Tuesday, March 26, 2013

L.E.S. Dwellers make the case against Soho House expanding to Ludlow Street



As you likely heard, Soho House is planning an expansion to 139 Ludlow St. They've already made their pitch to neighbors. (Read BoweryBoogie's post on it here; and The Lo-Down here.)

During this past weekend, L.E.S. Dwellers sent around their campaign again Soho House. (You can read it here.) It's slightly outside my usual coverage zone. But I wanted to share with you what they have to say. (And, of course, there's a major spillover effect from all this to this neighborhood...)

An excerpt from the L.E.S. Dwellers campaign:

Rival gangs of frat boys, sororisluts, suburbanite wannabes, tramps with stamps, and bridge & tunnel douchebags converge on our streets, and a bloody turf war ensues between residents and the drug and alcohol-fueled gangs. If Soho House comes, new gangs arrive with them - Jimmy Choo stiletto girls, newly minted tech-set, B-list models, I-bankers disguised in Thomas Pink and Gucci loafers, trust fund wannabe hipsters, expense account ad men, label whores, and Eurotrash. Our streets will become bloodier and messier than it already is, with the residents further outmatched by the increasingly uncontrollable mobs.

And!

The L.E.S. will officially become the "Eastpacking", unless we as a community do something about it. We can choose to remain silent and compliant, marking our doors with black crosses in anticipation of the Soho House virus incubating at 139 Ludlow Street. Or we can rise up and fight back.

Soho House reps are expected to appear before the CB3/SLA committee next month to apply for a liquor license. Reps have said they wouldn't expect to open on Ludlow Street until the summer of 2014.

Meanwhile, yesterday, Lower East Side documentarian Clayton Patterson explained why is he supporting the Soho House's expansion to Ludlow Street in a post published at The Lo-Down.

An excerpt:

If not them then who? Soho House is not going to build up. They are going to save the look and integrity of the façade architecture. The fact that they are private keeps the crowds down, will be more low key… and so on. Imagine this: it is a large double wide lot- has at the very least 6 stories worth of air right to build up. Imagine a brand new 12 story luxury hotel or apartment eating up the block.

34 comments:

Brian Van said...

While I'm not the biggest fan of extreme LES gentrification, Clayton Patterson has a good point. Market forces greater than one or two lousy bar operators are conspiring to push the area toward middle-class irrelevance and upper-class banality. The community ought not to embrace all proposals as-is but at least try to find a way to make a workable agreement... and I'd guess you'd find it easier to deal with Soho House on that front (they'll be more amenable to keeping things private and low-key) than it would be to deal with a Sam Chang hotel rebuild or an EMM Group club project. If one existed, I'd hold out for a potential operator that was more in-line with the long-time character of the neighborhood. But you won't find one of those.

TL;DR - this sucks for everyone but it doesn't help if the locals are jerks about it.

shmnyc said...

When LES Dwellers write things like "Rival gangs of frat boys, sororisluts, suburbanite wannabes, tramps with stamps, and bridge & tunnel douchebags..." do they really expect to receive support from rational people?

peter said...

A few Saturdays ago, I had to walk down Ave B, from 4th to 2st, with my laundry cart. It was like walking through central casting of said assorted douchery.
As they clung to their little outfits, their cigarettes and their smart phones, in the cold... oblivious of the world around them, screaming and grunting at each other. The concept that people lived here, and did stupid people stuff, was beyond them. As I carved my way through a gaggle of frat boys stenching in a pool of themselves.


When LES Dwellers write things like "Rival gangs of frat boys, sororisluts, suburbanite wannabes, tramps with stamps, and bridge & tunnel douchebags..."

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Mr. Patterson on this, cause that building is awesome and I don't want to see it bulldozed. Of course in my fantasies I'd buy it myself and leave it just the way it is.:)

rob said...

Clayton is not exactly correct. There's an 80-ft height cap on Ludlow, and the building is already about between 40 and 50-ft high. So it's not an ideal candidate for demolition and redevelopment, although it does have (exactly) 25% of its allowable bulk unused, and I wouldn't be surprised if the owner didn't add a couple of stories at the top of the current building.

Anonymous said...

I support the Dwellers wholeheartedly. We need to stop this now, not conform to threats of future developments. We don't know what the future will bring once Bloomberg is out. Until then we need to stop these places from taking over our neighborhood now.

Stop the Eastpacking immediately. Conforming to Ron Burkle is not the answer. Conformity is the reason why the LES and East Village have been destroyed. Being submissive is not the answer.

I don't find the Dwellers statements offensive at all. They paint a very accurate picture. What is offensive and pathetic is Patterson's submission to Burkle.




Anonymous said...

And of course none of us has EVER been a stupid obnoxious drunk young person invading someone else's neighborhood, I'm sure. Or if we were it was okay because we were starving angelheaded hipsters with impeccable taste in music and not banal fratty trampstamp trash blargh.

bowery boy said...

