Tuesday, May 26, 2009

*Everyday Chatter

Please attend the Community Meeting to discuss nightlife noise from the LES Thompson Hotel: May 27, 6:30 p.m., in the Raphael Hernandez Community Room, 189 Allen (bet Houston & Stanton):

Inquiring minds want to know, what goes on inside the Free Willie Nelson? [EVG]

Enjoy Christmas on the Bowery--back in the bad old days. [AP]

"If New York City were to slide back into the crumbling anarchy of the 1970s, as some fear, would that be so bad?" ..."Artists’ lofts--boxcars of light, raw space, and drafty windows—were actually occupied and used by artists and not titled Eurotrash, trustafarians, investment bankers, hedge-fund hotshots, and similar bonus babies who would model their cheekbones and cutlery collection on Patrick Bateman’s in American Psycho." [VF] ...but people in Kansas disagree.

Are people bombing Starbucks because their logo looks like Queen Esther? [RS]

The "herring people" hover outside Clinton Street Bakery. [WL]

The demolitions continue in Chinatown. [BB]

From a tipster: "This formerly blocked painted billboard has now been exposed at the corner of Broadway & 76th":

Shepard Fairey designs Saks 5th Ave's Communist-style ad campaign. [NYT] via [ADB]

Addicted to your screens? "increase in screen use has rewired our brains and led to a decrease in our empathy and our ability to read facial language." [ABD]

As more "green" condos and towers blossom, remember: "there is nothing green about construction." [ABD]

One more from Micah White: "The Kindle is not a book. It is instead a machine mimicking the external traits of a book while destroying the essence of the book: the trace of the author, the community of readers and the call to deep, meditative reflection." [ABD]


Barbara L. Hanson said...

Anyone who unironically refers to herself as a "fangirl" should remain in the cornfields where her damage to others can be minimized.

Rita Arens said...

Thanks, BaHa. I so adore people enamored with irony.

Jeremiah, I'm actually from Missouri, although I understand the confusion. Kansas City actually sits on the state line separating Kansas and Missouri. The Kansas City you think of (the one with professional sports teams) is the one in Missouri. It is also the dirtier and more dangerous of the two, which is why I'm interested in dirtiness and messiness, having arrived in KC via Chicago, a city with its own dirtiness, messiness and danger. I don't think it should be applauded in and of itself.

I've left a few more comments with regard to Wolcott's article back at the wheat field site. Thanks for the link and the discussion -- I do think you were legitimately engaging in discussion, though some of your commenters are not.

Guys, why so defensive? I don't get it.

Rita Arens

Jeremiah Moss said...

hi rita, sorry about the state mix-up. i saw kansas city and "dorothy" and came up with kansas.

something to keep in mind--over the past decade, we've watched the city's gritty and exciting culture get wiped out by mainstream middle-America (in the stereotypical sense), so feelings run high on this topic.

readers of my blog are a strong-minded bunch, glad you're okay engaging with them.

Anonymous said...

It has, over the past decade, remained a mystery to me why mainstream middle-Americans move to NYC only to try to turn our beloved city into the exact kind of bland cookie-cutter place they came here from: why leave, if dull generic suburbia is what they crave? Moreover, why destroy the things that made our city unique? (I gather that it has something to do with fear of anything different and overweening entitlement complexes.)

A lot of the frustration among we native New Yorkers and those who became New Yorkers by moving here with the intention of making a home among the madness is this: People once came to New York because they simply couldn't fit in anywhere else. They were too strange, they didn't want a white picket fence and Stepford neighbors. They wanted to be who they were and be left alone about it and glory in the bizarre and brilliant parade. Now the people moving here in droves are exactly the ones that people once moved here to get away from.

exnewyorker said...

Lets not conflate "heartland" with suburbia. There is more Suffolk County in the current NYC than St. Louis, or Omaha, or KC, or Detroit, or Cleveland, etc. These places are actually much more 'gritty' and dangerous than NYC has been in 15 years.

