June 15, 2010


I HOPE THEY HAVE BOTTLE SERVICE! PUKE! We now have the same choices of places to eat and shop as they do in Montana. Remind me why we pay too much rent for tiny apartments again?

The Suburbanization of New York: Home Town, No Town, or New Town?

By Jane Holtz Kay

Is America's "greatest city" succumbing to 'burbism'? Is the nation's most vibrant urban nexus substituting suburban sprawl for the pulsating vitality of its neighborhoods? As anyplace architecture and automobile policies impinge on Manhattan...as big box stores wrapped with parkinglots maul neighborhoods...as traffic grows while walkability shrinks...and gentrification squeezes out the long-time low-rises for highrise interlopers, the questions multiply:

Is Manhattan slipping into the 'mall'-dom, car glut and sterility of suburbia?

Look at the vanishing ma and pa stores...the disappearing door-to-door cafes, neighborhood groceries usurped by chains, the idiosyncratic bookstore bowing to Barnes and (Ig)noble chains. The sidewalk, the preserve of the vaunted flaneur, is cut up by Big Box Store driveways where industrial-strength, anonymous Best Buy or Home Depot parkinglots shoot SUVs and Hummers towards the pedestrian. Forget meandering. Dismiss window shopping as idiosyncratic storefronts displaying knickknacks, idiosyncratic attire, and tasty food samples vanish at the base of blank-faced new towers that shun the jam-packed displays of a the once-lively art of window dressing.