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.