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46. Because for All the NIMBYs, There’s at Least One YIMBY

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Nikolai Fedak’s favorite thing in the world is skyscrapers. The 23-year-old moved to New York five years ago from McLean, Virginia—a very nice place notably lacking in high-rises—to attend college, and two years ago, besotted with the city’s restless cranes, he started a fan site for megadevelopment, newyork­yimby.com, as in “yes in my backyard.” As in not “not in my backyard.” Its obsessive construction updates quickly made it a useful resource for keeping track of the transforming city. “One of my friends thought it was a Real Estate Board of New York plant because it’s so pro–real estate,” says Fedak. But he still has an opinion. “I don’t support new development that’s not aesthetically friendly or what I think the city should be,” he says. And for those who miss the old city as it’s steadily being supplanted by the new—“432 Park, One57, 217 West 57th, 111 West 57th, the Pyramid, 606 West 57th … I definitely love 57th Street,” Fedak rattles off—he has little sympathy. “If these people were around in the thirties, would we have the Empire State Building? Would we have the Chrysler Building?” Or what about earlier megadevelopments: “Grand Central? The old Penn Station, even?” he says. “You have to get over it. Go somewhere else. Don’t live in Manhattan!”


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