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DR. PANGLOSS

Let us review

Lesson eleven!

 

STUDENTS:

Paragraph two

Axion seven

 

PANGLOSS:

Once one dismisses

The rest of all possible worlds

One finds that this is

The best of all possible worlds!

 

STUDENTS:

Once one dismisses

The rest of all possible worlds

One finds that this is

The best of all possible worlds!

 

PANGLOSS:

Pray classify

Pigeons and camels

 

MAXIMILLIAN:

Pigeons can fly!

 

PAQUETTE:

Camels are mammals!

 

PANGLOSS:

There is a reason

For everything under the sun!

 

CANDIDE:

There is a reason

For everything under the sun!

 

MAXIMILLIAN:

Objection!

What about snakes?

 

PANGLOSS:

Snakes!

'Twas snake that tempted mother Eve

Because of snake we now believe

That though depraved

We can be saved

>From hellfire and damnation

(Because of snake's temptation!)

 

If snake had not seduced our lot

And primed us for salvation

Jehova could not pardon all

The sins that we call cardinal

Involving bed and bottle!

 

ALL

Now onto Aristotle!

 

PANGLOSS

Mankind is one

All men are brothers!

 

STUDENTS:

As you'd have done

Do unto others!

 

PANGLOSS

It's understood in

This best of all possible worlds--

 

MAXIMILLIAN

All's for the good in

This best of all possible worlds!

 

CANDIDE:

Objection!

What about war?

 

PANGLOSS:

War!

Though war may seem a bloody curse

It is a blessing in reverse

When canon roar

Both rich and poor

By danger are united!

(Till every wrong is righted!)

 

Philosophers make evident

The point that I have cited

'Tis war makes equal -- as it were --

The noble and the commoner

Thus war improves relations!

 

ALL:

Now onto conjugations!

 

PANGLOSS:

Amo, amas,

Amat, amamus!

 

STUDENTS:

Amo, amas,

Amat, amamus!

 

PANGLOSS:

Proving that this is

The best of all possible worlds

With love and kisses [blows a kiss]

The best of all possible worlds!

 

STUDENTS:

Proving that this is

The best of all possible worlds

With love and kisses [blows a kiss]

The best of all possible worlds!

 

PANGLOSS

Quod erat demunstrandum!

QED!

Amo, amas,

Amat amamus!

 

MAXIMILLIAN: (overlapping)

Quod erat demunstrandum!

QED!

Amo, amas!

Quod erat demunstrandum!

 

PAQUETTE: (overlapping)

Quod erat demunstrandum!

QED!

Amo, amas!

 

CANDIDE: (overlapping)

Quod erat demunstrandum!

QED!

 

CUNEGONDE: (overlapping)

Quod erat demunstrandum!

 

ALL:

Quod erat demunstrandum

In this best of all

Possible, possible, possible worlds!

Quod erat demunstrandum!

Q!

E!

D!!!!!!!!!!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Blocks and blocks of apartment buildings in marginal areas (e.g., parts of the Bronx where most of "us" never go) are being bought up by companies with no stake in the city whatsoever (other than to make money), companies that may "repair" the buildings and then raise the currently-just-barely-affordable rents. Bank branches (ATM only, no service), cell phone stores, drugstores, and coffee chain stores are proliferating, while shoe repair and other useful shops are disappearing. On a personal level: on my street, stores are being forced out by landlords expecting multimillion-dollar apartments to bring a desire for -- what? No one is filling the vacant spaces, and no one will, especially not "high-class" businesses, so long as the street is a construction zone and looks abandoned.

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While much -- but certainly not all -- of both the current good and bad here are not unique to New York City per se, the homogenizing modernity that continues to drive many of the changes seems to have caused more deeply-felt losses given Gotham's intricate and idiosyncratic urban, cultural and historical fabric ... especially since it's turned out to be more vulnerable and disposable than it seemed it ever could be in its heyday.

 

couldn't agree more

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Blocks and blocks of apartment buildings in marginal areas (e.g., parts of the Bronx where most of "us" never go) are being bought up by companies with no stake in the city whatsoever (other than to make money), companies that may "repair" the buildings and then raise the currently-just-barely-affordable rents. Bank branches (ATM only, no service), cell phone stores, drugstores, and coffee chain stores are proliferating, while shoe repair and other useful shops are disappearing. On a personal level: on my street, stores are being forced out by landlords expecting multimillion-dollar apartments to bring a desire for -- what? No one is filling the vacant spaces, and no one will, especially not "high-class" businesses, so long as the street is a construction zone and looks abandoned.

