Category: St. Regis Hotel

Oh Babylon, Oh Calcutta

October 27th, 2010

New York City is still a city, no: the city, the city itself, Metropolis of the twentieth century, capital of capitalism, a symbol of Western civilization. That will change soon. New York is destroyed, slowly, but steadily. New York is based on himself. The symbol is the writing on the wall.

This is the moment for a requiem in his lifetime.

Not that the city would disappear, would be demolished, abandoned. The houses, to stop the towers, as long as someone has a profit of it, and that goes for everything else. A dying city of New York is not. It is a broken city – a city without public spirit, “a biblical city,” says Norman Wall, “which fell from the grace of God.”

Perhaps New York a priori impossible – had always been impossible, an impossible venture, “the impossible dream”, this eight-million collection of all races and classes on an island archipelago: a city where blacks and Helihäutige, Europeans and Asians, Jews and Muslims are free from constraints of a new community – a dream city. New York is not the city.

New York is what happens when private wealth and public poverty, unchecked driven to extremes collide. New York is what happens when reforms, remain, because never have enough people can agree on what is the common good and what it requires. New York is what happens if in the solution of public tasks of slaughtering the profit planning. New York can happen here.

“Do your thing”, say the New Yorker. It is her first bid, and her last resort. Do your stuff – and that’s it. Look where you stay. Screen, as you can get away. “Do your thing.” Everyone says this: I close my stuff – and everything else I can be stolen …

Alas, it is stolen. And sometimes even the owner is killed. “Do your thing” is the battle cry of a permanent civil war between people become all against all, everyone against everyone.

“You can therefore go with outstretched hand, and you can throw ash into the hat,” added Henry Miller, who was born here and has sung about the hopelessness of this city, such as Walt Whitman its glory, already written some thirty years ago. “Rich or poor, they go on their way with her head thrown back and almost break his neck to look up to her beautiful white prisons. Do the goose blind, and the searchlights illuminate their faces with empty spots ecstatic.”

And today? A day in New York, a typical day, described by a contemporary who is now living there:

Early one morning the discovery that has scratched around overnight, someone at the front door lock. On the pavement outside the house of scattered garbage, but no one available who feels responsible for the mess. In the subway the smell of something fecal, to the bright side of the man’s breath. The train gets stuck for a while is in the tunnel. By late for work.

In an attempt to telephone office – no dial tone. Wait for the dial tone, then a call to Brooklyn: nothing. No busy signals, no dial tone, just nothing.

Later, a call to the Sanitation Department, complaints about the garbage on the sidewalk. The Sanitation Department has been renamed to “One moment please.” The moment lasts 17 minutes and the call is disconnected. They decide to send a telegram, and dials the number of Western Union. The phone rings 147mal, and gives to you.

Adjusted the way home, along with the garbage, a broad-shouldered Hippie: “Haste seven cents, man?” You stare frantically past him, and he screams something about your mother pig are behind you, you step up the stairs, open the door, and the TV is off, the typewriter is gone, the tape recorder is gone. So, call the police and tell that you have been excluded. The uniformed men write in your name.

Two days later, by a detective took the intruder to the note, gives advice when filling out a form, and that’s it. It turns on the new TV, and the images on the screen are weak and how blurred, because the adolescent twin towers of the World Trade Center, the tallest buildings in Town this week, 110 floors, 412 meters, occasionally interfere with reception.

So many years ago, it still does not, the liberal columnist Pete Hamill noted in the New York Post, as had the New Yorker three preferred topics of conversation: their jobs, their homes and their love affairs. Today, he says, there is only one thing: getting away.

“The city for a lot of people died,” said Hamill, “which they loved more than any other place on earth you ever go to a party -. Any speaks always of a piece of land in Vermont, or from one place Pennsylvania, over which he has heard talk. A friend of mine, who in 1968 was a very important man for Eugene McCarthy’s campaign, has hired a “fallback position” in Boulder, Colorado. And I least a dozen friends who talk of moving away have. ”

… They all talk like this, or something like that, like this public-relations man in Manhattan: “You just can not plan the daily schedule, the Post does not come on time You get no more messengers What ever you want to have worried too – in almost every job you have to follow up by telephone. In the city of no taxis are getting. All other for a complete, one has to check himself again. It is simply not worth the effort. ”

Rien ne va plus. The concept of public services in New York gradually become a synonym for collapse.

