Showing posts with label King Bloomberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label King Bloomberg. Show all posts

Monday, September 9, 2013

12 years later: Looking at the reign of Bloomberg

The new New York magazine unleashes a whole lotta Bloomy this week. (Find the package of stories here.) I'm still wrapping my head around it all...

Here's an excerpt from Justin Davidson's essay titled "Shiny, Alluring, Ugly, Visionary, Inspiring, Incomplete."

The present, however, hasn’t always gone so smoothly. For an irresistible city, New York can be awfully ugly. Ghastly glass towers have laid waste to entire neighborhoods, and sharklike chain stores have swallowed small businesses. The once-derelict industrial zone along the Greenpoint-­Williamsburg waterfront metamorphosed into a new, high-density neighborhood, which would’ve been great, except that the change resulted in a phalanx of big ungainly buildings with a paltry, broken strip of greenery out front. The permissive rezoning of Brooklyn’s Fourth Avenue, too, produced buildings of such slipshod “luxury” that the Wall Street Journal columnist Robbie Whelan called it a “canyon of mediocrity.”

Why did so much terrible stuff get built? The answer is that bad, overpriced buildings are the price of civic ambition. In lean times, most architecture is crap because only what is cheap gets built; in better times, most architecture is crap because developers can’t wait to start cashing in. Bloomberg made New York safe for high-quality design — and at the same time triggered a plague of prosperous awfulness. As long as the city remains attractive, there will always be money in ruining it.

[Bloomy photo via]

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Did Mayor Bloomberg kill Moroccan restaurant's business?

Sintir on East Ninth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue is now officially gutted...

After some neighborhood opposition, the Moroccan eatery/lounge opened in May 2009... it was run by the Marrakech-born Hassan Hakmoun, considered the Jerry Garcia of the sintir in his native country....

Anyway, the place looked cute enough....Despite some so-so early reviews, I wanted to give it a try...

...and every time I walked by, I saw the photos of Hakmoun prominently displayed on the restaurant's front window...posed next to Mayor Bloomberg....

These were the only two photos up... no Katz's-like Wall of Fame or anything...

"Maybe he doesn't realize that having a photo of Mayor Bloomberg in the front window in this neighborhood isn't really a selling point," Mrs. Grieve helpfully said after I decided that I really didn't want to try it. Always wondered if anyone else felt the same...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New community garden rules lack preservation, permanence

Above, Esperanza Community Garden bulldozed in February 2000 on Seventh Street near Avenue C to make way for the East Village Gardens condo.

Time's Up! has released a statement on the city's new garden rules:

The same week the Parks Department cut down 56 trees to make way for Fashion Week, the City released new garden regulations with almost no notice, no community support, and no commitment to permanently preserve the community gardens. Despite overwhelming community support to preserve our parks and community gardens, the City's new rules fail to protect them, and in fact expose each and every one to transfer and development. New Yorkers love their parks and community gardens and for years have fought to protect them, preserve them and keep them open to the public. These green spaces play a vital role in the mental, physical and emotional health of our City's residents and play an ever increasingly important role in our City's environmentally sustainable future.

Importantly, the new rules violate the City’s 2002 agreement with the Attorney General. The City has ignored the permanent status of 198 gardens and has not done a State Environmental Quality Review of the gardens, both required under the 2002 Settlement Agreement

Under the new rules, you can lose your garden for a myriad of reasons — noise complaints, incidents that occur adjacent to gardens, and or failure to maintain "good standing". Gardens can now go into accelerated default for breaking any city, state or federal rules, or failing to renew their license, or registration.

These new rules police the gardens and chill the community’s ability to hold events. Already, gardens are reluctant to hold events for fear of noise complaints. Under the new rules, you can go into accelerated default for playing guitar and having a beer, yet you can enjoy a glass of wine on the great lawn in Central Park while listening to an orchestra.

The new rules establish a division between gardens in good and bad standing, establishing a mechanism for the hyper-regulation and control of public space. Before these new rules, you just needed a license, now if you do not have one, your garden can be bulldozed.

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile, enjoy the city demolishing various community gardens...

