Tuesday, March 15, 2016

West Street Demolished

In case you're wondering how winter treated that little vintage block on West Street doomed to the wrecking ball, well, it wasn't good.

Everything is gone.

Gone is the car wash, the auto body shop, and the Westway club. Gone, too, is the little Kullman diner that glittered abandoned among the ailanthus trees, stirring our imaginations.

Gone another piece of the real city, New York of usefulness and grit, of diversity and history. New York where you could get a grilled cheese sandwich while waiting for your flat to be fixed. New York of nude dancing and queer back rooms. New York of mortar and brick, of earth tones burnished in the sun.



And what's to come? The usual thing. Another generic box of luxury glass.

Ian Schrager

What did Rem Koolhaas say about the Generic City?

“The Generic City is what is left after large sections of urban life crossed over to cyberspace. It is a place of weak and distended sensations, few and far between emotions….

The Generic City is fractal, an endless repetition of the same simple structural module….

Instead of specific memories, the associations the Generic City mobilizes are general memories, memories of memories: if not all memories at the same time, then at least an abstract, token memory, a déjà vu that never ends, generic memory.”

West Street Vintage


Goggla said...

That last paragraph says it all.

James said...

Fascism in modern architecture is perhaps even the basis of it. It wrings out sentimentality (i.e. memory) in favor of order, control, and blankness. On the human side it represents indifference, apathy, complacency.

Gregoire Alessandrini said...

The Lost Diner was probabaly one of my favorite old diners in Manhattan....a piece of classic America with something very cinematic...lost in the west side...I'm very sad...Here are a few shots in the mid-nineties when it was already closed but still had its great look:

Babs said...

Well said.