Friday, October 28, 2016

Tiny Food

The new Astor Place is at it again. Now that our public space has been semi-privatized by the Bloomberg administration and the Village Alliance BID, now that it's a prime example of zombie urbanism, it continues to push the interactive corporate advertainment installations.

First, there was the Design Pavilion. Now it's a "tiny food" pop-up cafe to "celebrate the new Zagat app!"

Yes, tiny food.

Look at it. So tiny. So cute. As Jim Windolf once said in Vanity Fair, "Big business is not blind to the power of cute... cuteness tricks you into forgetting that it represents something that’s not cute in the slightest."

Zagat is owned by Google, who basically owns everything about you. And there's that whole thing about public spaces being privatized. But don't think about that! Just get excited about tiny food!

Tiny tacos. Tiny burgers. Tiny pizza. Tiny cookies. All "versions" of food items from trendy eateries around town. Hurry up and stand in line!

But watch out you don't get rowdy near the corporate advertainment pavilion kiosk. Astor Place now has a private security guard.

Battle for Astor Place
Astor Place Design Pavilion
Astor Place Farce
Controlling Astor Place


Unknown said...

completely out of character for the area. anywhere USA, or anywhere in the world.

Unknown said...

I don't know what's cuter, the tiny tacos, or the private security guard with the umbrella?

John K said...

OMG, Jeremiah, this is too much! Tiny food--are they kidding us? Seriously? Cute--and cutesy--microedibles to advertise a once-indie food rating company that's now part of a global behemoth whose goal seems to put every other business and industry out of business. It's like the story of hypergentrified New York distilled into a metaphor, or analogy, or ridiculous object!

Those tiny treats seem perfect for the zombie urbanists, who won't want to put on any pounds anyway, since instead of walking or taking the train anywhere they can just hop into Uber/Lyft/car service (what remains of it), that is, until self-driving cars finally appear to take them wherever they need to go, etc. Also, that doll-sized food surely won't attract the homeless, or anyone who is really hungry, but then they are being banished to motels in the outer boroughs, or New Jersey, or wherever the city is able to consign them.

That tiny food is like holograms of a memory of the culture you could once experience and create in New York! Even better, why not throw up a new glass tower right in what remains of the open space of Astor Place, cover it with corporate brands, and call it the Museum of the Memory of Food and Fun and Urban Life in New York? And charge $30 to get in? And create a great social media strategy, with excellent collab swag (bags+Prada, yoga pants+Lululemon, etc.), and invite famous artists and celebrities who remember that fun NYC to curate exhibits? Who needs an unbranded, open and public Astor Place anyway? At least it'll be SAFE SAFE SAFE!

JM said...

Today's Daytonian in New York blog post has a line that seems very relevant to everything you write about, Jeremiah:

'Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was highly instrumental in thwarting Penn Central's 1968 plans to erect an office tower on top of Grand Central. Among her arguments, she said "Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children?"'

Unknown said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. I just wanted to say that this makes me barf with rage.

The Village was already gentrified by the time I was on St. Marks almost every night, but I got to see the end of many eras downtown and am glad I got to in my teens and twenties. It has no soul at all now. but this is just ghastly. Tiny food? Advertainment and no more cube? Security detail?!

I spent my life lamenting how I could never afford Manhattan. Now I'm glad I stayed in the Bronx where we have normal sized food.

Eli Balin said...

I can't help but notice that not only is the Cube still not back (gussied up with lights and motors or otherwise), but there isn't even a spot marked out of the current smooth expanse of concrete for its return.

Diana Rivera said...

Just thought to inform - The Alamo is back, and apparently under guard. It was reinstalled today, as per this picture:
I don't know how I feel about this.

Howard said...

At least the cube is back, one non-vanishing item