The Eternal City
Despite New Yorkers’ powerful nostalgia for the Gotham-that-was, the city’s urban ecology has always thrived on change.
Wrestling with Moses:
How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City
by Anthony Flint
$27.00 List Price
“When I hear people say ‘New York,’” a friend said recently, “I replace it in my mind with ‘my life.’” So, he continued, when someone says to him “New York is hard,” it becomes “My life is hard”—the imagined state of the city standing in for whatever ails the speaker. Try it at home—it works. One can project on New York City in a way one cannot with a Dallas or a Boston. So unknowable, so much in flux—it’s natural to conflate the place with ourselves, just as it is easy to confuse it with the universe (limitless, containing everything) or the sea: by turns placid and roiled, capable of great beauty, given on a whim to soothe or to drown.
So what should we think when people cry “New York is dying”? The gridded immensity of the place begs for the superimposition of myths, and this is one of the most durable. We
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