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New City Reader Real Estate Issue

New City Reader Real Estate Issue

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Published by: AYReport on Nov 29, 2010
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The New Cit Reader is a newspaper on architecture, publicspace and the cit, published as part o “The Last Newspaper,”an exhibition running at the New Museum o ContemporarArt rom October 6, 2010 – Januar 9, 2011. Conceived bexecutive editors Joseph Grima and Kazs Varnelis, the news-paper’s content centers on the spatial implications o epochalshits in technolog, econom and societ toda. The NewCit Reader will consist o one edition published over thecourse o the project, with a new section produced weeklrom within the museum’s galler space, each led b a dier-ent guest editorial team o architects, theorists and researchgroups. These sections will be available ree at the NewMuseum and—in emulation o a practice common in thenineteenth-centur American cit and still popular in Chinaand other parts o the world toda—will be posted in publicon walls throughout the cit or collective reading.The next issue will be BUSINESS, guest edited b FrankPasquale & Kevin Slavin, and LEGAL, guest edited b EalWeizman, Centre or Research Architecture at Goldsmiths.
Guest EitsCITYNetwkAchitectue Lab,Clumbia UnivesityGauate Schl Achitectue,Planning anPesevatinEdITorIALJseph Gima &Kazys VanelisCULTUrESchl  VisualAts d-CitSPorTSJeannie Kim &Hunte TuaLEISUrEBeatiz Clmina,Spys Papapets,Bitt Evesle& daia ricchi,Meia & Menity,PincetnUnivesityThe New City reaeExECUTIVEEdITorSJseph GimaKazys VanelisMANAGING EdITorAlan rappASSoCIATEMANAGING EdITorJhn CantwellASSoCIATEEdITorSBigette Besdaniel PayneArT dIrECTorNeil dnnellydESIGNErChis rypkemaEdITorIALCArTooNISTKlaus WEB dIrECTorJchen HatmannfoodPak (Will Pince &Kista Ninivaggi) &Nicla TwilleyrEAL ESTATEMabel o. Wilsn& Pete Tlkin(Siepjects) BUSINESSfank Pasquale &Kevin SlavinLEGALEyal Weizman,Cente  reseachAchitectue atGlsmithsLoCALGeminias & NmeaUbnas (Nugu) &Saskia Sassen PoLITICScmmn m“The LastNewspape” iscuate by richafl an BenjaminGsill. f meinmatin pleasevisit newmuseum.gThe New Cityreae nline:newcityeae.nettwitte.cm/newcityeaeThis pject wasmae pssiblethanks t geneussuppt m theNew Museum Cntempay At,Clumbia UnivesityGauate Schl Achitectue,Planning, anPesevatin, Jean Nina day,Annymus dns,an the WillamettaK. day funatin.Special thanks t:Elian Stea; LisaPhillips, diect,the New Museum;Emily Clasacc,NYC dT; LincPinting.MUSICdJ N-roN &dJ/uptueSTYLErbet Sumell &Anea ChingSCIENCEdavi Benjamin &Livia CnaWEATHErJeey Inaba,C-LaboBITUArIESMichael Meeith &Hilay Sample, MoSCLASSIfIEdSLeagues an Legins
SUffErING froMSIdEWALK rAGE?Let it ut at theNEW CITY rEAdErCLASSIfIEdS--Avetise  eelgnlgn.cm--#antsanaves#lgnlgn
   F   O   R   W   A   L   L   A   S   S   E   M   B   L   y …
Peter TolkinMabel O. WilsonCarmen ArgoteChloë BassBrigette BordersJohn CantwellCatherineIngrahamMarisa Jahn/CUPOlalekanJeiousKlausAlexandraLangeElizabethLasaterZoe MalliarosMitch McEwenMinna NinovaDaniel PaneAlan RappCassim ShepardMatthew Vaz
NOVEMBER 19, 2010
Unreal estate
Gown troUncestown, 2–0
Is Brooklyn(aBU DhaBI)over?GraItIGateaDvrsPk+PPPP
real ProPertyreal Money, ake lanDreaDInG the realestate sectIon
sIDewalk sale
Battle orInsect kInG onew yorko tIMesharesanD teneMentswho Makes the rent?