Signs of this development can be found for years in the budgets, nigh their growth to a closed bolt thalidomide child remembers. From 1964 to 1968 as the total budget of the city as a whole increased by 80 percent, the number of public servants but by only 20 percent. The budget of the NYPD is about the same period has increased by 55 percent, the number of police officers but only 25 percent. A change in this disparity is virtually impossible: The city can barely – under increasing pressure to strike required – pay wage increases, let set for more staff.

This New York City already has a huge army, 350 000 people in its services and its citizens. Only the New York Army is not commanded by a general staff, even by modern management, but by a just as huge as haphazard piecemeal, the supremacy of the interests of hopelessly abandoned to bureaucracy whose impenetrability and ineffectual, the brutal proportions reached the World Trade Center.

John V. Lindsay, mayor of this city, having regard to minorities, liberal man of fashion, can cover the freeze-dried TV laughing all, except his ambition, once said that when he took office in 1965 did the city system “literally not themselves known what she was doing. ” The question is whether they know it today.

“I would take fourteen days,” says Barry Gottehrer, “only to find the man responsible for the uncollected rubbish in my street.” At least one of the commanders of Mayor Lindsay’s crisis team (Urban Action Task Force) And then the waste is far from gone.

Public service? Public is a mystery word in New York, servicing almost a dirty word.

New York has never been a clean city. Now she’s dirty. The dirt is growing as the skyscrapers, if not to her feet. There are good, well-off areas because of the garbage disposal works, because the residents have enough sense for both Clean and enough power einzuheizen the bureaucracy. Elsewhere, where the residents do not have both, out comes the Sanitation rare.

During the past ten years, the New York population, calculated crude, has remained at eight million about constant, the drop in households has increased by 40 percent, cans, plastic containers, disposable bottles – not the cars expected.

About 2000-3000 car wrecks are constantly on the edge of the New York streets, abandoned gutted, license plates removed, owner unknown, about a thousand a week makes the city would carry off that costs 2:00 to 10:00 dollar a piece, scrap value is already deducted.

Dirt attracts dirt. On a road to the circle when the wind is old newspapers such as dragons, each throws his cigarette or whatever else he wants to get rid of, out, and chop, all do it, so nobody cares. Whose would it even matter? “Let the Sanitation people do their thing.”

But of 70,000 new sanitation trash a third was stolen the first time from the presumptive users. The people in the slums, they have often used as furnishings, for example, instead of a table leg.

There are a lot of blocks like this in East Bronx, 174 Street, near Washington Avenue, two degenerate blocks of flats, in between a piece of backyard. The tenants, half Puerto Rican, half-tone, many of them welfare recipients take, hardly bothered to take their trash outside the house. They cannot just the stuff out the window. The backyard is full of ankle-deep trash, play in the children sometimes. Who cares?

“I am the-‘Hauswirt – but,” says the landlord, “that’s not my yard This is an urban farm Namely, if it were your or my yard, it would be our job to clean it.. right? So, this also applies for the city. So they should also watch out here that the throw any litter in the yard. Get it? But yes no one cares now. ”

Or is it? As has teamed up recently for the “Association for a Better New York,” a private association of New York businessmen who want to do for their own money and with their own staff for the improvement of something so terrible blackened image of the city. First, they plan a privately organized street cleaning program in midtown Manhattan between Second and Eighth Avenue, between 34th and the 57th Street.

Reason being that the members of the Association, most buildings in this part of town have already either or manage, they will commit their technical management personnel in the future to not only the sidewalks but the streets and gutters in front of these buildings to keep clean – not a given without first obtaining the blessing of the garbage men-union.

“The intention,” says one of the founders of the Association, “the whole area as clean as Rockefeller Center, which already has its own street cleaning.”

The motive of this unexpected action group is of course only be fully realized if the composition of the 127 members of the Association into consideration: It is almost entirely to companies whose business performance by the poor state and the declining prestige of the city is in immediate danger.

Robert desk, president of Loew’s Corporation, “which operates hotels and cinemas in the area, called the new association a” desperation “. This illustrates the innocent, Alton Marshall, president of the Rockefeller Center: “Finally, there is no better than self-serving motives.”

The gentlemen of the real estate industry, for example, in the Association for a Better New York “particularly strong do finally come back into the housing business. “We have had six years of no apartment building in New York built,” Alan V. Tishman complains about the “Tishman Realty”. And Lewis Rudin of the “Rudin Management” adding: “We are not in eight years.”

Truly: The private housing currently is not a business in New York City. Rising land prices, rising construction costs made it difficult, financing conditions in 1969 resolved here “rent-stabilization law,” is to keep especially the new-hiring in check, and the flight of the affluent middle-class customers in the suburbs have private housing made unprofitable. So there is not enough by far.

