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Thread: Proposed: The Remy - 101 West 28th Street - by Costas Kondylis

  1. #31
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    I'm more worried about how it's going to drive up rents in the Flower District.

  2. #32

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    London: Unlike Paris and London (Capitals of their respective countries BTW), the tenements of NYC are humble structures based on wood frames ...and wood ages and sags. But even so, those old tenements are closer to the spirit of Paris and London than 9 out of 10 of the crappy high-rise apartment houses built in Manhattan over the past few decades. The buildings you point out in the photo above are beautiful... absolutely beautiful... and THEY are part of the NYC that we all love. Of course they´re filthy and run down... a filthy and run down building is filthy and run down until it´s renovated.... no? My gosh, if we listened to ravings like yours, the Village and little Italy would´ve been torn down too. No, these are not "great old buildings", they´re not landmarks.... but no true New Yorker wants to see the city looking like Houston on the Hudson with shiney new building everywhere. You´re right these building probably won´t be renovated until zoning laws change ...but... let´s see a show of hands:

    Better to have these run-down tenements that make "the Flower district" the "flower district", or would you rather see them flattened and replaced with the usual brick-balconied,-exposed-floor-plate, -Duane Reade-Starbucks-,parking garged high rise with marble lobby, that would most likely replace them?

    OK let´s see the hands. Gee London.... you lose.... as a consolation prize I´ll buy you a drink at nice sleazy bar...and then afterward we´ll go out and get s----ed, b---'d & tattooed.
    Last edited by Fabrizio; February 8th, 2006 at 06:48 PM.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer
    Nonetheless, they have been restored and cheap stores have been replaced with fashionable ones. The same thing should (and will) happen here.
    I for one don't want fashionable stores in this neighborhood. I for one enjoy the flower district and enjoy the cheap array of export import goods in the neighborhood, the leather goods, perfume, watches, and kitchen-ware. I like having an entire street dedicated to leather wallets, the Hasidic Jews, the Eastern Africans, and the Indians displaying their culture. I like the chaos and I like barganing with the store owners, I like buying $5 leather wallets and a $25 dollar leather bag. I like the lunch time hangouts and the dollar stores that are packed and stocked.

    What I don't want is the city to look like one big Yuppy neighborhood.

  4. #34

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    I also love the street off Herald Square which is filled with excellent Korean restaurants and shops.

    Yuppy fronts, no no no no no.

  5. #35

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    Stern,

    Nice stores are not bad. Cheap stores certainly have a value, and they also have a place. New York is not just Manhattan. It's Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island too. Just because bodegas no longer fit in in SoHo (or this area) doesn't mean that they're doomed. Nonetheless, they don't fit in here. You don't find cheap stores on Madison, on Bond St., on the Avenue Montaigne, on the Ginza, etc., and in time, they won't fit in in Chelsea. They'll exist somewhere else in NY as in other cities.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer
    Stern,

    Nice stores are not bad. Cheap stores certainly have a value, and they also have a place. New York is not just Manhattan. It's Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island too. Just because bodegas no longer fit in in SoHo (or this area) doesn't mean that they're doomed. Nonetheless, they don't fit in here. You don't find cheap stores on Madison, on Bond St., on the Avenue Montaigne, on the Ginza, etc., and in time, they won't fit in in Chelsea. They'll exist somewhere else in NY as in other cities.
    So you're saying that they should replace, or in other words destroy one of my favorite neighborhoods because it doesn't fit in with the elite's haughty taught way of life. I should have to travel to Staten Island to find a district that is quintessential NY, one that had established itself long before yuppification?

    Lets take a vote...

    Scenario A:

    The existing neighborhood, community bars, affordable department stores, goods and wares districts. Ethnic patches, African, Indian, Korean, and Kosher. Some grit, some grime, but chock full of character and one of the cities best and most affordable shopping districts.

    Scenario B:

    The future neighborhood, some shiny and some rather dull residential developments. Retail tenants: Best Buy, Gap, Starbucks, Duane Reade's... In the mix some nice upscale restaurants and kitchen galleries...

  7. #37

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    Things are not as black and white as you think. Nice things don't have to be chains. In addition to living in the city, I have a house in Scarsdale, and in Scarsdale Village, which is beautiful and pristine, there are no chain stores. The clothing stores, cafes and restaurants are all very nice, and they're all independent. It's pristine, but not homogenous.