I'm not sure if this issue is really so much about SoHo House, but more about what will follow. SH will act as a nightlife anchor tenent, so even if it is low-key, other clubs and bars will want to be located near them. It's those secondary establishments that will attract lower-level partiers who will not respect the neighborhood nor those who live nearby.

This is how a nightlife community becomes established in the area, and it torments the residents. And, it only inflates the prices of clubs and bars currently owned my members of CB3's SLA committee. These committee members have an extreme conflict of interest, so it will be almost impossible to get SH's application rejected. These members want the EV and LES to be a nightlife district, $, and that should be against CB rules - if you own a liquor license, you should not be allowed on this committee.

I have nothing against Patterson, but he's only thinking superficially, and in regard to just one establishment. The problem goes many levels deeper.

glamma said...

These people are awesome!
Sororisluts!
I love it!
Yeah screw that trash!
the playground of the rich will screw us all... once you lose certain things it is near impossible to regain them, hence we must proetct...

shmnyc said...

Taking a look at LES Dwellers's web site, I am sympathetic to their plight. I think that blurb that was quoted was intemperate, but otherwise...

Anonymous said...

Look, right now, the city is about to take away a whole bunch of open space in our neighborhood that previously served NYCHA residents and the rest of us as ball courts, playgrounds, pocket parks, etc. They're going to give this to developers to create more ultraluxe housing for a modest fee that may or may not go to refurbishing public housing -- instead of raising taxes on the kind of people who might go to Soho House. This is a real concrete land grab that's happening. Soho House is a symbolic thing that might make us sad but really doesn't represent an erosion of the affordable, accessible neighborhood in any real way. Priorities, people. Don't get distracted by tribal aggrandizement. If you care about preserving the neighborhood, there's a real fight to be had with NYCHA and Bloomberg right now

Anonymous said...

So here is the Dwellers response to Clayton and if it is true then he needs to clam up pretty quick. I thought it only fair to tell their side of the story which I have witnessed first hand:

LESdwellers
From your Villager bully pulpit, you scream out about the fallen (Pink Pony), the falling (El Sombrero), and the unfairly treated (E&S Wholesome Foods) at the hands of gentrification. You preach to us as if we are some apathetic congregation willing and accepting of our gentrified fate. You are so quick to remind us of all the battles you have fought and the bullets you have taken for the LES and all your heroic efforts (Taylor MEade). You hover above Loisaida self-anointed, more principled than the rest of us. The same righteousness abounds as you weigh in, in support of SoHo House.

You tell us to be careful what we wish for? What about be careful of the wolf in sheep's clothing? Your self promotion in this OpEd is as equally as offensive as the PR machinations of the Soho House. Did the lobbying firm Capalino. + Co. Soho House hired supply you with talking points - preservation of the facade, not going to build up, low key private club, etc.? Are you kidding me? Kudos to Soho House for not wanting to change the facade! But not enough of a reason to support it. As for building up 6 stories they simply can't. New zoning laws - get the facts straight. Low key, yeah right. Please go visit the Meatpacking.

You have been given a membership and a show. Great for you if this is your thing, but please tell the "creative locals" the truth. You must have 2 recommendations from existing members, supply a photo and pay $1800 or $2400 and afford the additional food and beverage cost...and private" club exists to keep the public out so there won't be access or programs for children in the neighborhood, art studio for local artists, etc.

Your personal gain is not the worth the rest of us. Enough is Enough - no more people dumped on our streets at night, no more noise, traffic, pollution. You can stay in your time capsule bubble and lament about all the things you tried to do but were thwarted by the "powers" that be, but don't get in the way of those who are trying to do something in the NOW. Step aside please. There are those of us will not accept be given a false choice. We want a real choice.

dwg said...

The is virtually no such thing as a "low key" establishment of that size with a liquor license that's open until 4am- private or not. There will be additional crowds and cars and noise coming and going. It's not a good tradeoff. The neighborhood is already over-saturated with liquor licenses. There is no argument which justifies adding another one.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, but call me when we can have a discussion about this without calling women "sluts."

Anonymous said...

Well, they are being honest. that is the sort of trash that shows up. I applaud the descriptive honesty and I AM A RATIONAL PERSON.

Jim said...

Had to chuckle a bit at the "bridge & tunnel douchebags" reference in their manifesto. Alas, that "bridge & tunnel" has come to represent the last bastion of any regional authenticity in the NYC metro area. Exorbitant rents have all but killed any vibrant influx of immigration that was once the city's lifeblood. Most natives has been priced out and replaced with the blandly affluent or the hopelessly clueless, suburban transplant from the fucking south or midwest.

Anonymous said...

I applaud their honesty, that is an accurate description of that sort of trashy subhuman critter. I AM A RATIONAL PERSON AND I.SUPPORT THE LOCALS. Enough with the schools of designer clothed tuna and the Mr. Moneybags stockbroker types following them wanting the martini induced one Night stand. keep that in "MePa".

Anonymous said...

