Thursday, January 9, 2014

Norwegian Business Daily

Journalist Morten Bertelsen interviewed me for the December 27 edition of the Norwegian Business Daily newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. The article is entitled "The Hook on the Door of Old New York," about how "New York has become the new Dubai under Mayor Bloomberg believes critics." (As translated by Google.)

"The hook's on the door" is an expression used when something comes to an end, like closing up shop and putting the hook on the door. So the old New York has closed up shop.

The article focuses on the city's land grab of Willets Point in Queens. "A robbery!" says 81-year-old Joseph Ardizzone, the only resident of Willets Point. "A robbery in broad daylight. Bloomberg stealing properties customers to give them the billionaire friends its so they can build shopping mall and casino here. Casino!" (Also via Google translator.)

Here I am in Norwegian:

And Google translated:

"A kind of Dubai"
Mayor Michael Bloomberg get off at New Year. He changed New York during its 12 year. Critics say the worse. - Bloomberg has made New York to a kind of Dubai, one luxury that could lain where any time with its endless chain stores and an increasing number of suburban mentality, says Jeremiah Moss. The author documents the transformation blog "Vanishing New York." It is not just about nostalgia, but also a city with increasing differences.

Moss is not alone in viewing this. The new mayor, Democrat Bill de Blasio, called autumn New York story of two cities - the rich and the poor, where the gap is only increasing. He was 74 percent of the vote. - New York is dramatically changed under Bloomberg. He said early on that he saw the city as a luxury product, and wanted that billionaires from around the world would settle here. So he set out to create the city, says Moss. 40 percent of the city area is rezoned under Bloomberg. Many of the 40,000 new buildings are luxurious high-rises and skyscrapers. People from higher socioeconomic team has taken over the old working bastions. 

- Countless small businesses, which went well for decades, were forced out. Rents soared. In some places they were tenfold. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed and reconstructed almost over night, playgrounds and shopping for the super rich, says Moss. The old slaughter district is perhaps the most glaring example, believes Moss. The record was Meatpacking District turned into a blinded white Aker Brygge. The old quarters in Greenwich Village - Counterculture the stronghold decades - memories today about Bogstadsveien Oslo. Even dirty Bowery on the east side of the island washed slowly away.


EV Grieve said...


Anonymous said...

Not to mention the evil cabal between Doomberg and John Sexton at NYU. A systemmatic destruction of the Village with a kind of Cleveland cum Dubai vision.

Anonymous said...

If even non-natives can tell this is not the real New York anymore, Bloomberg has indeed committed metrocide.

Space Pope said...

Ya gettin' all famous on us, Moss? What with the European papers in ya biz an' all that.

Good reporting there. I'm surprised, thought, that it wasn't mentioned how Godzilla-berg is eyeballing Europe to ruin next with his bleary green eye of destruction. They've got some seriously historical places there that will probably make him tremble with glee thinking about bulldozing them.

Ed said...

This is a pretty good summary. Its pretty amazing how badly the non-New York media and non-New Yorkers understand New York. Throughout the Bloomberg era the foreign news and travel pieces and foreign guidebooks kept going on about how cool New York was and how the Meatpacking District was the place to be (even years after 2004, when the MPD had obviously become an trans-river extension of Hoboken). The exception was something like two columns in the Guardian.

But then in the 70s and 80s the coverage was all about how New York was some sort of war zone where you would be mugged as soon as you stepped off the plane at one of the airports, and this is still reflected in some blog comments today. But these stories grossly exaggerated something (a high crime rate) that was actually happening. Instead the 00s media completely missed important trends such as hypergentrification that was actually happening. That is why I started coming to this blog.

By the way, the really worst of the hypergentrification process didn't set in until two years into Bloomberg's first turn -the city in 2002 was much more like the city in 1994 than it resembled the city in 2010- so even if things turn around under his successor (I'm skeptical) I would expect things to keep keeping on for a couple years.

laura r. said...

things cant turn around. but they can be stopped from going the way they have. i dont know if one mayor can do that.

M in B-ville said...

Very happy to see you in Norwegian, Jeremiah! For you (you deserve it -- how easy for the rest of us to wander to our favorite sites and comment, how hard for people like you who give us important things to think about, day in, day out -- thank you!). For the city -- this city and others -- something much larger must be up that Norwegians care about NYC this much.

