Thursday, February 28, 2008

*Everyday Chatter

Who knew homeless New Yorkers were so fashion-forward? America's Next Top Model hits a new low. [Gothamist] Really, I'm not sure anything could be more disgusting than having anorexic fashionistas pose as starving people. Here's Tyra in a cardboard box holding up a Happy to Serve You bodega cup of change. She better not go into Starbucks like that:

more photos here

Bloomberg clears out Chinatown's "Counterfeit Triangle" and is applauded by Rolex for his efforts to protect luxury business and replace those bad, bad, evil places with "legitimate" shops--umm, like more super-luxury boutiques and chain stores? [City Room]

A tipster tells me that Bloomie says the proliferation of counterfeit goods is "standing in the way of the revitalization of Chinatown." Did you know Chinatown was being revitalized? Me neither. Says my tipster, "Get used to the term ChiTo." I guess Canal is being positioned to become the next new-Bleecker. Marc Jacobs, are you listening?

My depressing walk down Bleecker yesterday is still kicking my ass. After everything I saw, the absolute slaughter, I have to make the following prophecy: I don't see the Pizza Box lasting much longer. Why? They've been there since 1957, they're next to dead-duck Magic Shoes, and they're surrounded by yogurt chains. Tell me I'm wrong:

What retail is going into that big new condo on 18th and 6th? Next to the giant Chase, a giant Modell's is getting cozy, fitting right in with the shitstorm-style of the avenue:

As evidenced in my last two posts on Magic Shoes and Second Childhood, Bleecker Street is a bloodbath. Smack in the middle is the face-off between Red Mango and Pinkberry (across the street from each other!) with a giant Grom gelato coming to the corner of Carmine. Remember Joe's Pizza there? Closed after a 1666% rent increase! Grom pays the rent at $4.75 a scoop. Call it "artisanal" and "European" and they will flock to your doors.


Anonymous said...

Revitalization of Chinatown? I can't think of a more vital neighborhood in the city. Teeming with people, stores, food. Oh, wait! They're working-class ethnic people. In the world according to Bloomberg, they must go. I wonder what Ed Koch--a great champion of Chinatown and Chinese food--has to say about this?

L'Emmerdeur said...

Remember the "Derelicte" fashion line from Zoolander?

Yeah, that.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Tyra has posed for change--ie nickels and dimes--this is totally offensive--time is at hand--the homed shall be released and be homeless and the homeless shall survive because they are used to it--

Anonymous said...

why are there so many tatoo parlors openng in the East Village???

Anonymous said...

Gee, and here I thought one of the things standing in the way of Chinatown's "revitalization" was the NYPD's permanent closing of the Chatham Square end of Park Row.

No, it turns out the thing preventing The Big Comeback is...the very reason people go there in the first place!

Next, the Board of Health will commence a systematic shuttering of Chinatown eateries, all for the betterment of the area and its good people.

I think the folks in Chinatown may soon be saying, like Cool Hand Luke of the prison captain, "I wish you'd stop being so nice to me, boss."

I'd add that "what we have here is failure to communicate," but that presupposes one of the sides has any interest in a dialogue.

Anonymous said...

this city is being ruined! Will someone
with influence do something to stop this?
I don't understand how you guys just sit
here and allow this. Letters need to written
to this dick mayor about how new York is
losing everything that makes it different
from other cities.

This is horrifying and needs to be stopped
these businesses were founded on peoples
dreams, and now they get bullied and thrown
out due to these asshole yuppies and
real estate developers who could
care a less about preserving new york
history, because none of them are
from here!

Anonymous said...

I was born in the West Village and still live here. Have traveled all over Europe and still come back to the Village as my home. I now have had a small business in the West Village for 10 years -have a long lease- and it is really sad to me to think of all that has closed. Walking down Bleecker St is truly depressing. I miss Hudson St Papers, Wendell's Cards, Joe's Pizza on the corner-how awful-did you know they let another pizza place then rent Joe's space, disgusting! I miss Laverty's on 8th Ave from when I was a child, Serge's Gym on the West Side Hwy was a true gym, and has anyone been horrified that the Gristede's on Hudson and Bank turned into another Duane &*#@! I have wondered if the few mom and pop shops could band together and make some kind of coalition to band together...
Anyone here interested?
Art Gal

Anonymous said...

a little more on this week's prophecy:

do i win a cheap uptown apartment for being the first to coin the term ChiTo?

aka Victoria Lucas said...

I love how Tyra Banks is a champion of social justice on her show by dressing up in a fatsuit or panhandling for a day in shabby clothes (because the act of pretending to be something you're not for a day obviously leads her to the heart of an issue) but is completely willing to contradict herself to make a buck or be more marketable. For all her wannabe body positive messages about being a "curvy gal", she made sure to drop a lot of weight after those pictures of her in a bathing suit made the tabloid rounds. But then again, what do you expect from somebody who's so obviously self-obsessed?

Bob Arihood said...

Mayor's office of Special Investigations ? ...sounds a lot like the "Holy Office" :and is the Mayor the Grand Inquisitor too ?

Are there indulgences sold here much gold for this or that favorable disposition ?

What about his( the Mayor's) scummy past that he brags about in his autobiography ;that is when he started his empire without all the proper permits ?

John said...

I really don't understand all these arguments about how the city is dying. They've been made forever, yet this place is still fantastic. See, for example, the NYT quote on the bottom of the page. 55 years later, people are still saying the same thing. Apparently it will take hundreds and hundreds of years for the city to die (whatever that means) or these arguments are just alarmist and wrongheaded.

Barbara L. Hanson said...

"This place is still fantastic" is a comment that could only be made by someone who has known the city neither long nor well. (I've lived here all my life and would never call the city "this place.")