At the Post today, Julia Vitullo-Martin, director of the Center for Urban Innovation at the Regional Plan Association, takes a look at the new book by Sharon Zukin, "Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places."
While Zukin expresses substantial ambivalence, she ultimately believes that authenticity is its own reward. Indeed, she goes so far as to propose that authenticity should be used to "ensure everyone a right to stay in the place where they live and work." But this would be disastrous in practice, resulting in rent rules and protections that would leave a grid-locked and static city.
Down that road lies what Justin Davidson pondered in New York magazine ... her the "dedicated yearners would roll back" the tide of affluence, preferring the "cracked-out squats" of the 1980s.
Put that way, I vote for today’s New York, even without the authenticity.