Thursday, November 10, 2011

*Everyday Chatter

A Fresh Air interview with James Wolcott about life in 1970s NYC: "When you see a prostitute pulling a knife on another prostitute, that's something suburban Maryland didn't prepare me for." [NPR]

Romy's new Walker in the City tells of foxyknockers and debauched scenes in the Chelsea Hotel. [WIC]

What happens when the Shaloms take a building? [EVG]

Something called Sticky's Finger Joint is coming to the ghost town of West 8th St. According to their Facebook page, they will be "New York City's first and only establishment dedicated to the all mighty and delicious CHICKEN FINGER."

Two mom-and-pop shops vanish from Cobble Hill. [LC]

A new book about 70s NYC: "moves panoramically from post-Dylan Greenwich Village, to the arson-scarred South Bronx barrios where salsa and hip-hop were created, to the Lower Manhattan lofts where jazz and classical music were reimagined, to ramshackle clubs like CBGBs." [FP]

Bloomberg and the myth of the progressive city. [Salon]

Norman Mailer for mayor! [ENY]


James Campbell Taylor said...

Back in the '90s former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman owned a chain of restaurants called "Sticky Fingers". I never ate there but it was packed with Stones memorabilia. I assume this new place is in no way connected.

I have a coaster from the Waverly Inn (sorry) that's a caricature of Mailer with his mayoral slogan.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

This is sort of off-topic, but I thought of you when this happened the other day. I was in East Village Cheese when a young couple came in, looked around, and the woman exclaimed, "Oh! Whole Foods is soooo much better than this!"

James Campbell Taylor said...

Nobody beats East Village Cheese's service or prices! I know a guy who lives around the corner from Zabar's who comes all the way down from the Upper West Side to get his hands on some Manchego and Wensleydale.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Brendan, thank you for that link. now you've given me more juicy fodder for my anti-Wisonsinism!

i hear what you're saying, Earthquake--did we have this exchange before about xenophobia about Americans? there's got to be a word for it that means "fear of the familiar," but i can't figure it out.

justin said...

Earthquake's point is really interesting. What is the "existing culture" of the East Village? German? Jewish? Hungarian? Ukranian? Italian? Puerto Rican? Dominican? Punk rock? The way it's always worked is that people show up from wherever they come from and open stores and restaurants that reflect where they come from. What's different now is that the neighborhood is seeing domestic migration for the first time in, I dunno, ever? Same behavior, but it certainly looks different.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Brendan made the critical point that Midwesterners, or other Americans, bringing their culture to NYC is not the same as the immigrant experience of Italians, Poles, etc., because of privilege.

the immigrants we're talking about created ghettos in the city, Little Italys and Chinatowns, because they were safe places for them to live and work. the people did not speak English, were usually poor and uneducated, and were targets of actual oppression.

why would privileged, white, educated, middle- and upper-middle class Americans do the same thing? are they afraid? are they oppressed? do they worry about being lynched, as Italians were?

so what's the reason?

Crazy Eddie said...

Re WI. As a Manhattan lifer and as I have posted before, Gilles Frozen Custard rules! I was also rooting for a Detroit/Milwaukee WS this year. I also like the NFL’s socialist team, the Packers. Although the Bret Favre man crush (I did not have one) went a little too far.

“are they afraid? are they oppressed? do they worry about being lynched, as Italians were?”
I think they like to be together because they are rather on the chubby side.

Ed said...

Brendan's 6:02 post really nails it. What we've been seeing over the last ten years in Manhattan isn't immigration. There has been lots of immigration of the old sort in the outer boroughs. What is happening in the central neighborhoods is colonization.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't where they come from or how much money they have, it is that they don't respect what came before them and look down on it. I am from Ohio, but I came here in 1997, poor and broke. I found things in New York that I liked, and If I wanted crap from Ohio, I went to visit my parents.

My family wasn't wealthy. And I see plenty of native New Yorkers buying condos and eating in the foodie places. I think a lot of generalization is going on here.

Jeremiah Moss said...

and that's why i use the term "yunnie." though it's imperfect, it points to a type of personality, and is not specific about origin, class, etc. "young," however, is in there, which is not always accurate, either.

but basically we're talking about people who have a lot of privilege and entitlement, coupled with aggression that they unleash on targets that tend to be: old, lower class, and typically urban in a chaotic way that they cannot control.

the suburbanization and Midwestifying of the city is one expression of the yunnie phenomenon.

Brendan said...

JAZ, you said what I was trying to say much better than I did.

I had a thought this morning (been thinking about this stuff a lot lately) that seemed important to me but might be obvious to all of you. It occurred to me that the current wave of American transplants is different from past waves because the last couple decades of gentrification have created the assumption of more gentrification. So when people were moving into Soho or the East Village, they weren't expecting their neighborhoods to turn "nice" if they waited out the "bad" stuff; they had to take the neighborhoods as they were. That attracted one kind of person.

Now, there's this expectation that if you have artists and hipsters moving into a "bad" neighborhood, you just have to wait a few years and it will turn "nice." That attracts a completely different kind of person. Importantly, it's often a kind of person willing and able to pay more rent, but there underlying are personality differences too.

At some point it will have to stop though. The city's economy will support a large number of hipsters and yuppies, but not an infinite number. I have a feeling it will stop soon.

Anonymous said...

And some of us left the midwest partly to get away from it.