Wednesday, November 28, 2007

*Everyday Chatter

Can Chumley's really "put the inside back in" the way it was after the devastation? [Observer]

The real New York just isn't New York enough for the big screen. As the city's authenticity vanishes, we'll see more and more of this. [Gothamist]

The Times profiles the machers who are frantically smoothing the Bowery's "rough edges." The Cooper Square Hotel expects to open next summer. The Bouwerie Lane Theater will be condos and retail. The broker for the "other" part of CBGB's hopes for a jewelry shop or "a nice little place that will stay open late." But, no matter what, these down-to-earth folks all want to preserve the funky, rough-edged character of the Bowery. [NYT]

Unleashed, Columbia University takes aim at Harlem's Cotton Club. Said the club's owner to the Voice, "I want it to go down in history, go down through my family. That's the American way, right?" [Queens Crap]

Tell New York magazine why you love the city -- I know, it's getting harder, the reasons are fewer and fewer, but something's still keeping us here. I'm also curious.

A panel of developers is asked if the city is becoming only for the rich -- and they kinda, sorta don't really answer the question. [City Room]

The NYPD is entrapping lucky finders and do-gooders as thieves. I've returned every lost wallet I've ever found. If there's ID, I track down the owner. No ID, then it's mine. Fair and square. Whatever happened to finder's keepers, loser's weepers? [NYT]


Barbara L. Hanson said...

Less of the "us", thanks. Born and bred, never lived anywhere else. Working-class family goes back well over a century. Nothing is "keeping me here." It's my home.

Jeremiah Moss said...

there's always something keeping us, all of us, wherever we are. call it home, call it habit, call it history. for me, it's also home. if i didn't feel that new york was my home, i wouldn't still be here. and i am sure many of "us" feel this same way.

Anonymous said...

Same reason for me. Born and bred here, also no other city in the US seems to be rising up and filling the cultural vacuum NY is becoming. My job takes me elsewhere a large amount of time, and I would love to wind up in someplace vital, but the whole country seems kind of subdued.

Barbara L. Hanson said...

Jeremiah, my point was poorly put. You do have another place called "home." I don't. I don't go somewhere else for the holidays; this is, for better or for worse, it.

Jeremiah Moss said...

barbara, thank you for the clarification--i do get defensive on this point.

i think you're saying, for you, there's a sense of having no other options? i think i can share that feeling in some way. it's true i have another "home," but for me--and i think for many people who have come to NYC--we come because the original home never felt right. it wasn't a good fit. so we came here and found that fit and thought, "now i'm finally home." i have lived my other option and it is not an option.

i suspect this is probably less and less the case for newcomers. many now come to NYC not with a sense of desperate longing to find home, but for that pied a terre life--an annexed home--they come here, they go back, they loved life in the burbs so they bring that life with them, and it's all the same.

the changes these people bring to new york make me feel like my home is being destroyed and stolen from me.

i wonder about how NYC natives and immigrants like myself react differently to the changes. my friends who were born and bred here tend to be more laidback about it, "oh, all my life new york's been changing, this is no different," they say, and i want to shake them.

do you think natives "roll with the punches" of the city's current changes more than immigrants do?

Mark said...

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, and have lived in the East Village for the past 32 years; first on East 6th Street back in 1975, and in my current apartment on East
12th Street since 1977.

I most certainly am not a NY'er who sits back and thinks the city is always changing and this is just one of those many changes. What's going on now is wholesale rape and pillaging of neighborhoods that really haven't changed dramatically in 100 years. Our mayor has sold the city to developers and we're bearing witness. I lived through the boom in the 80's that ending when the market crashed, and that was nothing compared to the building mania that's taking over our city now. The past two years have been horrifically mind-boggling, as longtime landmark after landmark disappears, and hideously inappropriate "architecture" takes their place. I don't know who the people are who inhabit my city anymore. All I know is I don't like them very much.

Barbara L. Hanson said...

I'm sorry if I offended you; I think you do great work. I will leave you with this: I was on the Avenue B bus today, talking with a Californian--whom I didn't know-- about the joys of Trader Joe's. He said, "It makes me feel like I'm not in New York." I tried to think of an inoffensive response, when a woman well into her seventies, with a voice that bespoke a deep acquaintance with Camels and the boroughs, said, "Why the hell would you want to feel that?" We exchanged looks, native to native, and grinned. You are welcome here, more than welcome, you do more in the fight to save us than any native I know. My only point was that there is, and always will be, a difference. Is that so bad? You perhaps bring to us something we don't have, and do need. A crystalline point of view that only an outsider can bring. Take pride in that!

Jeremiah Moss said...

Barbara, great story about the lady on the bus. Thank god for septuagenarians--they say whatever's on their minds.

It's true, there are differences--and that's not a bad thing. You really didn't offend me, just touched a sensitive spot, which also isn't a bad thing. I appreciate your comments, so please keep 'em coming!

This conversation is making me very curious about why people come here today as opposed to say, why they came 10 or more years ago. I am tempted to stand on the corner of 1st and Houston and survey people. I wonder how many natives I would find there, too.

I wish some trained social scientist would handle this. Any volunteers?