They Say Art Is Dead in New York. They're Wrong. – Alan Feuer, NYT (December 2014):
Somehow, in the last few years, it has become an article of faith that New York has lost its artistic spirit, that the city's long run as a capital of culture is over. After all (or so the argument goes), foreign oligarchs and hedge-fund traders have bought up all the real estate, chased away the artists and turned the bohemia that once ran east from Chumley's clear across the Williamsburg Bridge into a soulless playground of money.
Last year, the foremost proponent of this doomsday theory was the rock star David Byrne, who complained in The Guardian that artists, as a species, had been priced out of New York. This year, others joined him. The novelist Zadie Smith lamented in October, in The New York Review of Books, that the city's avant-garde had all but disappeared. The musician Moby wrote a comparable essay in February, describing how creative types are fleeing New York and referring to his former home, accurately but narrowly, as "the city of money." Just a couple of weeks ago, Robert Elmes, the founder of the Galápagos Art Space in Brooklyn, declared the indigenous "creative ecosystem" was in crisis — so, naturally, he was moving to Detroit.
The Public Advocate for the City of New York has released an interactive map, The NYC Landord Watchlist, which maps the city's most poorly managed buildings. The map uses data from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to list over 6,800 buildings across New York. You can search the map by address and by borough. If you select a property listed on the map you can view the number and type of violations it has received. [via]
In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class. Here's What $800 in Rent Gets You in 11 Major Cities [more inside]
The Museum of Modern Art’s announcement on January 8 that it will indeed tear down Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum building of 1997–2001 felt like hearing that a relative or close friend had finally succumbed to an incurable disease. Even though the outcome had been expected, it was a shock nonetheless."MoMA Loses Face": Martin Filler decries the museum's expansion plan in the NYRB. [more inside]
[Urban planning] allows discrimination but dresses it up as discriminating taste. So says an opinion piece in Reason magazine titled Urban Design Hipsters are Evil. [more inside]
Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, long nicknamed the "Lavender Lake" for its copious oil slicks, has gained a new title : Superfund Site. New Yorkers respond with really cool photography. While some developers bow out in light of the recent news, other area developers, hoping for a speedy cleanup of the industrial waste and, uh ... other things ... vow to continue their plans to revitalize the formerly-industrial corridor.
Are you a young middle-class creative type (probably white) who has chosen to live in an urban neighborhood that your parents would have shunned? Have the families that formerly lived in your neighborhood (probably not white) been pushed out by soaring rents and real-estate prices to the city fringes or suburbs? The New Republic on demographic inversion.
The Penthouse Wondering what to do with the $70 mil. that Granny left you in her will? You could buy that private tropical island you have had your eye on but that's a 30 hour trip in your private jet. Wouldn't you really be happier here?