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The New New York

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There are two battles going on involving building in New York.

1) The mosque near Ground Zero
2) Penn Station near Empire State building.

Here’s my thoughts on each project:
1) Build it.
2) Build it.

It’s 2010, practically 2011. Both disagreements are issues started by people who are against progress. In the case of the Mosque: people are trying to stop other people from practicing their religion in a city that is built on openness. Going against the mosque is the most Un-New York thing a person can do. And the people in DC, Florida, Kansas and Albany that are against the mosque really do not have a voice in this one since this is our backyard, not theirs. Ask the average New Yorker and we’ll say “Yep. Build it. It’s not a big deal.”

As for the Empire States building vs Penn State issue: the problem has come up because the people at the Empire State Building are concerned this would destroy the skyline. The Empire State building would be blocked from midtown views across the hudson in Jersey. And it would create an interruption in the skyline. SO WHAT?!

Personally, I loved the Chicago skyline when I lived there. And I loved that it was constantly changing. The building owners want to keep their tower a tourist trap. But if the owners of the Empire State Building really had balls, I mean REAL balls they would remember that the Empire State Building is only as tall as it is, and carries its weight as it does, because the original developers said “hey! We’re going to make the tallest fucking building in America!” The story of the race to the top between Empire State Building and the Chrysler building is historical (and that is what they sell to tourists, along with the views… not the elevator ride).

If you go to Chicago, you’ll see the original skyscrapers, tallest churches and many other once-been-giant buildings ecliplsed by surrounding buildings two and three times their height. Personally I hate the city of Chicago but I love their willingness to go higher and create more. I would hate to see Chicago even try to be compared with New York but the owners of the Empire State Building seem to want that.

So if the men owning the building had real balls they would build their own building and quit standing on the shoulders of the dead. They might even include a mosque on the top floor if they were truly ballsy. But, to try to heed progress in a city known worldwide for being #1, they’re acting like complete idiots and I will proudly say

Build it.

{PS: My thoughts one the matter are not altered by the fact that the owners of the ESB refused to light up the building blue and white to celebrate Mother Theresa’s birthday. I DO find it terrible that they would be willing to change the light for a turkey sandwich or to celebrate the birthday of a twinkie, but refise to change the lights for one night to honor a peace keeper)

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Written by Michael Donovan

28/08/2010 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Architecture, Culture

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