Thursday, February 21, 2008

*Everyday Chatter

Starbucks writes a faux-tearful, "keep your chin up" cliche of a goodbye note as one of its 8th Street outposts shutters. Shazzam! [Curbed]

But John and Yoko's favorite, Cafe la Fortuna, is closing. With an authentically tearful goodbye note. [Urbanite]

Somebody must really love Mr. Pokey. In this window on W. 11th Street his short life is still memorialized 5 years after his passing:

Speaking of lovable rodents, rumor has it Whole Foods is infesting the Avalon Christie with rats, rats, rats! And the renters are fleeing like, well, rats! (As I rub my hands together in giddy delight.) [Curbed]

More info about Sophie's survival--with a photo by me. [NY Mag]

One Lower East Sider looks up at Blue and sees a fist raised against the spirit of the neighborhood. [Jose V]

Overheard last night in W. Village, 50-ish man to friends, "Ever notice how the more the world changes and all the things you knew from life are lost, the less you want to live at all?" His friends did not respond.

Get a sneak peek of 1 Jackson Square's impending undulation, complete with sanitized green park. How much fun would it be to play in this sales office with the Cloverfield monster toy and a blowtorch?

The EV's the Smith is made up of "mainly N.Y.U. kids, and the Smith’s atmosphere evokes a fraternity house, with the acoustics of a rush-season kegger." Could describe much of the neighborhood really. [NYer]

The Source to stay in EV--I'd heard this guy was having landlord trouble, but it looks like we can still get our copies done at this classic shop. [Villager]

Another authentic East Villager is dead--now who's drooling over that de-controlled, soon-to-be-gut-renovated (no doubt) apartment in which she died? [Times]


Anonymous said...

Mr. Moss -

Thanks thanks thanks.

I'm not a native New Yorker - I moved here about 5 years ago to go to graduate school and will probably be leaving when I'm done - but I can sympathize with your plight as the exact same thing has been, and is being done, to my beloved hometown of San Francisco.

I grew up just off Fillmore street in the 1970's, and when I went back to see it, I couldn't believe it. Every store I remembered from childhood was gone, except for the pizza joint and a corner market that had gone upscale. The donut store, a block from my temple, where the rabbi took me for apple juice and a donut before my bar mitzvah, is now a Chipotle.

I appreciate your salvage work, your remembering (like Walter Benjamin) even against the massive destruction that surrounds us, and your resistance when possible.

I was disappointed when I first arrived in New York for precisely the reasons you've enumerated - I found the city filled with assholes, not New York-type assholes, but consumerist, narcissistic, assholes, totally obsessed with material culture and their own inflated sense of self-worth. Where was the gritty city I had seen on TV when I was younger? Even in Brooklyn where I've settled it is heartbreaking - and I fully realize I'm part of the problem.

Anyway, thanks for your work.

I feel like urban America is becoming like Europe - the cities are bastions of the rich and selfish, and the poor and non-white are being banishes to the urban periphery, as it the case in Paris, for example.

Have you ever read the book "Seeing Like a State" by the Yale anthropologist James Scott - in it he describes Le Corbusier's horrific plans for Paris in the 1930's - glass skyscrapers, the rule of the car, etc. It seems New York is fast becoming this nightmare - only the market, not the state, is driving the process.

Other books I recommend include"

- Rebecca Solnit's (who wrote a history of walking) book, "Hollow City" which details what was done to San Francisco.

- Guy Debord's "Panegyric", his memoirs, which also discuses the destruction of Paris.

- Mike Davis' "City of Quartz" which I'd guess you've already read. He details capitalism's plans for the city.

Anyway, thanks for your work. I'm off doing research in Europe at the moment, but when I get back, I plan to spend my Saturdays walking around to see, at least once, before gone forever, the marvels and treasures that you have collected here.

A new, but dedicated, reader,

Andy (Bed-Stuy)

Anonymous said...

The Source is a great place for copies and other stuff--I have been going there for over 20 years-I am truly glad they are staying