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Midtown West

  1. intel
    Daniel Libeskind Still Accepts Consensus As an IdeologyDaniel Libeskind is still optimistic about ground zero. Or, you know, not entirely bitter. “That site will come back to life in a way that is not banal,” he explained during a House & Garden panel discussion at Hunter College last week. It will have “as much public space as I could have possibly put in it,” he added. The topic of the H&G panel was “The Future Face of New York” and focused mostly on sustainable building and expansion. “It doesn’t happen by miracle, it happens by enlightened social policy,” Libeskind explained. It seems like he learned at least one thing about his ground-zero experience: “Democracy is about garnering consensus,” he mused. That’s helpful — but is it a real solution to the fact that there will be a million more people in New York in 2030? We’re not sure. Then again, we read H&G for the pictures of rich people’s window treatments. —Darrell Hartman Related: The Liberation of Daniel Libeskind [NYM]
  2. developing
    What’s That Shiny Building, and What Have They Done With Our Bus Station? When Governor Spitzer held a press conference Friday to announce the state was opening bidding for the 12-million-square-foot Hudson Yards site, he mentioned another bit of redevelopment in the works for the West Side: an imminent overhaul of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Which promptly sent us scurrying to the Port Authority’s Website, looking for details. We turned up these renderings and these optimistic stats: Apparently they’re planning 55,000 square feet of spiffed-up stores, 26 new bus gates, and a bright office tower on top. Even if the building doesn’t look too architecturally interesting, it’s still nice to imagine a presentable depot. Just don’t count on it anytime soon; feasibility studies will be ongoing till 2009. —Alec Appelbaum Earlier: You Wanna Buy a Rail Yard?
  3. intel
    Bill Keller, Staff Perform Amazing Feats of Near-Homeless NewspaperingThe Times waiting at our door this morning had a substantial heft. This would not normally be noteworthy, particularly on a Friday, when we get not one but two arts sections and the straight-to-the-trash Escapes. But we’d half-expected a slim volume today, around the size of our college paper. Why? Because the Times news staff is finally moving into the big, shiny new building across from Port Authority this weekend, and everyone had to have their desks packed up by 6 p.m. last night. Which raised the interesting question of how they’d put out the weekend papers. We hear computers and phones remain on 43rd Street, and reporters and editors are expected to work in their near-empty cubicles through the weekend. (Research material? Reference books? Old notes? Eh, who needs ‘em!) The biggest challenge: We’re told Culture’s actual move is happening Sunday night. Up against the Tonys. And The Sopranos. Ain’t moving day fun?
  4. photo op
    Takin’ Care of Business We can’t decide if this dude — photographed by dedicated Daily Intel reader Simon Curtis last night at Broadway and West 55th Street — is actually, really, legitimately working from his car (which would be kind of cool), making some sort of statement on America’s automobile culture or the high rents in midtown Manhattan (which would be less cool but still sort of interesting), or simply engaging in a PR stunt (in which case we’ve been suckered). It was a nice night for it, at least. [Snap a Photo Op–worthy shot? Send it to us at intel@nymag.com.]
  5. neighborhood watch
    What Will ‘Post’ Coverage Mean for Prospect Lefferts Gardens?Battery Park City: The DOT is removing stop signs on a five-block stretch along the river. Is that good or bad? [Streetsblog] Coney Island: This summer, the beach cops will be on Segways. Cue the laugh track. [AP via Brooklyn Record] Midtown East: “The Splendido” is the worst name for a condo. Ever. [City Realty via Curbed] Midtown West: There are new advances in janitorial techniques to be found at Penn Station. [East Village Idiot] Park Slope: Daily fuel fumes at 6 a.m. Anyone know the source? [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn] Prospect Lefferts Gardens: If the Post calls this the next “It” place, does that ensure it won’t be? [NYP via Son of Planet PLG]
  6. photo op
    It’s So Important to Stay Hydrated On his way to the Georgia Rule premiere last night, Daily Intel reader Simon Curtis passed by the Jamba Juice on 53rd and Broadway and saw the above gathering of superheroes, wookiees, and the like. Considering the Jamba Juice is right across from Dave Letterman’s studio at the Ed Sullivan Theater, we’re going to guess that these guys were waiting for their Late Show cue (we missed the show last night). Or maybe they just wanted a smoothie. [Snap a Photo Op–worthy shot? Send it to us at intel@nymag.com.]
