Woody Allen’s New York, RIP

For the past half-decade, New York City has been consumed by a frenzy of greed. A whirlwind of out-of-context development, anarchic “architecture” and a virus-like proliferation of chain stores that has ravaged the cityscape. Property owners, not satisfied with rents and property values that have already soared into the stratosphere, instead are all too often determined to squeeze every last dollar out of their land that they legally (and in some cases illegally) can — aesthetics be damned. Historic and under-protected neighborhoods from the Lower East Side to the Upper West Side to low-rise Brooklyn have been devastated, historic buildings ripped down and replaced by “luxury condo” towers, which are, as often as not, either thoroughly banal or outright hideous to look at. The city government, for its part, has largely failed to leverage the manifold opportunities provided by New York’s newfound prosperity to protect the idea of the city beautiful. The result is that walking the streets of New York has become more than a little heartbreaking, a sense of loss accompanying every vista.

So it’s not surprising that a quintessential New Yorker like Woody Allen would be a little sad nowadays; the city he lovingly immortalized in his films is being despoiled. In an interview with the Daily News, Woody Allen succinctly sums up the trouble with the new New York:

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Woody Allen’s New York, RIP

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