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Thread: Chinatown hopes for rebirth

  1. #166
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    At least the core of old Little Italy retains some architectural integrity -- unlike the surrounding blocks where Chinese $$ + development is taking over and buildings are being desecrated and replaced with the worst cheap stuff.

  2. #167

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    People in Chinatown must be cognizant of the ancient, Chinese maxim, which states: "Two Wongs don't make a right." Seriously though, folks, I really hope that these Wangs don't act like wangs and raze great old buildings.


    Shecky has left the house (or at least the auditorium at Kutscher's).
    Last edited by londonlawyer; January 2nd, 2013 at 09:43 PM.

  3. #168

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    Quote Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
    You mean "has pushed out", you're about 1-2 decades late. Little Italy, or what's left of it, is a complete fraud. There's nothing authentic left about it. It's no better than an overpriced Tijuana, just a single street tourist trap subsisting on ignorant tourists and completely engulfed by chinatown
    For the most part true, but there do remain a few good, old school red sauce places in Little Italy

  4. #169
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Not in New York City...please.


    Chinatowns Renew Push for Traditional Gateways

    By KIRK SEMPLE


    Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press
    Friendship Arch, a traditional Chinese gate, in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington.
    Most of the world’s large Chinese immigrant communities have gateways, but not New York’s.


    Wellington Z. Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership, under the Brooklyn Bridge. His group is leading an effort to build a traditional arch in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

    In this fantasy, he sees a constellation of gateways, each a unique monument to Chinese history and creativity, marking the key entrances to Chinatown. One is a modernist sculpture, another incorporates video projections and yet another is a hologram reaching toward the stars.

    “It’s like the totem pole for Native Americans: It’s self-identity,” said Mr. Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation. “It’s fundamentally about self-respect of a community that has been isolated.”

    Most of the world’s large Chinese immigrant communities have gateways — usually traditionally styled arches with multitiered roofs, intricate detailing, Chinese lettering and bright colors.
    Yet Manhattan’s Chinatown, one of the most venerable Chinese enclaves outside Asia, has none. Neither do the city’s other large Chinese communities.

    In recent months, however, efforts to build Chinese gateways in Manhattan and Brooklyn have gathered momentum. Proponents say the structures are critical aspects of a Chinese enclave’s architectural and emotional tapestry, serving as tourist attractions as well as landmarks that define a neighborhood’s boundaries and symbolize a cultural threshold.

    Their absence has been felt most deeply in Manhattan’s Chinatown. For nearly 50 years, neighborhood groups have pressed for a traditional archway, but those efforts have mostly fallen by the wayside.

    In 2005, the City Council set aside $250,000 for the development of an arch, which proponents expected to cost less than $1 million, Mr. Chen said. But supporters, slowed in part by complicated city regulations, were unable to advance the project, Mr. Chen said. In 2009, the Council cut the allocation from its budget.

    Mr. Chen has recently sought to inject new life into the quest, soliciting designs from students at the New York City College of Technology, redoubling his efforts to secure funding, lobbying for governmental support and elevating the issue to a top priority for his organization.

    He has been particularly concerned about the historic core of Manhattan’s Chinatown, an area roughly bounded by Canal Street to the north, the Bowery to the east, Worth Street to the south and Broadway to the west.
    Once the center of Chinese activity in the city, those blocks have lost their primacy to other Chinese enclaves and the community has been rattled by a series of challenges, including rising rents and the flight of younger residents. New immigrants have increasingly bypassed the area, settling elsewhere in the city.

    Mr. Chen argues that gateways would buoy the spirit and economy of the neighborhood, increasing the number of visitors and attracting more businesses. They would also help mark the entrances to a neighborhood that is somewhat cut off from the rest of Lower Manhattan by busy roads, government buildings and ramps leading to the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.

    “If I said, ‘Go to Chinatown,’ would you know how to go in?” Mr. Chen asked on a recent afternoon, as he stood at the intersection of Centre and Leonard Streets. Municipal and federal buildings sat imposingly on the other side of the street. Chinatown was somewhere beyond them, out of view, only a couple of blocks away.

    “I call it ‘The Great Wall of Government,’ ” he said.

    A separate effort to build a gateway in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, which has a large and growing Chinese population, has jumped ahead of its Manhattan counterpart.

    A committee of Chinese supporters from throughout the city has already located a site there; secured the backing of Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president; submitted plans to the Department of Transportation; begun a fund-raising drive to support the project; and even lined up the cooperation of public officials in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, a sister city to Brooklyn, who have agreed to manufacture the structure and ship it to New York. In the past year, delegations of officials from Chaoyang have made several trips to the borough to discuss the project, which is called the Friendship Archway.

    “Certainly New York City, which has the largest Chinese-American population in the United States, should have at least one such arch,” Mr. Markowitz said in a statement.

    The Sunset Park design calls for a 42-foot-high, 43-foot-wide archway spanning Eighth Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets. The ornately decorated structure would include nine roofs, gold paint and pillars, reflecting a style used in Beijing’s imperial palaces and gardens, according to a project report by the architect, Raymond Chan, who is based in Flushing, Queens.

    The entire project is estimated to cost $1.2 million, with the Chaoyang government contributing $550,000 for construction and shipping and the balance coming from public and private sources in Brooklyn, according to the plans.

    The Transportation Department, however, has balked at the idea of an archway spanning a city street. Nicole Garcia, an agency spokeswoman, said Thursday that the installation of such a structure would be “restricted due to safety concerns” and subject to “extensive” multiagency city reviews. “Given these challenges,” she said, “we recommended selecting an alternative location.”

    Supporters are hoping that new administrations next year in City Hall and the Brooklyn borough president’s office will push the project through. On the other side of the East River, Mr. Chen, who has watched the parallel effort unfold in Sunset Park, said he did not feel any competitive pressure to realize his vision first. The success of one will be good for the other, he said. And in turn, it would be good for the city and its legacy.

    “People think it’s just about Chinatown,” he said. “It’s not. It’s about America.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/01/ny...ays.html?_r=1&

  5. #170
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Imagine all the other kitschy additions to mark the ethnicity of various neighborhoods in NYC. Or don't, please.

  6. #171
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    $3.6 Million Forsyth Street Plaza Project Is Finally Happening

    by Jeremiah Budin



    The transformation of an triangular plot bordered by Forsyth Street, Canal Street, and the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown is actually happening, finally. The project has been in the works since 2009 and although original estimates had construction finishing up in early 2013, the Department of Design and Construction is just now getting ready to begin the approval process. (It will present to Community Board 3 tomorrow night.) The $3.58 million project will, according to the DDC's plans, provide a space for residents and cyclists that "not only overlooks Forsyth Street and the surrounding neighborhood, but also provides seating amid garden plants to relax. In total, the project provides up to 10,000 square feet of new public space." That involves creating a stairwell, paving the plaza with granite and concrete, and adding seating, tables, bike racks, a water fountain, and various types of plants. The new completion date is set for winter 2015.



    $3.5M Forsyth Street Plaza Project to Bring a 'High Line' Feel to the Manhattan Bridge Off-Ramp [Bowery Boogie]
    Jane Street, Chinatown Triangles Getting New Looks [Curbed]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/1..._happening.php

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