all the lIstInGs Itto PrInt
 T h e N e w C i t y R ea d e r
A  N e w s pa p e r  O f  P u b l i c  S pa c e
by Mabel o. Wilsn an Pete Tlkin (SiePjects)
How much is real about “real estate” toda? And what is realestate’s basis in realit? There are o course the binding legalinstruments, the deeds and contracts that abstract land into“real propert,” subdividing it into tracts and rendering itquantiable or transaction. Once land becomes designatedas real estate, it can be registered in MLS databases and thecolumns o Excel spreadsheets, crunched b brokers beoreappearing in advertisements perused b prospective bu-ers. One o Manhattan’s recent high-end listings, or example,was encoded into this brisk shorthand: $55m 5 BD/7BA5500sqt NyC CPW Condo. I one were to text this oering toa riend via the New york Times’ nit new Real Estate app,it might prompt a similarl encrpted response: 4sale @$10g/s OMFG!With Craigslist, other internet classieds and sites likeCurbed thriving, dail and weekl real estate sections arequickl becoming a thing o the past. Online propert listings,like news reportage, have exponentiall expanded into anever-da, all-the-time posting ccle. This time compression,as Beatriz Colomina posited in the November 5, 2010, Leisuresection o the New Cit Reader, liberates dail newspapersto ocus upon liestle—and in particular the consumerrenz o home buing. Current real estate reporting delvesinto an arra o alluring liestle choices eaturing both localdenizens and home dwellers around the world. Even themarketing o urban apartments and condominiums hpe ame-nities that trump the drab linoleum-tiled common room o old;prospective residents are lured b liestle perks rom luxurgms and wine tastings to private concerts and landscapedterraces outtted with propane grills, conversation pits andskline views. Since twent-rst centur workers never seem topunch out o their 24/7 time clocks, we wonder how man olksactuall have time to partake in such mirth and merriment?Supplementing these antasies o the perect homesteadare a lineup o voeuristic television shows and online are thatboost DIy house hunting, delve into the lives o neurotic housefippers and showcase open-houses or luxur homes that willnever be open to ou or me. Real estate is so entwined withthe phantasmal world o entertainment that the New york Timesreported this week a realit show might be in the works thatwould ollow the jet-setting liestle o a Swedish ormer gaporn star-cum-wildl successul Manhattan real estate agentto the glitterati. As the sa, ou can’t make shit this up!This constantl rereshed panorama o consumer-drivenliestles eeds New york Cit’s—and b extension, America’s—insatiable desire or propert ownership, overstued dreamhomes and sprawling quarter-acre “private estates.” However,as man oreclosed homeowners recentl discovered whenthe contracted the toxic subprime plague, this trend’s darkunderbell reveals that these champagnewishes and caviar dreams can easil turninto our own personal Amitville horrors.This section o the New Cit Readerexplores how—perhaps moreso eventhan the ats o global nance or mass
 U n r ea l  e s ta t e
cults—unreal real estate reall is. How-ever, its contributors are nonethelessacutel aware that these dreams,antasies and visions, whether goodor bad, have a ver real impact uponhow 8.4 million New yorkers live andwork within its borders. With close toninet percent o the popular Times RealEstate section ocused upon residentialpropert, the perception o land owner-ship is mopicall colored as a privateconcern, an infection aptl summed up inthe NIMByism o current politics that hasmuscled out a more robust conception oland stewardship as part o a shared publicrealm.This is critical or how we—as citizens,not just residents—should debate, or exam-ple, the orthcoming Vision 2020 plan that willguide waterront development in the ve bor-oughs or the next ten ears. Can we aordto leave the stewardship o public resourcesto backroom deals brokered with big privatedevelopment interests? Or can we, through amore participator process, merge our individualdesires into a shared vision about a new “urbancommon,” one that enriches the lives o all Newyorkers and not just those who have the means tomake real their dreams o a $7m 5BD/5BA, 5100sqt,DUMBO, Duplex Penthouse + Skline Views?
