Wednesday, July 6, 2011

*Everyday Chatter

In "Last Days of the Deadbeats," Matt Harvey remembers when Mars Bar seemed "like a beautifully decayed hulk of a forlorn ship on the edge of an apocalyptic planet." [NYP]

Mars Bar tells polo-shirted Observer reporters to go fuck themselves, again and again. [NYO]

"The era of Bowery bums, punks and junkies is long gone. Which, if you lived and were sober in the neighborhood back then, we suspect you would agree is a good thing." [Gothamist]

City "finally determined to erect a public Astor Place, the cost to be about $2,400." [BK]

Artisanal soda jerk: “When the older people come in here and start talking about the sodas they used to get, I almost want to say, ‘I don’t care about your memories.' ...Don’t screw this up for these kids by putting it in the past. This is happening now.” [NYT]

More artisanal blah, blah, blah for the overcrowded East Village streets. [EVG]

Sting's kid buys a luxury condo on Orchard Street. [NYO]

Wal-Mart keeps trying to buy Manhattan. [Racked]


Jack Womack said...

Glad you spotted the Artisanal Jerk's comment about the Older People. There's a canny businessman knowing how to go after and secure a broad customer base.

Jeremiah Moss said...

it's a revealing statement that i think reflects this larger sentiment in the city today: "old is bad, new is good, and please don't mess up our new way of life with your miserable nostalgia."

it's in the Gothamist piece about Mars Bar, too. it's everywhere.

Crazy Eddie said...

Peter Freeman-Go fuck yourself!

Ed said...

But if the Mars Bar somehow survives, won't that mean the crime will come back?

Ed said...

Seriously, I actually agree with the Gothamist article about the narrow issue of whether this is a good time for the Mars Bar to close. The place is now next to a structure that looks like a shopping mall. Many of the other places that gave those particular blocks of the city have closed or changed character, and if the Mars Bar somehow remained open it risked becoming a sort of parody of itself. At best, it would have been the downtown version of PJ Clarke's.

What is objectionable is EVERY place in the central part of the city (downtown and midtown Manhattan, and brownstone Brooklyn) turning into a place that only people who like upscale shopping malls could like. This is bad on its own terms, and horrible for the diversity that cities, after all, are supposed to provide.

And again, this has nothing to do with the city being "cleaned up". Crime rates dropped roughly between 1991 and 1996. The Mars Bar is closing in 2011. The scene there functioned quite well during Giuliani's mayorality, and even ten years later. Blame or credit increased inequality of income and wealth and the real estate bubble, which is why other American cities are experiencing the same, though in a less extreme form.

Filmatix said...

"Like the other modern jerks, Mr. Freeman is determined to avoid running a retro or theme restaurant selling nostalgia without content."

This is the least self-aware comment in a sea of them I've read in all these pieces where some Times writer fawns over yuppies repackaging something that used to be normal, affordable, and undocumented by bloggers, and selling it to bland yunnies. The guy wouldn't have a customer to speak of if not for this obesession with old-timeyness that's all the rage with the leisure class.

Screw Freeman. Ray's 4-Evah.

James Taylor said...

If the artisanal soda jerk with the ironic facial hair is so "determined to avoid running a retro or theme restaurant" and doesn't want his venture screwed up by people recalling the very thing he is so blatantly pastiching, then why do he and his cohorts look like extras from a Spencer Tracy movie?

These people are odious and an embarrassment to their generation (which, unfortunately, is also mine). However I have no shame in admitting I own several Lacoste polos...

JAZ said...

That Jake Sumner article is absolutely nauseating. Such a cliche - rich boy, desperately trying to sell his Soho penthouse to move to the neutered and declawed LES (from the article: "the newest to hip Lower East Side living"),chasing the latest edge of cool.

And needless to say, he's straight out of trust fund central casting with the thick framed glasses, beard, and ironic t-shirt.

It is all so painfully fitting - Jake Sumner should be on the Now Safe for gritty urban experience postage stamp. He is a living synopsis of so much that is wrong with NYC these days.

glamma said...

Peter Freeman of Brooklyn Farmacy, yo are a f*cking a$$hole.

esquared™ said...

more artisanal blah, blah, blah indeed

that'll go well with the artisanal shaved ice and the rest of artisanal blah blah blah

i'll stick to papaya, ray's and under the umbrella hot dogs, thank you much