Some people just can't be pleased.

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The connection between the loss of unique New York fabric and the real estate market is probably obvious, but I am made ever more aware of it by business closures.

 

In a nutshell, the problem is that many business models are simply not viable if the premises can be leased at a competitive market rate. We see this down on the Lower East Side, where building owners are cashing in on their investments, because it makes much more sense to realize the equity in the building than carry on picking up morsels of rent from the restaurant or bookshop on the ground floor.

 

Many retail premises stand empty in my neighborhood, because you can't make the current rent selling coffee and dougnuts or rice and beans. People complain about bars and clubs driving out small family businesses - but you can't make money out of that kind of business if you are paying the going rate for your lease.

 

Big changes coming. (Edit: I see I am repeating some of Suzanne's points...)

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There is a reason

For everything under the sun!

 

---------------------------------------

 

Blocks and blocks of apartment buildings in marginal areas . . . are being bought up by companies with no stake in the city whatsoever (other than to make money) . . .

 

I really struggle with this concept, too. It's happening everywhere. Robert Moses destroyed wonderful ethnic neighborhoods (and some lives) to build "his" New York without official due process. Who are these greedy people and how much money is enough and will they ever feel guilty? I don't understand why Montana must be be chopped up into planned development mega-ranches, either. Guess this can't really be debated without getting mired in politics and religion. We have a very unique town of little beach cottages that is slowly being ripped apart and replaced with MegaMcMansions, 800 sq ft one-story homes being replaced with three-story 6-10,000 sq ft ones that dwarf surroundings and block everyone's views. All for money.

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There is a financial dichotomy that prevents the city for attaining its potential.

 

A recently released study has found the current wealth distribution in NYC is similar to what it was in 1919. Too big a percentage is controlled by too few entities and corporations. Until/unless the divide can be lessened we are possibly doomed to repeat history.

 

There is too much individual debt, foreclosures are at all an all-time high and the homeless numbers are still staggering. Some of these problems don't show up in unemployment statistics for two reasons. The first is many people (whose unemployment benefits have ceased) have stopped looking for work. And more importantly, NYC's underground economy is probably the largest in the country - if not the world. But those people have no benefits, little structure and to a large degree deal in illegal activity.

 

To paraphrase, this is not the best of times, this is not the worst of times. Charles Dickens had it right - this is a tale of two separate, but not equal, cities.

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I gave a somewhat flip reply, but there is much truth for me in what I said. New York has become more sharply segmented along socio-economic lines than ever. Manhattan, particularly the areas below 125th street are becoming accessible only to upper middle and upper income people. "Neighborhoods" are slowly dissolving. Manhattan is becoming a "corporate" city. I don;t spend any time in the boros, so I can't comment but my impression is that Brooklyn and Queens have become in many ways, the neighborhoods of NY. The Bronx still has a ways to go, but it too is moving in that direction.

 

Safer? Yes, that is true. Less dangerous? Maybe not. Cab drivers are a hazard and the drivers are far more impatient and less considerate of others and pedestrians than ever before.

 

As for living here. I would not live anywhere else. And I haven't.

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So how many people here own a building where they are more than happy collecting $25 per sq ft in rent from a shoemaker and turned down $100 per sq ft from Starbucks?

 

And another one: how many people here who own or have owned real estate have sold real estate to the person or entity that provided the highest bid? Why not sell it for a lot less to the shoemaker?

 

Next we're going to hear how much better the coffee in NYC was 30 years ago.

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There is a reason

For everything under the sun!

 

---------------------------------------

 

Blocks and blocks of apartment buildings in marginal areas . . . are being bought up by companies with no stake in the city whatsoever (other than to make money) . . .

 

I really struggle with this concept, too. It's happening everywhere. Robert Moses destroyed wonderful ethnic neighborhoods (and some lives) to build "his" New York without official due process. Who are these greedy people and how much money is enough and will they ever feel guilty? I don't understand why Montana must be be chopped up into planned development mega-ranches, either. Guess this can't really be debated without getting mired in politics and religion. We have a very unique town of little beach cottages that is slowly being ripped apart and replaced with MegaMcMansions, 800 sq ft one-story homes being replaced with three-story 6-10,000 sq ft ones that dwarf surroundings and block everyone's views. All for money.

