Luc Sante: Let New York Become Beijing
The Bowery, once synonymous with being down on your luck, is now the hot address for the i-banker crowd.
There's a phrase that describes what you're feeling when you walk around Manhattan—or Brooklyn or anywhere in the city—shaking your head at the latest luxury condo sprouting up and muttering to yourself about the bank branch that replaced another mom-and-pop store: angry nostalgia.
That's what author Luc Sante called it in an interview in this week's Voice. So don't despair. At least, you're not alone in suffering from angry nostalgia. Then again, maybe you should despair. Sante left the city and is now living in Kingston.
For a while, I was consumed by this sort of angry nostalgia, remembering the New York I knew. But now it's just gone. So I can marvel at what they're doing to the Bowery and Little Italy, putting up these pocket skyscrapers on these blocks of six-story tenements. Fuck it—let 'em do it. The more they erase my New York, the further it's emotionally removed from me, the better. Let them turn it into Beijing.
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