Friday, May 9, 2008

EV Grieve Etc.: Looking at The Observer

Lots of good stuff in The Observer this week. (And why does my copy arrive Thursday or sometimes Friday? I know I can read it every day online. Still.)
The headline to a piece by Choire Sicha asks, "Who's Running New York? The Council sinks, rents rise, few notice."
He has a nice account of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board meeting from this past Monday, particularly an impromptu speech by Adriene Holder, a Legal Aid attorney and tenant representative.

“First of all,” she said, “I want to know where everybody is.” There were not so many folks there! When confidence in city government runs low, the people abscond.

“The tenants are here but not in the number that you would expect,” Ms. Holder said, “given how important this situation is, and how dire this is to what’s going to happen to tenants here in New York City. Perhaps they’re not here because they’re still working; perhaps they’re not here because they’re working their second job; maybe they’re not here because they’re discouraged, they’re disappointed; and maybe they’re not here because they’ve become weary of a process that guarantees that there’s going to be an increase.

Increasingly, what we are seeing is two different cities,” Ms. Holder said. “We’re seeing a city that’s becoming increasingly rich, and a city that’s becoming increasingly poor, and a middle or moderate class that is moving away from the city.”

This week's issue also features a terminallly ill singer facing possible eviction from the Chelsea Hotel. Read it here. If you haven't already.

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