Tuesday, March 11, 2008

*Everyday Chatter

Extell giddily gears up for World War III as they market brand-new, 21st-century "prewar" condos. [Times]

Defunct Chelsea cabaret Helen's, nee Judy's, loses its cool purple entranceway to become a bar/restaurant called Ate Ave. Now hiring:

A burlesque roller-rink in the old Childs at Coney Island? It really is a dream come true! (It's also just a temporary stop on the way to something no doubt nightmarish.) [Curbed]

The rezoning of Harlem has pro-gentrifiers celebrating and defensive. [Curbed] But one brave man calls Amanda Burden (Bloomberg's city planner) "a rich, rich, rich horrible person." [Gothamist]

More Manhattan Apocalypse excitement--Columbia's aggressive redevelopment will end up underwater someday. Something to look forward to. [Gotham Gazette]

The East Village/LES is one of the loudest, most obnoxious neighborhoods in the city, and we lament the peace and quiet of pre-gentrification drug deals. [Gothamist]

"[W]here's the real St. Mark's?" asks one graffitist on this Pinkberry plywood. "Dead," comes the reply:

Sad to see banks changing hands? Here's a sort-of ode to dead regional banks. [AMNY]

From the ghost town of Orchard Street, Sammy Gluck, owner and son of G&G International Menswear keeps things alive. [Intothebox]

"Make Manhattan your own." Whose New York is this? Has anybody else noticed that many ads these days sell the city as a personal, individual possession?


Anonymous said...

Jeremiah---yesterday the Harlem expansion---the buildling of a series of hotels and high end stores and luxury apartments on West 125 Street was okayed by the City Council Committee---it will go before the full City Council in a few weeks. This is horrendous; another example of the scorched earth policy the real estate industry, backed by the city leaders, is pushing on the city and destroying neighborhoods already under the siege of gentrification. I am writing to my city council person---urging her to vote against this; I would hope that others will do the same.

Anonymous said...

There needs to be a way to preserve businesses in Harlem WHILE upzoning to allow for economioc expansion of the neighborhood and city.

There shouldnt be a this or that. There should be a middle ground. Gentrification has good and bad affects, the tendancy of this blog to avoid the former is ridiculous.

Jeremiah Moss said...

"the former" has enough power in this city--it doesn't need my small blog to add to its power. nothing ridiculous about that.

Anonymous said...

If I may add a suggestion to Annon: when this happy medium is discovered, please let us know. Just be sure to get the developers to agree to it BEFORE you come lecturing us about it (I'd recommend you get their agreement in writing, as they can be tricky little devils).
Also, may I point out that a plan to try to preserve existing businesses while simultaneously "upzoaning" the rest of Harlem (by, I assume, encouraging market-rate development) would probably only ensure that very few local residents could open any new businesses. Thus, the existing ones ultimately get killed by attrition as the market-rate development attracts the yunnie, whose presence prices out the original residents (and gives landlords an incentive to “encourage” them to leave), whose absence detracts revenue from the existing businesses. The effect being much the same as is happening now, only maybe a bit slower.

Anonymous said...

The guy who thinks gentrification is good and bad - why don't you take your philosophy back to Seattle, buy a Starbucks Grande sized, overpriced coffee, and go home to your "Avalon" cloned glass apartment community.

When you get home, order a Dominos Pizza, and watch MTV.

Anonymous said...

Why does Harlem "need" "upzoning"? I keep hearing these creepy remarks about the things "standing in the way of the revitalization of Chinatown", for example. I overheard someone say, in reference to the blocks of Alphabet City, something about how they applaud the longtime residents there for "helping" make the neighborhood what it is, and that it's a shame for any that got priced out, but the place "needed to be cleaned up". Does anything "need cleaning up" in your shitty hometown? Read some of the comments on the Curbed article. The depth of the ignorance is stupefying.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, you gotta read the commentary! I myself have often thought that the comments yunnies leave after these kinds of articles on the web are usually more illuminating than the articles themselves. “Defensive” is much too mild a word.
To give a few examples:
“Good! Fix up that dump and make it presentable to people with actual money (me)!”
“These people want freebies from us taxpayers, uniethey continually prove to be non-valuable members of our society, It is a sad day for Harlem, not because the zoning was approved, but because these people have been exposed as nasty ignorants. This is a community that does not deserve preserving.”
(Immediately following) “Look how they run their own continent!”
“#23 - no one is "shut out" of anything. you are very stupid if you believe this. work hard and it will come. only the lazy fail. sorry to wake you up - sure you do nothing!”
“Stop with this bleeding heart nonsense. The city has handled Harlem and Washington Heights with kid gloves long enough.”
And, repeated ad nauseum, the angry command to Just go! Just leave! Who cares! Etc.
Not that any of it is new; all news articles on the web that are even REMOTELY critical towards gentrification are invariably followed by dozens of angry yunnie rebuttals that give a very clear picture of the ultra-conservatism, thinly veiled racism (not always so thinly veiled), and entitled self-righteousness that forms the way the average yunnie views the world. (Remember the frat boys in BORAT?)
In it’s way, though, there is a good side to this, as the forthrightness yunnies use when defensive can help save us the trouble of trying to prove they are what we say they are. If you get them mad enough they do the work for you. None of that “building mixed communities” stuff here! Still, it's unfortunate we have to deal with this.
I recommend everyone who is concerned about the issues raised on this blog (in particular, the beliefs of those for whose benefit our urban centers are being changed so dramatically) should take a few moments to read the yunnie responses and think about their implications.