    With respect to your statement regarding the haughty way of life that's emerging on Sixth Avenue, consider the housing that's rising there. Apartments in the O'Neills building cost millions of dollars. This area is not what it was ten years ago. Like it or not, areas with upscale housing generally have upscale stores. As I noted in an earlier post, when my friend first moved to Bayswater in London 8 years ago, it was grimy, as was the retail. The area has gentrified and the shoddy, run down shops have been replaced with nice ones. People who buy multi-million dollar apartments don't shop in bodegas. They shop in Balducci's and Whole Foods among other places.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer
    Things are not as black and white as you think. Nice things don't have to be chains. In addition to living in the city, I have a house in Scarsdale, and in Scarsdale Village, which is beautiful and pristine, there are no chain stores. The clothing stores, cafes and restaurants are all very nice, and they're all independent. It's pristine, but not homogenous.

    With respect to your statement regarding the haughty way of life that's emerging on Sixth Avenue, consider the housing that's rising there. Apartments in the O'Neills building cost millions of dollars. This area is not what it was ten years ago. Like it or not, areas with upscale housing generally have upscale stores. As I noted in an earlier post, when my friend first moved to Bayswater in London 8 years ago, it was grimy, as was the retail. The area has gentrified and the shoddy, run down shops have been replaced with nice ones. People who buy multi-million dollar apartments don't shop in bodegas. They shop in Balducci's and Whole Foods among other places.
    Your entirely missing the point. NYC has entirely enough of "those" neighborhoods, "these" NYC neighborhoods are in short supply.

    I would like to hear other people's opinions regarding my Scenario A and Scenario B.

  9. #39

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    I'm not even remotely missing your point, I just completely disagree with it. Manhattan between Wall Street and 96th Street is quite a small part of NYC. The outer boroughs don't have a lot of haughty neighborhoods that you describe. Don't they count?

  10. #40
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    Give me scenario A any day.

    There is a terrific stretch of low rise buildings on 28th just west of this site. At this time they house wholesale florist connected businesses, so I fear they will not be long for this world.

    On the other hand 28th St. going east from 6th Avenue -- especially as it approaches and crosses Broadway -- is about as crappy as it gets in midtown.

    Also 6th Avenue above 23rd St. (where the Remy et al are going up) is a world apart from 6th Avenue below 23rd, which is a protected historic district and there the buildings have been / are being renovated. Not that below 23rd St. stretch doesn't have it's chains (it's chock full, from Old Navy to Staples to Olive Garden to Bed Bath & Beyond) but above 23rd the Duane Reades, etc. are tucked into the bases of the lifeless new buildings -- and lack of design standards bring an overabundance of signage signalling pratically nothing.

    Another thing that really bugs me (while I'm at it) is that no trees have been incorporated into the new re-zoning along 6th Ave. Instead they've tucked them into those silly bonus plazas off of the Avenue, which invariably become trash strewn zones with dead plantings -- check out the spot on the east side of the Ave. between 26th / 27th. Granted 6 Ave. has the subway below, but the bigger reason for no greenery is that developers claim greenery makes renting storefronts problematic (because trees block signage -- which in this area would be a plus).

    A few years ago -- before re-zoning and new construction -- that stretch of 6th Avenue was a great pocket of NYC. Derelict maybe, but the vistas of the ESB rising above was magical. Now it has entered into a netherworld that resembles something between a strip mall and and a version of Co-op City.

    Sadly it has become simply an area to get through on travels between downtown and midtown.

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer
    I'm not even remotely missing your point, I just completely disagree with it. Manhattan between Wall Street and 96th Street is quite a small part of NYC. The outer boroughs don't have a lot of haughty neighborhoods that you describe. Don't they count?
    The point is that once the Flower, Garment, Fashion, and Diamond District are priced out of Manhattan they aren't going to move to the outer boroughs. They'll just be forever removed. For what, shops and restaurants you can find in countless Manhattan neighborhoods...

  12. #42

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    Why do you speculate that they won't move to outer boroughs. Look at what happened with the fish market going to Hunt's Point. Also, in the NY Times Business section on February 5th, there's an article about one of the last small manufacturers leaving the City Hall area and relocating to Long Island City.

    Manhattan real estate is among (if not the) most expensive in the world. It is not economically realistic to run flower and garment districts there. Once again, what's wrong with Queens, the Bronx, etc.? Nothing.

    PS: Who said that the Diamond District was priced out of Manhattan? It's still there, and it's thriving. Also, its profit margin is a lot higher than those of flower and garment sales, and therefore, it can afford to be in Manhattan.

