Monday, December 19, 2011

*Everyday Chatter

Spotted at the Union Square Craft Fair: "You Killed Brooklyn. Yeah, you." You know who you are. But what would Woody do?:

see more at Urban Cricket

Riding the Nostalgia Train. [FNY]

The demolition of Mars Bar continues. [EVG]

Gowanus Whole Foods--and inevitable hyper-gentrification of the Gowanus wilderness--has been suspended. [Racked]

NYU "has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment." [Gothamist]

The story behind the little abandoned terra-cotta building. [SNY]

Take a trip back in time to S. Klein's "on the square." [OTG]

Report shows Harlem Wal-Mart would shut down 25% of grocers in vicinity. [Gothamist]

Tonio's of Park Slope now officially another Dunkin Donuts. [HPS]


  1. Just the thought of a Wal-Mart opening here sickens me. That place is evil.

  2. Ha, I bought that Woody Allen design on a tote bag at the Union Square holiday market. The saleslady told me I was their first customer of the season. I carry it everywhere. My friend bought the "You Killed Brooklyn" design on a shirt.

  3. What would Woody do? Probably molest his kids.

  4. The killer was last seen on the Bedford Ave. L platform, wearing a wool cap and scarf on a 70 degree day and holding a container of hummus.

  5. Why do you believe the hyper-gentrification of Gowanus is inevitable? I am genuinely curious.

  6. where Whole Foods goes, the gentrification of the neighborhood kicks into high gear.

  7. I would say the forces driving gentrification are unrelated to the presence or absence of Whole Foods. Whole Foods is the effect, not the cause.

    That Whole Foods is by the highway so it's a somewhat different situation from Union Square or Bowery. I'm sure they imagine people from all over Brooklyn driving there to shop. The store will probably do well whether or not the surrounding neighborhood gentrifies further or not.

    For the record, I hate Whole Foods.

  8. i'd say it's a bit of both. maybe Whole Foods marks the tipping point. a neighborhood is "discovered," gentrification begins and reaches that tipping point when Whole Foods decides it's worth the bet to move in.

    this marks a new phase, where the gentrification, spurred by the presence of Whole Foods, kicks into high gear. then the area is done for. everything accelerates. and there's no stopping it at that point.

    i expect, after Whole Foods, we will see a huge increase in development for Gowanus. and it will happen very fast.

  9. Re: Woody Allen, here's an interview where he talks a little about how NYC has changed:

    The relevant part:

    MADUKA: You have given many people their image of Manhattan, and have, in the past, been one of its greatest cultural champions. But, of course, you've gone international in recent years. How has your feeling towards this city changed or matured? Does it continue to inspire you and your work? How has the city itself changed over the course of your career?

    ALLEN: New York has changed for the better in some obvious ways, like the dropping of the crime rate and people don't squeegee my windshield when I come to a stoplight. On the other hand, uncontrolled bike riders are a great hazard, and the wonderful idea of more and more people having bikes in New York will turn sour as people become alienated because so much of it is out of control. That will be a pity.

    The city continues to inspire me and still remains head and shoulders above any city in the country. One problem for me is that I've grown older and I've had some success, and all those warmly lit townhouses and co-ops that I used to fantasize about, and dream about what was going on inside, I now know from my own experience. In one sense, I'm part of the establishment—and I don't mind, except that it's not as exciting as longing to become part of the establishment.

  10. I think Whole Foods would definitely be an additional attraction, but hyper-gentrification is inevitable whether it comes in or not. Sheer geographic location (tucked between Park Slope, Carroll Gardens & Boerum Hill) makes Gowanus a real estate hotspot. Even though the Superfund status of the canal has deterred construction right around it, real estate prices have shot up in Gowanus, & it's got real hip, gritty-chic status now. Third Avenue is developing with all kinds of new places, & an apartment on Fourth is listing for almost two million...


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