“Where I grew up, it’s okay to have extra pounds. It means someone’s lovin’ you, cooking for you at home," says a man who moved to New York and realized that just doesn't cut it here. Manhattan men are now the second skinniest in the nation, for which you probably have to credit Mike Bloomberg and chopped salads.
The new book by music critic Marc Spitz, Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the '90s, out this week from Da Capo Press, is a wistful, candid recounting of Spitz's struggles with career, love and drugs as he made his way into adulthood. The memoir's also enjoyable for its many anecdotes of downtown New York during the 90s, the time when Chloë Sevigny was coming off Kids, the actress Adrienne Shelly was the reigning indie queen, and Bennington graduates seemed to be everywhere. Spitz's anecdotes about the actors and musicians he meets have a wayward namedropping charm—they also, all together, form a fascinating portrait of the [...]
The Plaza District—essentially 42nd Street to basically Central Park South, from Third Avenue to Seventh Avenue—is officially Not Cool and also Highly Expensive and so therefore is Highly Vacant, because Bros Don't Want Their Offices there. "The people who come to our buildings, they use words like ‘dude’ and ‘totally.’ They pound you, they don’t shake your hand. And right now, those are the ones making the space decisions," is how the president of Trinity Real Estate, Jason Pizer, put it. Sure thing, brah! The dudes want to be closer to the L train. JK, they want to be down by The Startups. Um, also, they don't want [...]
Before the “events” of 2011, which if you were “lucky” made your life surreal and possibly oneiric (and if you’re reading this, I’m sure you know what I mean), I had lived in a part of Manhattan (specifically: the northern or “unsettled” part) for close to two decades. Sections of this neighborhood nevertheless remained unfamiliar or “foreign” to me, although I had heard rumors about a specific “location” said to be found somewhere west of Broadway—i.e., close to the river—and most likely north of the bridge (but this fact was far from certain), a place known for its mutating and unmappable streets, represented on the internet by gray “zones” [...]
"My theory is that we are primed for the pendulum to swing back to Manhattan—we are approximately 2 years away from a rash of trend stories declaring that 'Manhattan Is the New Brooklyn,' as people begin to realize that it's actually cheaper now to live in the East Village or Washington Heights or the Upper East Side than it is to live in fucking Williamsburg or Fort Greene or even fucking Bed-Stuy or Crown Heights, at this point, fuck everything."
Have you ever wondered what Manhattan would look like inside the Grand Canyon? Of course you have. EVERYONE DOES. Stop anyone at random on the street and ask them what they are thinking about at that particular moment and they will look down at their feet and sheepishly admit that they were wondering what Manhattan would look like inside the Grand Canyon. It is said that if you were able to float through the dreams that trouble New Yorkers' fitful slumber each night you would spend most of your time suspended in the air above a Manhattan dropped within the vast confines of the Grand Canyon. In fact, I can [...]
"Oh, it's terrible in Manhattan, we can only imagine how awful it must be in Brooklyn," Manhattan people were emailing the night of the storm, before they couldn't really email any more. Yes: most of Brooklyn lost cable TV for about six hours. There were some twigs about on the broad sidewalks too. Although, the DVRs still played! So most Brooklynites didn't notice much of a thing, outside of the devastation of Red Hook and some more localized disasters, except when Brooklyn was blinded by the Ghostbusters-like shooting lights of Manhattan's power transformers exploding.
Now lots of downtown Manhattan hold-outs turned have-nots are refugees in Brooklyn—except for the likes of [...]
Good news! Manhattan vacancy rates have eased very slightly. Back in May, the vacancy rate in Manhattan was .89%, which is crazytown. Now it's a relatively luxurious 1.19%. That means that of the 841,000 or so housing units in Manhattan, there are nearly 10,000 vacant apartment for you to choose from. (Only half of them are "essentially uninhabitable" and/or "grody"!)
The "average" Manhattan rent is now $3,461. (Average doesn't mean "median.") But vacancy rates are very much distributed by rental price: the higher the price, the more likely a unit is to be vacant—and the vacancy rate upping is generally, if a bit unscientifically, considered to be [...]
Did you know there was a "spike in violence" downtown, in the First Precinct (which covers a huge swath of West SoHo, Greater UPS Village (AKA The Shipping District), TriBeCa, Wall Street and Ground Zero Village)? Well there sort of was, over the summer, and you know what's to blame? Nightlife! Specifically, Holland Tunnel outpost Greenhouse. (Probably not on "gay night." Otherwise, it's just full of "GAY AND BL;ACKS," say some of the many unhappy visitors who don't like $400 bottle service) Despite the brief "spike" of gun-toting club-tards, crime is down in the precinct by huge amounts from last year, five years ago and [...]
Hey, can you see your favorite neighborhood spot in Cat Power's new video? Tompkins Square Park? Doyers Street in Chinatown? The basketball courts on Christie and Houston? Economy Candy on Rivington? Max Fish? The Prince Street subway station? No, you can't. Those places aren't in your neighborhood anymore because you moved to Brooklyn like all the rest of your friends. And you can never be Manhattan. Never again. You're old and you suck and you aren't even allowed to look at the moon anymore.
"So in another comic reversal, I found myself explaining to my horrified Brooklyn friends — who couldn’t understand how I could ever choose to move away from the action — that I actually loved Manhattan. There were plenty of bookstores, a lot of great food, and it would take me less time to get to many parts of Brooklyn than when I actually lived in the borough."
Last night on Court Street I overheard a man and a pregnant lady bemoan the bazillion hours they've spent looking for something decent to buy in Brooklyn (at least, in white people Brooklyn). They just can't give up their Manhattan place until they find that magical Brooklyn apartment!
They will be waiting a while. Or perhaps they'll panic when the deadline of their second baby comes, and just buy something cruddy. But it's not any better for renters, according to this week's figures from the hilariously named RentJuice (ew). The average rent in the East Village is $3,859, now almost exactly tied with the average rent [...]
I know nastiness is SO 2009 because 2010 is going to be deep-fried rainbows in effusive sauce but I can't help but be anything besides pshaw at the news that New York City's vintage stores are going out of business. Hey, it's not like I don't enjoy other people's underwear, bias-cut velvet shit, and keen little heels in a women's size 4 AA but um, hi, as far as business models go, I just don't see the appeal of buying pre-owned crap at extortionate prices just because there's a hangtag that says all eight of the shearling vests are from the '70s. I mean, seriously, why so expensive?