Its strange to me that Suburbia is uniquely confused with the Midwest, when in all actuality its the NYC metro that invented it. Mallbrands and yunnie sensibilities, assholes like bloomberg, mobs of eurotrash. They don't come from gritty postindustrial landscapes in the midwest. But don't ask a native new yorker where they come from, because they'll be ashamed to admit their own back yard. the birthplace of the suburban mentality.

Jim Jarmusch was from Ohio, not Suffolk Street. Warhol was from Pittburgh, not Clinton St.

Its easy to lement the past, and its also easy to lay blame, but foisting this on the Midwest is ignorant of the reality. Put it on the developers & vapid pop culture, who drained the city of money so they could come back in and buy it all up for nothing.

You want cheap rent, grittyness, and crime??? There are Hundreds of Cities that have that, all over the country. Go discover your own 1970's, get a cheap old building with no heat or hot water, where poverty and decay are everywhere, and start something.

Rita Arens said...

It's certainly an interesting conversation, and I'm happy to have been sucked into it. I'll keep stopping back to watch the fray. I do wonder why people equate the Midwest with suburbia, though, even though I alluded to it in my post. I live in ACTUAL SUBURB now, but I grew up in a town of 5,000 in Iowa that had more than its share of grit, dead animals, art movie houses and more plays put on by the local talent than you'd care to know. I do think you can find art anywhere if you are willing to look, but the smaller the locale, the harder you have to look. It should be easy to find it in a place as large as New York. But isn't it still easy to find? Or am I missing something?

I think mudslinging on either side is probably detracting from what you're trying to do here, which is reignite the New York of yesteryear. I totally applaud that, but as Mom101 pointed out on my site, I think it's the grit we should applaud and not the crime, and I fear they are so often confused for each other. I can't abide a city celebrating its crime, but I can totally understand a city that misses its grit.

And I say that so totally unironically. ha!

Barbara L. Hanson said...

I don't adore irony; I just dislike silly neologisms like fangirl.

Gabe DF said...

Totally unrelated, but this was the *real* New York before it skidded off the rails...


If there are any natives left, just ask your parents or grandparents about Ann Miller and Betty Garrett.

Gabe DF said...

It all has to do with living near the Grand Concourse and going to the Loew's Paradise at least once a week. They thought they were modern then, and that they had a good thing; and they did.

Jeremiah Moss said...

ann miller rocks! and that's one of my favorite movies.

Ed said...

New York has been built by successive waves of immigrants. Some, such as the African Americans from the South and the Puerto Ricans (mostly after WWII) were from other parts of the US, others were and are outside the US.

We really should recognize that New York is experiencing another wave of immigration, this time internal, basically wealthy white people from the Midwest and South. I realize there is alot of migration from Long Island and New Jersey, but it seems no greater than usual. Its the migration from Middle America that is difficult to absorb.

The outer boroughs are also seeing a wave of immigrants of the old fashioned sort, from other countries, but culturally the smaller Middle American wave is having a greater impact because it is hitting Manhattan and northern Brooklyn. In the outer boroughs it seems that African Americans are to some extent being displaced by the other migrants.

I lived for awhile in a Midwestern suburb, and quite honestly I see the exact same attitudes with the "yunnies". Its sort of a lack of awareness that they are in a city of other people that they have to live with. Its most obvious on the sidewalks, where you have people make no attempt to avoid other foot traffic unless a collision is imminent. But you also see it with speeding down residential streets in SUVs, carrying on really noisy conversations (usually on cell phones) in public places, groups of people treating bars and restaurants as extensions of their own living rooms, etc. Quite honestly, I just don't see this behavior as much in New Jersey and Long Island.

Yes, the actual Midwestern cities are more interesting now, but that is because all the -------s left them and moved over here!

hntrnyc said...

Jeremiah, thanks for the link to the xmas in new york piece. Riveting.

Rita Arens said...

I am totally enjoying the idea of all the Midwestern assholes moving to New York City. Now THAT is a little ironic.