In “Everything You Love Will Be Eaten Alive”, Nathan Robinson discusses Jeremiah Ross’ book Vanishing New York: How A Great City Lost Its Soul:
Essentially, New York City used to be a gruff, teeming haven for weirdos and ethnic minorities. Now, it is increasingly full of hedge fund managers, rich hipsters, and tourists. Tenements and run-down hotels have been replaced with glass skyscrapers full of luxury condos. Old bookshops are shuttered, designer clothes stores in their place. Artisanal bullshit is everywhere, meals served on rectangular plates. You used to be able to get a pastrami and a cup of coffee for 50 cents! What the hell happened to this place?…
CBGB, the dingy punk rock music club where the Ramones and Patti Smith got their start, is forced out after its rent is raised to $35,000 a month. Instead, we get a commemorative CBGB exhibit at the Met, with a gift shop selling Sid Vicious pencil sets and thousand-dollar handbags covered in safety pins. The club itself becomes a designer clothing store selling $300 briefs.
Presumabley a good old fashioned Jewish leftist from NYC, Robinson bemoans the property owners:
The very existence of landlords is staggeringly unfair. A person can live in a place 30 years, pay thousands of dollars a month in rent, and still have their home demolished without having any say in the decision… The greed of landlords and developers is a prime reason that New York is steadily transforming into “Disneyland for billionaires.”
But, this is what happens when a particular ethos, one which extols the virtue of making as much money as one can, becomes the predominant mindset. Trump notwithstanding, NYC real estate owners (the said ‘landlords’) are overwhelmingly likely to have surnames in the –Stein or –Berg vein.
Over the past 75 years, NYC has become a very Jewish city, and the same pattern has affected other so-called ‘boomtowns’ around the country. States of increasing gentrification occur and are eventually surpassed by what one sees in NYC or L.A. today: an emergent artificiality and superficiality, a continuous expansion of Times Square peppered with expensive high-rises and pricey cafes and restaurants, the vast majority of which seem to serve some variation of New American. Other ethnic lifebloods are squeezed dry and eventually evicted.
NYC has become a true ‘globalist’ city, an increasingly cold and alienated cosmopolitanism made incarnate.