A.L. said...

Some usual complains on this blog's posts have merit. Some are misguided in the sense they ignore larger trends like demise of barber shops or record stores, in New York, Ithaca or Lubbock, TX.

However, something I really don't get is this hatred for college students or the university world in general, as if all activities related to higher-education were inherently bad.

laura r. said...

there need to be stronger zoning laws, historical preservation. i dont know who is still alive who backs these policies, now that jackie's dead.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Thanks M in B-ville, much appreciated words!

laura r. said...

A. L. 11:51 am i have commented dozens of times that small businesses are closing world wide, this global. matter of fact you see the same chain stores, & mall developers. jeremiah gets this, im sure. as for univerities, there is no problem w/that in general. the problem is making NY a university corporation. that corp destroys beautiful buildings etc. somewhere in the middle west would be a better place. its already a sprawing suburb there. the state/city colleges have become a big businesses, w/useless humanities studies w/low admissions standards. but thats besides the point.

Ed said...

"demise of barber shops"

Completely off topic, but I don't get this one (it was part of a comment by A.L. about people complaining about the "demise of barer shops and record stores"). Barber shops are going away? I've not had a problem in finding one recently. What is happening? Men are letting their hair grow long? Or having it cut by relatives?

laura r. said...

barber shops? you jest. laundries? forget it. a coffee shop, not lately. guess those things are for the commen folk. maybe its a "hint"? maybe someone somehwhere is telling you to move on?

A.L. said...


My point is that some business suffer from wider cultural/market trend shifts that make them shaky or non-viable regardless of price of commercial rents.

For instance, barber shops are threatened by a slowing trend towards self-care where men shave themselves at home and go for fancier places for head hair care.

Laundromats are dwindling all over the country as more and more buildings put on-site facilities.

Seuxality-oriented bars/restaurants are also being reduced in numbers as significant parts of the gay and lesbian community are more and more accepted on regular establishments.

Jeremiah Moss said...

A.L., I don't ignore larger trends. But when we call it all "larger trends," we deny the reality of what's happening locally.

Many, if not most, of the vanished businesses I chronicle here were thriving when they were killed off. They were not on their last legs. They were eliminated by rents that didn't just rise, but doubled, quintupled, and more. Pushed out by the sale of their buildings to be demolished for luxury development.

Many of these businesses survived all kinds of changing larger trends, decades of shifts, a century of shifts. A business can weather changing trends IF they're not cut at the throat by the single most important trend in all of this: Unleashed greed.

Anonymous said...

"However, something I really don't get is this hatred for college students or the university world in general, as if all activities related to higher-education were inherently bad."

I lived in the East Village for over 20 years. It wasn't until the mid 2000's that it became overrun with college students. Until then it was actually a pleasant place to live.

My interesting/considerate Italian neighbor of many years was replaced with two recent Harvard/Princeton A-Hole Grads. Between their "Oscar"Parties (complete w/red carpet) and weekly "Keggers" (which included guests urinating off the fire escape onto people's air conditioners below), life in my bldg became a living hell.

NYC was never meant to be a college campus/frat house for transients. Sadly that's what it's become. I'm glad to be out.

A.L. said...

@Anonymous January 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

You mentioned two college grads from Boston. What about current college students? Don't they come - like other people - in all behaviors, from respectful to obnoxious ones?

Why should New York or more specifically Manhattan be somehow "off-limits" to college-related activities and people?

I really don't understand: many people say diversity is great, but then apparently not all diversity is welcomed, in some sort of anything-but-America litmus test.

Not only on this blog, but in some others, and also on the occasional op-ed on newspapers websites, I often come across some narrative where New York would be a place "off-limits" to regular Americans, as some sort of exile land from the rest of the country where people from everywhere in the World would be welcome but those living between the Hudson and the Pacific Ocean.

Don't "typical" college students from NYU coming from other states also belong on the diversity of Manhattan? Are they to be loathed as a whole group and branded as "undesirable" elements?

Ørjan Håkedal said...

Hjelp, mitt luftputefartøy har blitt kapret av sinte dverger! Kan jeg få sove hos deg?

Anonymous said...

It's a shame the article focused on teh absolute WORST area of NY as an example of Bloomberg's "Dubaiing" of NY..

That junk yard is the Calcutta of NY and an international embarassment. I for one am glad it's days are numbered.