    T   h   e    N   e   w   C   i   t   y   R   e   a    d   e   r
   A    N   e   w   s   p   a   p   e   r   O   f   P   u   b   l   i   c   S   p   a   c   e
by Mabel o. Wilsn
When I ascend the grand steps in ront o McKim, Mead,and White’s statel Low Librar on m dail trek to teachon Columbia Universit’s campus, I am greeted b DanielChester French’s heroic bronze sentinel Alma Mater. Asour “nourishing and bounteous mother,” she smbolizesthe intellectual sustenance oered to all alumni, includingmsel, who have matriculated through the school’s neo-classical uptown campus. While m downtown alma mater,New york Universit, ma lack such an iconic tourist attrac-tion, its alumni relations department works hard to remindits grads, about once a month, that our allegiance can bepledged one credit card swipe at a time. But what i ouralma maters had developed voracious, insatiable appetitesand were both hell-bent upon devouring their neighbor-hoods as part o their ambitious campus expansion plans?And i we were to analze their tactics or amassing newterritor, might the battle between competitive hot dogeaters Joe “Jaws” Chestnut’s stu and gulp technique(Columbia) and Takeru “the Tsunami” Kobaashi’s dunkone, chomp two method (NyU) be an apt analog?Columbia’s landholdings are the stu o urban legends.When I was a graduate student in the earl nineties, talesabounded about how Columbia was second onl to theRoman Catholic Church or having assembled the largestcache o land holdings in the cit. Some said that Columbiahad been around so long that it still owned the land underWashington Square Park—an incursion into NyU’s guardedterritor to be sure. (The true stor is that it was sited abit urther south, near Park Place, when it was still King’sCollege in the eighteenth centur.) Another widel circulat-ing rumor was that Columbia held the deed or the parcelthat Rockeeller Center now sits upon, its campus home
 G o w n  t r o U n c e s  t o w n,  2 – 0
beore Columbia migrated uptown to its current Morning-side Heights compound in 1897. Over the ears, Columbiahas staed airl compacted in its gated connes, choos-ing to build upwards and downwards rather than spreadoutwards. Eorts in 1968 to stake a claim in nearb Morn-ingside Park or the construction o a new gmnasium, aacilit that some believed would not be ull accessible toits predominatel black and Hispanic Harlem neighbors,erupted in a spirited campus uprising led b students andthe radical group SDS, taking over several buildings, muchto the chagrin o campus administrators and cit police.Columbia Universit’s recent attempt to move into Har-lem has proceeded more like a game o whack-a-mole thanan all-out ground assault. B accruing parcels one b onein ar west Harlem, rechristened these das as Manhattan-ville, Columbia has amassed a 17-acre tract. Buildings arecurrentl being cleared brick-b-brick so that Renzo Pia-no’s master plan or a new mixed-use academic center cansoon commence construction. The use o eminent domain,however, in which New york State designated some o theprivate properties as blighted in order to claim them or“public use,” has not been implemented without consider-able blowback. Attornes representing two holdouts arecurrentl appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse arecent ruling upholding the use o eminent domain. Despiteall eorts to extricate them, it would seem some o thosepesk moles are burrowing under or an extended sta.The urban landholdings legend has been recentlupdated to rank NyU as the number one owner in the cit,suggesting that the now possess more acreage than eventhe Archdiocese o New york. Indeed NyU’s presence inGreenwich Village over the past twent-ve ears hasincreased several-old. Unlike Columbia’s spatial strateg,which tpies what historian Michel Foucault characterizedas “the enclosure,” a hallmark o the nineteenth centur’sparadigm o the disciplined societ, NyU’s spatial strategapproximates what philosopher Gilles Deleuze called “rhi-zomatic,” a distributed sstem emblematic o our societ ocontrol. To put it in lamen’s terms, NyU’s tactic has beensomewhat akin to the pop-up shop that never leaves.With new dormitories, rehabbed classrooms, moreoces, galleries and caes sprouting in all directions east,west, north and south, rom the East Village to Governor’sIsland and rom downtown Brookln to Abu Dhabi, NyU hasplanted hundreds o its violet fags in locales around theglobe. But with the spring debut o “A Universit as Greatas Its Cit: NyU’s Strateg or Future Growth,” a plan to addsome six million square eet o space b its bicentennial in2031, not all o its Village neighbors are happ about beingurther crowded out. In the master plan conceived b Grim-shaw Architects, the eort to clone I.M. Pei’s landmarkedSilver Towers, or example, has alread met with erceopposition rom local preservation groups who packed thepublic hearings held b Communit Board 2 this past week.Their concern ma be justied as this new venture b the800 pound purple gorilla-in-the-hood would erect the talleststructure in Greenwich Village, a condominium/hotel towerwhose top foors will no doubt oer panoramic vistaso NyU’s vast holdings.Whether or not NyU will move ahead with its plans inhistoric Greenwich Village and elsewhere in the cit willattest to how well these communit groups can tacticallchallenge, like their uptown comrades, the legions o law-ers these institutions have at their disposal. In the end itma not be enough that the cit no longer eeds the beasto these land hungr institutions. Perhaps the land grab om alma maters can be contained in other was—Columbiama need a lap band to curtail its appetite, and NyU maneed to undertake a master cleanse to fush out the toxins.Both institutions ma come to realize that the need to reignin their ambitions in order to maintain a more balanced andhealth relationship with the town and its people, who ulti-matel give each school that distinctive New york Cit vibe.

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