Since 1969, in New York City slightly more than 3,000 apartments in privately financed and built. The city built as a client at least 17 000 And if one reckons that about 10,000 homes a year to be demolished as dilapidated, it amounts to a yearly increase of 10 000 flats.

But the bill is wrong. It is made without the landlords, the landlords do not want to be more, because it no longer pays to be a landlord to give up their homes, let you down, just leave like a broken car full of passengers.

In this way, losing New York City 30 000 flats a year – shelter for more than 80 000 people. That’s as were ten to fifteen moderate hurricane into the city every year since at least three years. The erosion of New York living room stock has reached the power and the effect of a natural disaster. A new prairie arises – steppe in the middle of the city.

A half-hour trip by subway from Times Square is to continue the steppes never leave again. In West Bronx, South Brooklyn, there are streets that look like bombed. Not the rubbish, the rubbish piling up into mountains. The wind flirts with the doors that are stuck on cracked walls, a colorful piece of curtain blows between bare rocks. The backdrop of the civil war.

You meet many people do not. Some cave dwellers have remained suspicious, hostile, defiant. Someone has deleted the entrance to his ruin bright red. A child suddenly throws a chair through the window of an abandoned apartment on the street.

Started the accident, this part of the accident, paradoxically, with the construction boom of the postwar years, which continued until about 1965 and produced over half a million new homes. The well-off to proceed unless they were not equal to the suburbs. In the old houses moved to poorer, Negroes, Puerto Ricans. The market value of such areas decreased, the wear of houses increased. The hosts started to lose interest in maintaining their buildings.

Then there is the Mietstopp, the city imposed the law on all built up to 1947 housing and enabled it to keep the rents of old buildings without the consent of the owner artificially low – usually well below the cost recovery. Could the city below-cost rent, then they would have to pay about 600 000 low-income families, mostly welfare recipients, rent subsidies.

As the city but which can not cope financially, rich (according to a study by the Rand Corporation), rental income of 722 000 flats is no longer sufficient to fund even the consistent maintenance. And meanwhile it has become cheaper for many landlords, a give-house than to rent and maintain – even if they have to pay their mortgage debt now.

Eh Cooper, for example, New York homeowners, has twelve older apartment buildings in the Bronx. One of them, six floors, 24 apartments, all in all a typical case, brings him to the last rent increase approved by the City of $ 20,800 a year. The additional revenue ($ 800) to go on it to the last cent for higher taxes. Moreover, forcing a new New York environmental protection regulation the landlord to burn better fuel oil consumption increased by 20 percent and significantly more expensive. His fire insurance premiums have doubled recently. The general maintenance costs have increased with the prices. Eh Cooper estimates that it loses $ 1,800 a year in the house.

“It means,” he says, “I’ll have to neglect the Roof” (which is leaking). Which means in the long run: Remove the old, reliable tenant, poor, large families will replace them: the house is always in need of repair and will always be more expensive. It is anticipated that Eh Cooper will give up this house one day.

One day, therefore, takes away the janitor, the heating is turned off, then the water, and soon the stream. Tenants flee accept with what can be making money, some even put the fire. The rest is vandalism.

“It’s like cancer,” said Edward J. Logue, Chei the Urban Development Corporation, “that is growing, the rampant that creeps across the street and through the backyard in the next block.” In 60 to 90 days, experience teaches, may die an entire street.

Metastases are formed even on Fifth Avenue, this showpiece street of the affluent society. Best & Co., in the 51st Street, one of the oldest, most prestigious clothes shops ~ the city has to make the empty black window holes in the scenery-Stuyvesant. De Pinna’s, nor as a luxury store, across from Best & Co., has also pulled out.

This is not because of lack of sales – rich people, even snobs, the city enough. This is rather that make Best & Co. (and others) more profit when they close their store and sell land, together with a company that wishes to build an office tower. Because the real estate prices, and therefore the rent of this area of Midtown Manhattan are so gone up that five-to ten-storey building, as the good old shops on Fifth Avenue, are just not profitable, a skyscraper in the same place, however, would , fully let, contribute the other hand, a fortune.

About 25 cases such as that of Best & Co. have land speculators still on the list. And tries Mayor Lindsay, they anticipate the carrot and the stick (ie with building codes, compliance with profits) brings, for he knows: “Without some form of public intervention Fifth Avenue could out of international Boulevard to one of the anonymous office buildings lined to streets.”

The same has been through the Park Avenue – and not only the Park Avenue. In fact, the whole city in almost continuous change due to a different city will be replaced. Plenty of New York 300 years old, but it may still bear witness to all books. New York, it is only in the present tense. In their past, the city is not interested, and if she has a future, who knows the devil.

