Delicious morning city planning read of the day. Moss, a culture critic in NYC, criticizes the High Line’s economic effects while mourning the loss of Chelsea’s gritty “charm.”
It’s a great piece, my favorite in weeks. Moss forgets three things. First, the real-estate boom was not just located in his precious little piece of the world. It burned like wildfire, scorching economies around the world. Second, did Moss hang out there before the High Line was built? I severely doubt it. He shows that this section of town was once called gasoline alley, due to all the auto repair shops and other mechanical industries. Why is Moss, or anyone for that matter, nostalgic for that? Third, and important to me as thinker of city infrastructure, what about the nearly 20 years of community outreach done by the city’s non-profits, architects, students, PhD researchers, city planners, artists, economists, and econ-dev folks (among countless others)? Neighbors, developers, and business owners wanted revitalization. They wanted a large, effective redevelopment project. And they got the High Line. Chelsea got what it wanted.
Jeremiah Moss pans the Times Squarification of West Chelsea as the outgrowth of the High Line, and the loss of the neighborhood of working class residents and light industry.In his view it’s part of the quick march to Disneyland On The Hudson than Bloomberg and developers are interested in capitalizing on.