The New ‘Old’ vs. ‘New’ New York?

Updated 10:06 a.m.

If you follow the Vanishing New York blog, Jeremiah catalogs all the doom and gloom stories in the media of what a recession/depression might mean for NYC (The end of NY as we have more recently known it… ? Yes. Please). He writes about why some people (his readers, for one, who have been watching our city … vanish) actually feel this turn of events might bring something back to New York City.

The more recent incarnation of NYC is too sterile, overly homogenized, massively commercialized. We need a bit more grit, creativity, diversity, art, community, some real bohemia (not a Marc Jacobs’ version) and less emphasis on GREED. Perhaps eventually even Mayor Bloomberg will catch on.

With that in mind, I share this story from this week’s New York magazine.

Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley was asked by an “Intelligencer” writer at an exhibit, “Tell us a recession story.”

To which, Rowley replied:

“I was in a taxi and the driver was smoking, so I said, ‘Well, you’re smoking; I might as well be having a drink! Too bad you don’t have a bar in here.’ The he moved his coat and he has a cooler and he’s like, “Do you want a Bud Light?’ The new New York!

Photo: Joep R.

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Note: Reading some of the archives of the original Gowanus Lounge site, Robert Guskind’s blog, and his eclectic mix of entries, has inspired me to diversify my site a bit more. If you’d like to read some of them go to: Gowanuslounge.blogspot.com.

NYU: If someone is going to eat up and destroy neighborhoods, it might as well be us

Downtown Manhattan, NYU Flags Abound

Downtown Manhattan, NYU Flags Abound

* Recycled Entry *

New York magazine covers NYU in their Real Estate section (week of July 14) with a piece entitled “NYU’s Olive Branch.” Subtitled: “The school wants to expand – and says it’ll be a better neighbor. Good luck, guys.”

With no mention of the pending destruction of the Provincetown Playhouse or any outline of NYU’s history of disregard for its West and East Village neighbors – as it plants its flags seemingly everywhere – the article feels incomplete.

Yet the writer, S. Jhoanna Robledo, does get some choice quotes and information from Alicia Hurley, NYU’s vice president of government affairs and community engagement.

Ms. Hurley says, “We finally realized we were on an unsustainable track. We decided we [had] to restructure and invite the community to the table.”

In February, NYU “unveiled its plan for 6 million square feet of new space, half of it housing” for their 23 year plan, Plan 2031.  The university’s plan is to add of much of this in downtown Manhattan – for the convenience of its students and faculty.

As recently as June, NYU announced plans to destroy basically all of the Provincetown Playhouse and adjoining buildings, except for four walls and the theater entry facade, despite overwhelming community opposition. So where’s the sustainability?

Ultimately revealed is NYU‘s true position on the subject: If someone is going to gobble up the neighborhood, why shouldn’t it be them? Hurley says, “What would be around Washington Square Park if it wasn’t NYU? Do you think it would be a soft, gentle area of brownstones? Or high-end condos?

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New York Magazine article here.

NYU’s Plan 2031.

Previous coverage of Provincetown Playhouse (including its history) and Community Board 2 vote in support of NYU’s plans despite overwhelming community opposition.

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Originally published July 18, 2008.  (This is a slightly edited version.)

If you missed the post about NYU President John Sexton‘s ‘up-is-down’ recent testimony at the NY City Council term limits hearings, click here.

NYU: If someone is going to eat up and destroy neighborhoods, it might as well be us

Downtown Manhattan, NYU Flags Abound

Downtown Manhattan, NYU Flags Abound

New York magazine covers NYU in their Real Estate section this week with a piece entitled “NYU’s Olive Branch.” Subtitled: “The school wants to expand – and says it’ll be a better neighbor. Good luck, guys.” With no mention of the pending destruction of the Provincetown Playhouse or any outline of NYU’s history of disregard for its West and East Village neighbors as it plants its flags seemingly everywhere, the article feels incomplete.

Yet the writer, S. Jhoanna Robledo, does get some choice quotes and information from Alicia Hurley, NYU’s vice president of government affairs and community engagement. (Gotta love that title.) She says, “We finally realized we were on an unsustainable track. We decided we [had] to restructure and invite the community to the table.”

In February, NYU “unveiled its plan for 6 million square feet of new space, half of it housing” for their 23 year plan, Plan 2031.

The university’s plan is to add of much of this in downtown Manhattan – for the convenience of its students and faculty. A faculty member is quoted: “It’s a huge lure – Greenwich Village, subsidized rental. If I wasn’t employed by them, I’d feel like NYU is a huge monster eating up the best neighborhood.”

As recently as June, NYU announced plans to destroy basically all of the Provincetown Playhouse and adjoining buildings, except for four walls and the theater entry facade, despite overwhelming community opposition. So where’s the sustainability?

Ultimately revealed is NYU‘s true position on the subject: If someone is going to gobble up the neighborhood, why shouldn’t it be them? Hurley says, “What would be around Washington Square Park if it wasn’t NYU? Do you think it would be a soft, gentle area of brownstones? Or high-end condos?”

**************************************************************

New York Magazine article here.

NYU’s Plan 2031.

Previous coverage of Provincetown Playhouse (including its history) and Community Board 2 vote in support of NYU’s plans despite overwhelming community opposition.