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio
    London: Unlike Paris and London (Capitals of their respective countries BTW), the tenements of NYC are humble structures based on wood frames ...and wood ages and sags. But even so, those old tenements are closer to the spirit of Paris and London than 9 out of 10 of the crappy high-rise apartment houses built in Manhattan over the past few decades. The buildings you point out in the photo above are beautiful... absolutely beautiful... and THEY are part of the NYC that we all love. Of course they´re filthy and run down... a filthy and run down building is filthy and run down until it´s renovated.... no? My gosh, if we listened to ravings like yours, the Village and little Italy would´ve been torn down too. No, these are not "great old buildings", they´re not landmarks.... but no true New Yorker wants to see the city looking like Houston on the Hudson with shiney new building everywhere. You´re right these building probably won´t be renovated until zoning laws change ...but... let´s see a show of hands:

    Better to have these run-down tenements that make "the Flower district" the "flower district", or would you rather see them flattened and replaced with the usual brick-balconied,-exposed-floor-plate, -Duane Reade-Starbucks-,parking garged high rise with marble lobby, that would most likely replace them?

    OK let´s see the hands. Gee London.... you lose.... as a consolation prize I´ll buy you a drink at nice sleazy bar...and then afterward we´ll go out and get s----ed, b---'d & tattooed.
    Fabrizio,

    You are truly obnoxious. Who do you think you are addressing me in such a condescending and rude manner? Perhaps you should consider etiquette lessons. I suspect that I have every reason to be condescending to you, and yet I am not.

    With respect to "the substance" of your post, although London and Paris are capitals, not all of the buildings in those cities are magnificent. Moreover, NY was as wealthy as those cities when they all boomed in the 1800's and early 1900's, and therefore, it has scores of great, old buildings from those periods that are every bit as grand. Thus, your suggestion that New York, unlike London and Paris, is characterized by "humble" structures is absurd.

    Nevertheless, in addition to the great, old buildings in NY, Paris and London, there are obviously many simple ones in all three cities. As in NY, vast areas of London and Paris that have very simple buildings (such as Bayswater and Montparnasse) became quite forlorn, but these areas in London and Paris have been restored. In the process, cheap stores have been replaced with fashionable ones. The same thing should (and will) happen here.

    Apparently, you have difficulties with simple reading comprehension or you have not read any posts that I've written other than No. 20 in this thread from which you extrapolate unsupported conclusions. Read my posts regarding the Drake, the YMCA building, McHale's Pub, etc. and you will note that I, like most New Yorkers, want to preserve nice, old buildings; therefore, NY won't become another Houston any moreso than London will. That being said, New York's economics and rent control/stabilization laws often result in a scenario in which dilapidated, multi-unit dwellings, like the ones in the photo, are either torn down or remain in utter disrepair. In those circumstances, I prefer the former. I don't know if you've ventured outside of Tuscany lately, but non-descript buildings are routinely razed in London.

    Anyway, you very often exhibit an obnoxious attitude as if you're enlightening people. Trust me: neither I, nor New Yorkers in general, need a guy from a small town in Tuscany (or from anywhere else for that matter) to lecture me/us. Please keep that in mind the next time you decide to write a condesceding, didactic message.
    Last edited by londonlawyer; February 9th, 2006 at 01:17 AM.

  14. #44

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    Granted "service neighbourhoods" and the like can move to the outer boroughs, but not with the same physical characteristics. As it stood, the Fulton Fish Market was a unique vestige of old New York- from the time when the city was far more distinguishable from others than it was today. Can one honestly say the same about the new, hermetically sealed fish market at Hunts' Point, situated in nondiscrept corrugated warehouses? Functionally it serves the city well, but the move cost it one of the unique features it ultimately derived from the presence of such archaic holdovers within its remarkable (and entirely unique) urban environment.

    Case in point, will the Flower District be the same Flower District when removed from the crowded, canyon atmosphere of Manhattan's avenues? I can't imagine its character could be reproduced in Queens.

    If to some extent such quirks are what attract many to Manhattan, why are they being eradicated via a sanitisation process which will ultimately render the island too sterile to prove of much interest to the very gentrifying forces the city seeks to attract? Montparnasse was arguably far more interesting when it was a bohemian enclave than it is today. The same is increasingly true of Notting Hill in London, and Camden Lock to a more ambiguous degree. The gentrification process in Manhattan, which perhaps due to its density or vertical characteristics demonstrates far greater evidence of decay than other successful cities with similar physical plants, is ultimately more beneficial to the city than not. But there should be an effort to preserve, if not all, then some features of these serendipitous anomalies.

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by czsz
    The gentrification process in Manhattan...is ultimately more beneficial to the city than not. But there should be an effort to preserve, if not all, then some features of these serendipitous anomalies.
    Well now, there's something pretty much everyone can agree upon; that's what this whole discussion has boiled down to.

    What nobody has addressed is how to accomplish this within the economic system (or without it, for that matter).
    Last edited by ablarc; February 9th, 2006 at 07:21 AM.

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