Saturday, July 17, 2010


From Page Six today:

Now we know what Mayor Bloomberg and Diana Taylor have in common -- they were both party animals. In a speech yesterday at Dartmouth, Taylor's alma mater, Bloomberg said, "I remember having nothing but fun in college." The Post's Jennifer Fermino reports Bloomberg also said Taylor told him she skied constantly while attending the New Hampshire university, but he thinks she "drank a lot [and] probably smoked a lot." Bloomberg, who went to John Hopkins, confessed to a dismal academic record: "If you think I don't have 'Animal House' on my iPad, you are wrong," he said.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bloomberg spent nearly $183 per vote

From the City Room:

To eke out a narrow re-election victory over the city’s understated comptroller, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg spent $102 million of his own money, or about $183 per vote, according to data released on Friday, making his bid for a third term the most expensive campaign in municipal history.

And the $102 million tab is likely to rise: the mayor has not yet doled out his storied bonuses to campaign workers, which can top $100,000 a person. That spending will not be reported until after his inauguration.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What will the city look like after another Bloomberg term?

Speaking of how much things change, Alex has an extensive here-and-now series over at Flaming Pablum. As an example, this is Bowery and East First Street from 2002, the year Bloomberg took office ... 2002 doesn't seem like that long ago...but just look...

You probably know what it looks like now...

Sure, the city landscape is getting sterilized... but I fear that we're losing our spirit and character as well... can we withstand another four years?

For further reading:
Cleaning up people (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

Photos via Flaming Pablum. Go there for a lot more.


Via The Washington Post:

The closeness of his victory is sure to raise speculation about the impact of the term-limits change and how much that served to trump Bloomberg's accomplishments in office. That subject had already dominated conversation at polling places around the city Tuesday.

"The main thing is to get Bloomberg out," said Véronique Doumbé, 52, a filmmaker from West Africa, speaking at an East Village polling place. "I'm coming from a country where the president never wants to leave. Term limits are essential for a democracy."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Day special

This mural was created during Art Around the Park in September. This past weekend, it appeared on the gate of a community garden on Eighth Street.

For further reading:
Just Say No (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009


"Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has spent $85 million of his own money on his latest re-election campaign, more than anyone in U.S. history." (The New York Times)

Monday, October 5, 2009

A vote against Mr. $115 ticket

Just a little anti-Bloomy (Mr. $115 Ticket!) graffitti on Cooper Square near Fourth Street.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Life's a beach: Former Jersey Shore Store now Bloomberg for Mayor campaign office

Remember that Jersey Shore Store on Broadway between 11th Street and 12th Street (the one in which the empty kegs were left behind...)...?

This summer!


Many thanks to EV Grieve reader Eric for the tip and photos....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Looking at The New Yorker's Bloomy extravaganza

Ben McGrath profiles King Bloomberg in this week's New Yorker.

It's epic. Here's how it starts:

Michael Bloomberg has never been the sort of public speaker who makes people faint in his presence. He talks too quickly, mispronounces words, and has a weakness for self-referential jokes, at which he smirks readily, like a boy who knows that his mother approves.

McGrath's piece is roughly 10,000 words, so.... here are just a few interesting passages.

Bloomberg took office during a recession, and quickly established himself as a bold and decisive fiscal manager, ultimately demonstrating, as his friend Mitchell Moss, an urban-planning professor at N.Y.U., says, that New York was “open for business after 9/11.” As the economy recovered, Bloomberg set about trying to transform the city, on a scale not seen since the days of Robert Moses. “I think if you look, we’ve done more in the last seven years than — I don’t know if it’s fair to say more than Moses did, but I hope history will show the things we did made a lot more sense,” Bloomberg told me. “You know, Moses did some things that turned out not to be great: cutting us off from the waterfront, putting roads all along the water.” The Bloomberg model, under the direction of Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff and Amanda Burden, the City Planning Commissioner, was based to a large extent on undoing the Moses legacy: rezoning for commercial and residential use large tracts of waterfront property that had once been the province of industry.

Later on, a City Hall reporter offers:

If he weren’t sometimes such a dick, it would be an unbearable beat.”

Illustration: Gerald Scarfe

Friday, August 7, 2009

Posts that I never got around to posting: "Little pig, little pig, let me come in!"

Got my first glimpse (like a month ago now!) of the Public Art Fund's latest exhibition at City Hall Park. It's by British artist Richard Woods. Went up at the end of June. And it gives me that "Three Little Pigs" vibe for some reason.

For further reading:
New City Hall Santaland-looking guardhouses: Cute or crazy? (Daily News)