Thursday, July 19, 2012

*Everyday Chatter

Dear Fran Lebowitz, Can we please be best friends?



Capital NY on this Saturday's St. Mark's Books Cash Mob (be there!) and vanishing NY: "Change is a part of the nature of the city. But maybe what we're really experiencing is a kind of entropy, as individual talent and entrepreneurship and style, and local ideas and preferences and customs, are slowly being eroded and replaced with corporate monoculture. The issue in New York isn't about German bakeries being replaced by Dominican bakeries, nowadays; it's about Dominican bakeries being replaced by Dunkin' Donuts." [CNY]

Has the Lafayette French Pastry shop just vanished from hypergentrifying Greenwich Ave? [VV]

A Q&A with the director of the Sunshine Hotel documentary. [EVG]

Watch tourists fondle the testicles of the Wall St. bull. [youtube]

Read Karen Lillis' very, very short stories about life in NYC in the early 1990s. [EDG]

Check out the LES Music Festival at Dixon Place. [DP]

I can't wait until the foodies all get tired of their obsession. [Gothamist]

19 comments:

Little Earthquake said...

I listened to a little bit of the Liebowitz thing but turned it off. I don't really get into collective wallowing. She probably makes valid points but I don't see the point in wasting time with people who dwell on negativity and complaining. What are these people doing to improve their own lives? You have far greater impact over your personal happiness than Mike Bloomberg no matter what anyone says.

Anonymous said...

'You have far greater impact over your personal happiness than Bloomberg"

But Bloomberg keeps putting down that happiness or that happiness has to be in his own term.

I don't see the point in someone from the Midwest who likes to turn NYC into a white Midwestern suburb who dwell on debunking and irking those who are suffering from Bloomturd's administration and gentrification. You turned it off because the truth hurts.

Anonymous said...

Lebowitz is right. And a lot of times on this site people bitch and moan about "artisanal" shops opening up which are still local-owned small business. Would you rather it become another local shop or a Capital One?

Jeremiah Moss said...

oh, i would LOVE to hear Fran rip into the whole artisanal bullshit. she would do it up right.

Grand St. said...

"She probably makes valid points...."

Correct, but you wouldn't know, right?
So rather than address the content (which you can't), you make a sweeping dismissal. Great job.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Earthquake, if everyone took your view, no one would ever do anything for the common good. no one would protest. no one would vote. no one would write polemics. no one would raise consciousness. no one would stand up to say, "the emperor has no clothes!"

no one would do much of anything except maybe go to the gym, eat their vegetables, and follow the instructions in self-help books.

Anonymous said...

Fran asks a question which no one asks or seemingly wants answered: where is all the money coming from that's pouring into NYC? The Eurozone? War profiteers? Arms makers and deal?

Brendan said...

She was right on until she went off on the whole idea of college campuses in the city. What NYU and Columbia are doing right now aside--they've been a part of the city literally since its beginning. Lehman, City College, Brooklyn College, Fordham, all beautiful campuses that enhance the neighborhoods they're in and serve New Yorkers from all walks of life. In fact the CUNY system is something New Yorkers should be very proud of. There are few other states with a comparable public secondary education system.

Anonymous said...

People who offend the most are the ones who get offended easily. My guess on Earthquake is that she's a trust fund kid from the Midwest attending Pratt but who's longing to transfer to NYU, thus defending Sexton's plans. Go Pack Go.

Ed said...

In thirteen minutes, four minutes of which consists of pleasantries with the moderator and the audience, Leibowitz makes about six separate points that could each be the subject of a blog post.

However one idea that hasn't been repeated often but which is probably true is that most of the ridiculous real estate values in this city have been the result of money laundering. I think intellectual types tend to underplay the sheer amount of corruption in the world and how much it affects their own lives.

Anonymous said...

I love Fran Liebowitz!

Anonymous said...

Fran Liebowitz, wish you would (but I understand you don't) write a new book, have your own tv show or podcast. You still got it. (Earthquake, please read your comment and see if what you write applies to you.)

Claribel said...