What is written off, is also torn down, and determines the profit. what is recreated – and how. Not architecture has shaped the canyon of the middle glass office park avenue, but (with few exceptions) the tax-effective utilization of the zoning regulations. Only taxes had to be accommodated, then people.

So is formed, what the novelist and reporter Norman Wall (in 1969 actually wanted to be mayor of New York City) “an immense ode and a vast monotony, a nausea without cramping” calls – this Luciferian, light transmitting and light reflecting structures Park Avenue. The managers, they have built, and the people who are like them, for masonry in the subconscious totalitarian. They want to impose the ode and the monotony of their lives and the environment and the countryside “.

At least they want to earn lots of money. The construction of office towers, was the great business of the last ten years. New York, center of trade, finance and publicity, the prestige of the nation address – the need for office space seemed inexhaustible. Even today, of the 500 largest companies in the country have 125 here their headquarters. One third of the total Bürorautos of the United States is in New York City, 75 million square feet to be built in the last ten years and steadily rising prices have been rented, while 35 million square feet are under construction.

But even if this room can be rented or expensive, is not so sure. In older buildings, office rents in the last year have fallen by 25 percent in some new buildings at least 10 percent. Some landlords pay for new customers today the relocation costs. The shadow of the recession will gradually longer than the skyscrapers of the business. The office-building boom rolls over.

“In five years, here are a few million square feet of empty office space,” predicts Leonard C. Yaseen, Chairman of the Fantus Company, whose business it is to scout new location opportunities for companies that want to change their location. Mr. Yaseen negotiated for this half-tent with 24 city-weary society. The New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the number of companies that negotiate on their departure from the city, indicated even at 42.

Everyone is talking about cutting off – and the traders not only talk about it. The “Business Exodus” means no longer just the end of the shoemaker on the corner, the antiquarian, the baker, by the small shops that disappear literally overnight, almost silently folded under the burden of rising rents, rising taxes and the battered eyes of the owner’s wife. Even big business pushes off.

A vicious circle: First, the influx of big business to Manhattan real estate prices, and therefore the rents have driven up, and now drive the high rents, big business back from Manhattan out – not the rent and the working conditions of the living conditions of all. “It’s just not the effort worth more. .

Erosion, New York piece by piece can be the Steppe does not stop at the houses. It gnaws long been the economic foundation of the city. The companies that ex-

* The list of big companies, the New York City leave is long and sonorous. Only a few recent examples: Shell Oil Company, Standard 011 Company, Hooker Chemikal Corporation (three years ago closed). 011 Continental Company (also not long in New York), PepsiCo, Inc., MW Kellogg Company, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Also all kinds of potent associations bring out their headquarters from New York: American Newspaper Publishers Association. the United States Brewers Association <the 108 years was a resident in new york) – again just a few examples.

prefer to pay future taxes elsewhere (even across the Hudson in New Jersey, they come off cheaper). the strong tax manager of the company that remain, paying their tithes into suburbia, where they moved with their families. and there is nothing better after-heeled. “City”, says Leonard Yaseen (the party is of course), “simply, the young, ambitious manager share in the rest of the country no longer attract.”

but it attracts black and Puerto Ricans – an estimated two million it absorbs the second world war, have taken about as many people then, as the entire United States during the great Irish immigration (1845 to 1870) since the end. in other words: go to taxpayers who come to welfare recipients.

Two new migrations come together: the output of the white middle class in the core areas of large cities and the continued flight of the unemployed, racial discrimination colored farm workers from the American South in the racially basically, built cities of the north charities with their in Relation to South generous .

1950 to 1965, more than 1.5 million relatively well-off white from the new yorker in the inner city suburbs moved, and in the same period, more than 1.25 million blacks and Puerto Ricans, mostly unskilled workers and their rapidly growing families in the be shifted downwards town. the suburbs (and eventually the pre-suburbs) to urbanize, the town center

polarized. and this continues in 1960, the percentage of black population in new york city still owned 14th In 2006, it is highly calculations according to the currently available, be 50 percent.

that is, the heart of the city completely degenerates to the asylum. the exploited, racial discrimination, see the commented in the mechanized agriculture of the American South is no longer migrate north and city side in the hope of equal opportunity, which they now New York can offer very reason, because these administrative metropolis not nearly enough jobs for unskilled has – talk about hidden racial discrimination, which is also available here on the first place. such a result, 80 percent among colored proletariat, who lives in the welfare of the slums – under conditions of a revolutionary situation are as close as possible.

