Thursday, March 06, 2008

It takes a Village

I've just come back from a meeting between NYU and some community neighbors. NYU is showing the community the expansion plans they have from today to 2031. It is not pretty.
1. They are threatening to build another building in front of mine. It's a long story, but the community is trying to have the entire block landmarked to prevent such an outrage.
2. They are thinking of destroying the lovely interior courtyards of Washington Sq Village, to put buildings there. This is outrageous.
3. They say they need 6 million more square feet, about 2 thirds of which they want to build in the neighborhood in the next 25 years.
Needless to say, community residents are up in arms. The Village people are a feisty bunch, if you ask me.
Typical New Yorkers, smartass, in your face. Some of them very, very smart.
Everybody hates NYU. They put up ugly eyesores all over the Village. Their campus looks like shit. They own a lot of property here and behave like the lord of the manor. And the neighbors are putting up a fight.
Still, for all the orneriness of the neighbors, it seems like a very uneven fight to me. On this corner, a huge, powerful, wealthy institution with great leverage with the city's politicians (an economic engine, bla bla bla). On the other corner: people, families, elderly citizens of the village. I wish us luck. We're going to need it.

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