Anonymous at 3:45pm, I'll respond to your question if you can please first explain to me how an "artisanal" shop is not a local business serving a specific upper class lifestyle? How many people in this economy other than the wealthy do you think are spending $43 for a dozen gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, agave-sweetened muffins, or $18 for a farm-to-table poached farm egg with wheatberries, quinoa, pistou, peas, and pickled garlic? You can't make this stuff up, they're items copied from menus of actual businesses. It's fine that they exist, but you can't deny what they're providing is an exclusive service specifically because of their pricing, which feeds into the landlord trap as well. Artisanal does not equate with accessible. What a lot of people need is affordability from their local businesses that "artisanal" shops don't provide. So if it's an "artisanal" shop or Capital One, you won't see me there. Although you will see me at an Old Navy because my kid grows out of her clothes too fast for me to keep up financially. I'm not proud of that, I shop vintage for myself and my family too, but again I don't have many local business choices for things I need vs the things I can't afford to indulge in.

Caleo said...

Fran absolutely killed it. That was as brilliant a rant about New York as I've ever seen, and cleanly encapsulated everything that has gone through my head about this city in the past 12 years.
I loved the whole thing, but particularly the bit about going up to NYU students on their zombiephones and simply telling them... NO ! No, you won't do that... no, that's not how it works... no, your life won't turn out that way.
Brilliant.

laura said...

its about ANY bakery being replaced by a 7/11. now thats terror.

laura said...

i havnt seen the vid. but the $$$$$ that is being invested in NYC, is off shore funding. arabs especially. wont matter who is major, the corps rule. welcome to the global world order.

Shawn Chittle said...

She's the coolest New Yorker alive. Period.

Anonymous said...

@Claribel: Rents in Manhattan are high of course, especially commercial ones. You can't afford to open a small mom and pop store and sell trinkets or extremely cheap food like you used to.

In order for a lot of new local owned businesses to stay open with the high cost of rent, the product has to reflect that to a degree. I'm not a fan of the trend either, but I'd rather have one of those than another Duane Reade, Citibank, or DUnkin' Donuts.

Blame the greedy ass landlords.

Claribel said...

Anonymous, I don't disagree with you there. Your comment re: rents is pretty much a given with most readers on this blog. People often lament the loss of their favorite establishments, some affordably priced, some not so, on Jeremiah's site. The loss of the affordable local shops hurts more for people like me for reasons described more eloquently by other commenters on this blog.

Of course it's hard for anyone to start up a business here today. I sympathize with that. But if "artisanal" shops are forced into offering goods and services at luxury prices at the same time that more affordable local businesses are shutting down, I'm comfortable with saying that yes, that is a bitter pill to have to swallow, hence the bitching and moaning. My personal opinion is that most “artisanal” shops ultimately sell food and healthy, locally grown food is of value to everyone. So I'm all for CSA programs and farmers' markets and promoting more of that awareness. I just think "artisanal" shops are incongruous about their message. If "artisanal" shops are promoting locally grown, organic, or whatever the cause du jour may be, their pricing due to rents only furthers the inflationary nature of goods that should become more accessible to all classes in an age when GMOs, fast food and packaged products become more attractive because of their affordability. The more of these "artisanal" businesses there are, their prices don't seem to get lower due to competition. They only get higher due to rental space demand. And "artisanal" shops will get nowhere in their message of buying local if they're preaching to the converted with deep pockets only. People like me want the choice to buy local. Don't alienate me with your pricing. I'm not proposing this, but only providing the illustration that MoMA and the Met both are institutions sustained by the wealthy patrons of NYC and they have pay what you want nights and suggested admission knowing that great art should be accessible. Isn't the goal of "artisanal" food to become more accessible in terms of social awareness and consumption? Why not an early bird special one day a week, give a workshop on buying and cooking local produce on a budget, or something like that? If the goal isn't to be exclusive, the "artisanal" shops I'd patronize would be the ones to consider creative ways to be affordable (not extremely cheap) within their community and their business constraints. Goodwill can be great for business.