This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 26, 2012
As per usual, nativist anger runs parallel to any major NYC project. And it seems the High Line is next on the chopping block for neighborhood frustration.
Contrary to popular belief, people actually live under the epic, mile-long above-ground park that runs from Gansevoort up to West 30th Street. And one of these residents has been making this backlash visual, in flyer-form.
Across the Chelsea area, posters have been spotted that lay out aggressive guidelines for tourists swarming the West Side. The man behind the act told CBS that he would like to remain anonymous and just wants the outsiders to remember that New Yorkers come first. To which we respond: have you ever been to Times Square? And you thought the High Line was bad?
Take a peek at some of these rules and tell Runnin’ Scared what you think:
– “Do not sit on the stoops of the buildings, or take pictures of and film buildings or residents.”
Translation: The Big Apple is nice for your viewing pleasure. And that’s it.
– “Observe New York sidewalk etiquette. Do not walk more than two people in a row down the sidewalk.”
Translation: New York sidewalk etiquette is a real thing. At least we think so?
– “If you see an empty space, leave it empty. Otherwise there will be no space for New Yorkers. If you love New York, leave it alone.”
Translation: NO SITTING. KEEP WALKING.
– “Please consider how you would feel if 3 million people a year from around the world trampled your street, your neighborhood and your local park and act accordingly – in the way that your morals or religion or general human consideration would dictate.”
Translation: …You decide.
And the kicker is key: “West Chelsea is not Times Square. It is not a tourist attraction.”
Although nativism can be justified out of annoyance, one must remember that to be a New Yorker, one must be proud of New York. Maybe the High Line is something we should be showing off, not protecting like a first born.
Times Square, though; the tourists can have that one.
“White men are no longer the whole against which we measure all the parts, but one more angry special interest group. Once they were 'mankind,' now they're just another niche in the endless segmentation markers and identities.”