 

Well, since I cant help being drawn in to a very interesting but "thin-ice" type discussion, here's one comment:

 

Moses cut right thru a vibrant ethnic neighborhood (Red Hook/Carroll Gdns/Cobble Hill/Columbia St ... whatever the current name(s) are), ruining over 1/2 of it for many years. But.... I sure do love to have a hiway connecting things in Bklyn and the BQE, as shitty as it can be, is a hell of a lot better than no BQE. It's the yin and yang of "progress". Could it have been done better? Probably. Is it better than not being done? Yes.

 

Hey, since I really want to start trouble, I like the Atlantic Yards project too. Perfect location for the Nets and a major development in Bklyn. But will it ruin some lives? Yep.

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Next we're going to hear how much better the coffee in NYC was 30 years ago.

;) :angry: Yeah. I was just thinking about this. Why does Starbucks smell like burnt rat droppings when you walk in the door? What happened to coffee that smells like coffee?

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So how many people here own a building where they are more than happy collecting $25 per sq ft in rent from a shoemaker and turned down $100 per sq ft from Starbucks?

 

And another one: how many people here who own or have owned real estate have sold real estate to the person or entity that provided the highest bid? Why not sell it for a lot less to the shoemaker?

 

Of course not. As far as my post was concerned, I was describing a process, not suggesting an alternative.

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There is a reason

For everything under the sun!

 

---------------------------------------

 

Blocks and blocks of apartment buildings in marginal areas . . . are being bought up by companies with no stake in the city whatsoever (other than to make money) . . .

 

I really struggle with this concept, too. It's happening everywhere. Robert Moses destroyed wonderful ethnic neighborhoods (and some lives) to build "his" New York without official due process. Who are these greedy people and how much money is enough and will they ever feel guilty? I don't understand why Montana must be be chopped up into planned development mega-ranches, either. Guess this can't really be debated without getting mired in politics and religion. We have a very unique town of little beach cottages that is slowly being ripped apart and replaced with MegaMcMansions, 800 sq ft one-story homes being replaced with three-story 6-10,000 sq ft ones that dwarf surroundings and block everyone's views. All for money.

 

Well, since I cant help being drawn in to a very interesting but "thin-ice" type discussion, here's one comment:

 

Moses cut right thru a vibrant ethnic neighborhood (Red Hook/Carroll Gdns/Cobble Hill/Columbia St ... whatever the current name(s) are), ruining over 1/2 of it for many years. But.... I sure do love to have a hiway connecting things in Bklyn and the BQE, as shitty as it can be, is a hell of a lot better than no BQE. It's the yin and yang of "progress". Could it have been done better? Probably. Is it better than not being done? Yes.

 

Hey, since I really want to start trouble, I like the Atlantic Yards project too. Perfect location for the Nets and a major development in Bklyn. But will it ruin some lives? Yep.

 

 

Well said. You gain a damn nice Fairway Market and simultaneously might lose the Ballfields. It is indeed a double-edged sword.

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There is a reason

For everything under the sun!

 

---------------------------------------

 

Blocks and blocks of apartment buildings in marginal areas . . . are being bought up by companies with no stake in the city whatsoever (other than to make money) . . .

 

I really struggle with this concept, too. It's happening everywhere. Robert Moses destroyed wonderful ethnic neighborhoods (and some lives) to build "his" New York without official due process. Who are these greedy people and how much money is enough and will they ever feel guilty? I don't understand why Montana must be be chopped up into planned development mega-ranches, either. Guess this can't really be debated without getting mired in politics and religion. We have a very unique town of little beach cottages that is slowly being ripped apart and replaced with MegaMcMansions, 800 sq ft one-story homes being replaced with three-story 6-10,000 sq ft ones that dwarf surroundings and block everyone's views. All for money.

 

Well, since I cant help being drawn in to a very interesting but "thin-ice" type discussion, here's one comment:

 

Moses cut right thru a vibrant ethnic neighborhood (Red Hook/Carroll Gdns/Cobble Hill/Columbia St ... whatever the current name(s) are), ruining over 1/2 of it for many years. But.... I sure do love to have a hiway connecting things in Bklyn and the BQE, as shitty as it can be, is a hell of a lot better than no BQE. It's the yin and yang of "progress". Could it have been done better? Probably. Is it better than not being done? Yes.

 

Hey, since I really want to start trouble, I like the Atlantic Yards project too. Perfect location for the Nets and a major development in Bklyn. But will it ruin some lives? Yep.

 

 

Well said. You gain a damn nice Fairway Market and simultaneously might lose the Ballfields. It is indeed a double-edged sword.

 

Yeah & we're probably going to gain some Swedish meatballs when Ikea goes up. That'll offset the Ballfield's food loss, dont you think?

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