all that the city do about this constant threat of survey may, ultimately, the use of violence against -. “police brutality, to put it on black-power to say in English because the causes of the revolutionary situation in their support is new york city as good as machilos: racial segregation, and structural unemployment agrarian crises around the nation, by the great cities of the north are out on the back if necessary – and the more liberal they stand in line here, the worse the states.

in new york there is not even the reporting of newly arrived (an add lock would do the city in present conflicts with the constitution), but are cheap flats it is not, then what in the extreme case that end that the welfare administration, a “welfare family” the price of 76 dollars per night in the hotel “Waldorf Astoria” which houses – not a scandal, considering that in a so-called welfare-hotel as the “central broadway ‘, a breeding ground of exploitation and crime, 390.50 dollar have to be paid per week for a run-down urban dwelling, from the.

one in seven new yorker now living the welfare of the total of 1147 500 people, the inhabitants of a city like Houston, the sixth largest municipality of the united States at all. in the last ten years the number has tripled the welfare recipients, and the costs have increased sixfold. new york city subsidized with increasing amounts a progressive impoverishment.

America for the welfare system, pieced together haphazardly from the quick-fix activism of the early days, and the bad conscience of late capitalism has, under New York conditions, no corrective effect, but rather a corrupting. the bribe-giving feel cheated, the recipient, both the drive to work ruined, and so the public poverty ever larger.

John Lindsay was at the end of last year for the first welfare budget his veto against the city for 1971 in the amount billions of 2.4 inserted dollar and the lawyers to clarify charge, whether the New York State and the cost bund on payment of the total for the could sue welfare – an act of defiance against the inevitable, an alarm signal from the asylum of the nation.

It’s no good: The manhattan inexorably to a piece of the city for the very poor and for the very rich, in this sequence. they both live here, but not with each other, at best, side by side. sometimes between wretched excess and only a street corner. the dividing lines are as thin as a razor blade and just as sharp.

only the very rich can afford it yet, to live reasonably safe and comfortable. they live today in Manhattan as the former British colonial rulers in India may have lived so sheltered from the jungle of the environment. your in for a few thousand marks a month rented multi-storey flats in the fine apartment-houses of the east side or at the central park, which they gladly let guarded by small private police, are what concerns the degree of isolation, something between a fortress and the moon station. leave when the poor rich this base, then they move in their air-conditioned, chauffeur driven limousine cadillac-fleetwood-how through enemy territory: jump-to-enjoy-march march ins.

an evening in the ghetto of the rich, illustrated by the example of, and Jackie Onassis: drinks at half past eight in the drake room, then to eat in the totally inevitable “21 Club”, about half past twelve in the duplex of the St Regis Hotel. “(. always in the cadillac chauffeur waiting), where the chanteuse PATACHOU one has lied about ari jackie and repertoire:” if only i had married a greek. the singing art songs in several languages with, jackie considered as to whether anyone even then a song would write about her if she had married a poor fisherman from the coast of Brittany. then a few blocks in the cadillac to ‘chez vito, sobbing violins in triple dark. as the musicians for three clock home early do not even jackie, onassis bought the merry men from their wardrobes and costumes back to the podium.

A few miles further, we say: north, in the Bronx borough, in a section of that area, the Hunts Point is – there’s civil war, there is steppe. life is point in hunts determined by poverty and racial conflict, of drug addiction and crime, and it knows no law yet, hardly any police protection, garbage collection, control water supply, conservation of charged property, of, civil order, which sees police hunts point, according to the words of a priest who was working here as a trash can on which the lid must be held. in the three worst roads this area the residents have a statistical chance of one in twenty, of natural causes to die.

this is a city without a center. the silent majority live here anyway, and the “citoyen” Europe thrives in well-thought not in the intersection. so many international walks (emigrants except, of course). visit for each Central Europeans to this is obvious, he has only once with the subway ride: Exotic louder, united at most in the stupid rocking of the rolling device, Artists louder, you might think, moving sense and the metaphorical of the word, glutäugig, überhochmetzt, flapping its senses, and in between dull drop outs, very sunken permanent in their panic, aimless way to nirvana.

or the casual, sonorous “executives” in their unlined gray suits, which at noon. gay and hastily in the wake of the general their ‘business lunch’ and the first drink of the day strive towards – those are not even citizens in the Periclean sense of the word, which are beneficiaries to use the whole town, they take the morning raid like holding on. . her and she fled again in the evening to drop what distinguishes these people from the millions-host of the humiliated and offended, which use New York City as an asylum, is their income, better citizens they are not.