@Anon 11:56 am. We can fight more than one fight. Tell me who is opposing the NYCHA deal and where the opposition is meeting/gathering and I will be there and try to bring others. I keep asking for inof on this blog about who is opposing this deal and get no response. So someone please tell us all who is leading the opposition so we can join in.

EV Grieve said...

@ anon 12:15

I'm not aware of any opposition meeting at this point. When/if I hear of one, I'll post the info.

And I don't know who left those flyers on cars/fronts doors either...

Anonymous said...

12:04pm,

The LES, with its 50%+ single parent rates, is complaining about visitors being "sluts"? That doesn't make any sense.

It is is unhelpful, juvenile and hypocritical (among other things).

Rachel said...

Wow! First Patti Smith with her performance for the Chetrit people at the Chelsea Hotel and now Clayton Patterson advocating his right to mingle with the beautiful people at Soho House. These are the betrayals that cut deepest.

Integrity is rarer these days than a rent controlled apartment.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else get certified mail spam from Soho House? I want the half hour waiting in line at the post office back. Plus, what bone head would spend $3.50 to send a spam letter?

I'm never going to be a member of a club like this, so they can GFO.

Anonymous said...

I've always respected Clayton, but now he just seems like a fucking idiot sellout...enjoy your free membership, everyone there will give you dirty looks.

Anonymous said...

Remember when people went to the south and helped black people? Wow, now that was a cause. This, not so much.

Anonymous said...

"shmnyc said...
Taking a look at LES Dwellers's web site, I am sympathetic to their plight. I think that blurb that was quoted was intemperate, but otherwise..."


It was direct and it was accurate.

shmnyc said...

I guess it depends on whether you're trying to rally people to your cause or just venting your spleen.

Anonymous said...

The slut-shaming stuff is really gross and fucked up. The "Regional authenticity, blah, down with the out-of-towners and the suburban Midwestern Other" stuff is just fucking stupid, and is probably mostly mouthed by people who moved here awhile back from the South or the Midwest.

Anonymous said...

While I hate what's happening to our City, "Bridge-and-tunnel" holds no weight anymore. Manhattan is just as suburban as the outer boroughs, and beyond. It's even funnier when said/written by a transplant.

Anonymous said...

12:33

Are you saying single moms are sluts? You must think all single moms choose to be single. Do you know how procreation works? In case you don't, it takes TWO people to make a child. Why not shame the dads?

Also, a two parent household doesn't always mean the children will turn out to be good, decent human beings. You must have come from a two parent household and you turned out to be an unsympathetic, judgmental douche.

shmnyc said...

Anonymous 12:33,

It's a pity when someone who is making a valid point undermines themselves by making scurrilous accusations.

The single-mother rate of the East Village is 6.9%. The single-mother rate of the Lower East Side is 9.8%.

Utherben said...

"Interesting" derail into single-mother statistics, and by "interesting" I mean pointless. It's got nothing to do with the expansion of a posh members-only club exacerbating a neighborhood's hypergentrification.

shmnyc said...

Utherben, the point was not "expansion of a posh members-only club" but the way a group opposing this expansion alienated their potential supporters with comments that caused the focus to shift away from their aims.

Anonymous said...

What are either of you talking about? Single mom stats? Confused? I don't believe this group opposing Soho House said anything about single moms? Sure perhaps the language could have been more measured and less provocative, but I can't fault them because the bottom line is that they are saying enough is enough of whoever it is coming down to our small streets and disrespecting us. Yes I live in "hell Sq" and been here through all its changes drugs, junkies, etc but the shitty place I have to call home now is pretty miserable. I give them credit for trying to do something because people like me have done nothing but sit on my ass while guys in Viking hats run around screaming , girls inspired by Paris Hilton stumble and vomit down our streets, and cheese balls line up using our doorways as a public urinal. Yeah I agree this city is now white bread suburbia and NY lost its heart and grit a long time ago. Sure maybe the truth is the people here now just want a city to be suburbian like they Are. big fat mall and chain stores like the Soho House. Doesn't matter to me what you call them, the truth is they are out if control animals who are so selfish and badly raised and make life on hell Sq unlivable. i am not going to discredit a group of people trying to make a change because they didn't tamp down the language when describing people who act like animals. And I don't care Iif Soho House says they won't bring the same people. The point is they will bring more people and same suburban attitude, but maybe better dressed but I bet obnoxious and self absorbed too. And anyone already going to the MePa is warning enough to me. Don't want you here. People need to stop attacking this group trying to do something. What ave you done and how is Soho House going to mae things better for us who live here, besides Clayton who gets a membership and art show. sellout. Shameful.

Anonymous said...

Seems that LES dwellers is picking the wrong fight. The private club/hotel might attract its share of Brits, creatives, techies, models, and entertainment types to which it limits its membership; but these are a far cry from the rowdy or drunk college kids, hipsters, and yuppies that they seem to be worth complaining about. Hang out outside the Soho House in MePa, you barely even know it's there. No sidewalk cafe, no club, no lines or crowds. Who stands to lose?