  7. neighborhood watch
    Kensington Old Guard Protecting Neighborhood From Park Slope FateClinton Hill: Former Queer Eye foodie Ted Allen and his partner traded in their three-bedroom in Chelsea for a four-story house on Washington Avenue. [Brownstoner] Kensington: Neighborhood veterans are blasting newcomers for wanting to turn their quiet corner of Brooklyn into Park Slope. [Kensington Blog] Lower East Side: Protest the closing of Tonic by hanging out there after it’s closed. [Brooklyn Vegan] Midtown West: Remember Hudson Yards? The city still has plans, which may involve demolishing part of the High Line. [NYS] Park Slope: D’Agostino’s and Gothic Cabinet Craft are being displaced by, yes, another bank branch. [Gowanus Lounge] Red Hook: A community coalition may be calling to get your opinion on the future of the waterfront. [The Brooklyn Paper]
  8. developing
    Moynihan Station: It’s Alive? Huh. Look at that. Last we were paying attention, we were pretty sure Moynihan Station was dead. (Delayed in October, shot down in December, we thought.) But then, this morning, Gotham Gazette’s indispensable “Eye-Opener” pointed us to a Daily News squib from Saturday: The state’s Public Authorities Control Board — you know, that three-member group Shelly Silver uses to block development he doesn’t like — has approved the financing plan that would allow the Empire State Development Corporation to buy the Farley Post Office building from the Postal Service. Guess this means the thing’s back on. Who knew? Moynihan Sta. Gets a Key OK [NYDN] Earlier: Moynihan Station, an Autopsy It’s Over, and It’s Over
  9. in other news
    The 7 Extension Is Being Held in the Station by the Train’s Dispatcher And now it’s happening in midtown. First it was the 9/11 memorial that got too expensive and had to be reconsidered. Then it was the MTA’s Fulton Street transit hub that to be redesigned to cut costs: Its soaring glass dome has become less soaring and entirely stainless steel. Then, last week, it turned out that Santo Calatrava’s World Trade Center PATH station — for a long time, the only ground-zero building that seemed to be getting anywhere — was a billion dollars over budget and would also have to be scaled down. Now today’s Times brings word that, oh, yeah, the planned extension of the 7 train is likely to come hundreds of millions of dollars, or even maybe a billion dollars, over budget, and the MTA won’t grant any contracts to start work on the project until the city comes up with a new deal to finance the thing. And so it becomes clearer and clearer why it’s taken 80 years to build the Second Avenue line. M.T.A. Says It Can’t Handle Cost Overruns on No. 7 Project [NYT]
  10. buy low
    Flipping Times Square Bargains Forces Glut Buyers can work the laws of supply and demand to their advantage at the Orion, Extell Development’s towering condominium at 350 West 42nd Street. Investors initially snapped up the Orion’s units, banking on Times Square’s renaissance. Now many are out to collect profits, flipping their apartments back on the market and creating something of a glut. Today 34 condos compete for the attention of shoppers here, plus 38 more for rent, according to StreetEasy Real Estate. This 710-square-foot one-bedroom is the cheapest of its size at $715,000, though there is another unit on a lower floor with the same asking price. This one, though only on the seventh floor of a 61-story building, soaks in sunlight in the daytime. A 421-A abatement’s in place for ten years, so property taxes are absurdly low — $18 a month! — and the common charges aren’t off-putting for a project gilded with all the usual amenities, and then some: a health club with a pool, concierge service, and even free breakfast. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
  11. neighborhood watch
    Chelsea Hotel Opens Doors to the Dull Bay Ridge: At least someone is happy about Atlantic Yards. [Bay Ridge Blog] Chelsea: The doors of the Chelsea Hotel (right) are slowly changing into a boring black. [Hotel Chelsea Blog] Clinton Hill: Chicken and waffles comes to the neighborhood, but the fries aren’t so good. [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: Reject the Swedes and shop at BoConcept, the Danish furniture store opening at 79 Front Street on Friday. [Dumbo NYC] Gowanus: The Empty Vessel Project sells the boat for a buck; new owners want “alternative weddings.” [Gowanus Lounge] Midtown West: In case you’re new, beat out the Amtrak amateurs at Penn Station by looking for your track listing on the monitors downstairs. [Inside Traveler via NewYorkology] Williamsburg: Rumor has it that Galapagos might close soon, too. [Brooklyn Vegan]