Friday, February 11, 2011

Schizo New York

There is a split in the city. A schism. It's often expressed architecturally--the war between old and new, the radical shift, the loss of bricks to glass and sheen.



They get rammed together, cheek by jowl.



A sleek high-rise hotel abuts a tenement.



One half of a synagogue is smashed and sheathed in glass for a new boutique that only sells things in white.



A condo's cock-eyed balconies cast their shadows on rusted fire escapes.



More are coming. Every day.



Lines are being drawn. Down the middle.



In the end, which side will survive?





16 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I might not like all the new buildings, the mix of old and new is one of the things that makes New York exciting and vital. It's not simply a matter of one or the other. A city that is entirely old stagnates while a city that is entirely new is unable to support diversity.

Marco said...

Both sides, hopefully. I don't think that you can one without the other. Though I could be all wrong here, as I have been known to be in the past.

Ken Mac said...

excellent collection

Bowery Boogie said...

Great post. The glass pods are taking over.

Trn said...

While I love the older architecture of New York, a lot of the buildings are very old and eventually become beyond repair. It's too bad most of the new buildings are hotels or condos, but it's interesting to think what the skyline will look like 100 years from now.

NYCDALE01 said...

Society changes as well as it's surroundings. But at some point it needs to be stopped. Should we just erase and replace Paris, Rome, Machu Picchu, Egyptian Pyramids? At some point you need to preserve some history. It's not all about paying to erase history.......
HELP SAVE NYC!

Elaine said...

I'd love to see more old than new on streets of NY. All these glass towers make me sad. A few, OK. But it seems like they're starting to take over. :/

Jugger-nix said...

At least many of these juxta-pairs are in the same plane. When a portion of the lot line wall (generally of the older structure appears thing get murkier. I hope a follow up post will zoom in on the expansion joints alone!

BabyDave said...

Beautiful compositions. Thank you.

Goggla said...

Great series of photos!

I agree with Anon 9:07 - I also like the contrasts between old and new. The trick is to keep the balance. There is a spot down on Pearl Street where you can look north and see an amazing variety of architecture, like seeing through several layers of time. Example:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/goggla/367532150/

It's when that balance gets upset that the city seems to lose cultural stability. Example:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/professorbop/729294093/

Bryan said...

Great post. Reminded me of William Wyler's Dead End. The trailer doesn't capture the aspect that reminds me of this post: the new condos that go up next to a run-down waterfront dead end street. At the start a rich kid who's moved into the new building gets beat up by the Dead End Kids. We need a return of the Dead End Kids!

Spike said...

Is it just a matter of building with brick being far more expensive then glass? Or just architects wanting to appear more "modern"?

Anonymous said...

Spike.
Why should architects be any different than the rest of society? Most (not all) of them are shallow, tasteless, egocentric, people. At the end of the day though, it's really not about them. it's about the developers and their dollars. The character description I've listed above; when applied to developers; is a complement.

Jill said...

What a great collection of photos. How long did it take you to amass this? It could be an endless project.

Jeremiah Moss said...

thanks. i just snap them when i see them. doesn't take long to get a whole bunch, the juxtaposition is everywhere. might need a Flickr pool of its own.

BirdOnAWire said...

These are beautiful and important photographs, Jeremiah. Thank you for posting them. I am a lifelong New Yorker who recently fled the city for upstate after having my heart broken over and over by the ravages of gentrification you so intelligently document. I read your blog regularly and have long wanted to thank you for your invaluable work. So...thank you!