in terms of their effect on the urban fabric, and anyway were confined to a few neighborhoods, they didn't spread out everywhere in southern Manhattan and northern Brooklyn.

I don't remember not being able to cross a street when I had a green light, or not being able to board a subway, because of someone suddenly just stopping and standing there in the 1990s. This is probably the most infuriating thing about city of the zeros to me.

I happen to have left New York for about a year and come back a few times this decade, and every time I return I notice changes that people who have stayed here don't necessarily catch on to because they happen gradually. After being away for 2008, which I noticed in 2009 is how stressed out and unhealthy most people I passed looked, even by New York standards. New Yorkers always looked more stressed out and unhealthy than people elsewhere, but now to mean it seems particularly noticeable.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i totally agree. though i'm not sure where folks are getting this idea that i ignore the 90s.

i've said here many times that 9/11 gave a big boost to a problem that started in earnest with Giuliani in the 90s. after 9/11, the hyper-gentrification got extreme.

in the 90s, people fought against it. in the 2000s, they gave up and drank mojitos. or something.

Ed said...

It would be nice to have a discussion about what caused the hypergentrification. I'm leaning now to the view that it is a symptom of stratification of wealth. The middle class disappears, there are more rich people and poor people, and what you have left is a bunch of super-affluent neighborhoods, and poorer neighborhoods mainly in the outer boroughs. This implies that artists and bohemianism in general is a middle class phenomenon, but I happen to think it is.

There are middle class neighborhoods in New York, but now they tend to be in places where the city boundaries happen to take in part of the suburbs (I'm thinking of Staten Island and eastern Queens). In Manhattan its as if someone xeroxed several copies of the Upper East Side. Actually I never had much problem with the Upper East Side when there was just one of them.

Philip said...

Admittedly, they aren't a bad drink, but don't tell anybody I said that ;-)

Actually, with the Plantation mentality deluge of the last decade, they should be switching from mojitos to mint juleps.

It's not the drink itself, if you think about it (Hemingway drank mojitos, after all). It's just picturing some pink-shirted popped-collar fool ordering it in his fratty fake Spanish accent. They've turned our great city into Senor Frog's!

But I digress. Just wanted to pop in again and say:

We gotcha back, JM. I fully concede that you've given each era its deserved props.

Gaziano said...

In 100 years, I believe social scientists will view your blog as a treasure trove of core content about New York’s history, sociology, architecture, economics, political science, and ultimate destruction, and ask, “What the hell… ?”

Jeremiah Moss said...

Philip, so true about mojitos. we mustn't blame the drink--i like them myself. thanks for having my back. and thanks Graziano--do you think the internet will still be here in 100 years? what happens to all this digital content? it can't sit preserved on a library shelf for a century. anyway, now i digress...

Anonymous said...

Bad news, Jeremiah. Talked to a clerk at Skyline last night and he confirmed my worst fears. Closing up shop in Feb.