All comments to posts have to await approval. Please be aware that, depending on when I'm logged onto the internet, it may take me hours, even longer, to moderate comments, so if they don't turn up in a speedy fashion, they are still in the queue. Comments that cross a line I'm not comfortable with will not get approved. NOTE: Comments reflect the opinions of the person writing them and should not be assumed to reflect the opinion of the blog.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The High Rise of Dan Garodnick
These people are so transparent.
I stopped trusting our councilman, Dan Garodnick, when he eased himself into a third term as councilman after voting against extending term-limits. It was a blatant hypocritical maneuver that is typical of politicians and why people are so disenchanted with them. Of course, we had clues as to Dan's steadfastness when he presented a coherent argument against the commercialization of the Oval (at the time, Stuy Town's greenmarket) before disengaging from his stance by agreeing to the commercialization as long as it was meant "for residents and their guests," a stipulation that became almost immediately laughable given the lack of a landlord's enforcement. Even the tenant fight for "affordable housing" became something of a joke, and a cruel one, when the only option given was a buy-out of the property with the involvement of Big Real Estate that would have meant the steady evaporation of true affordable housing in this community. Then there are Dan's yearly dinner dates with the REBNY, one of the strongest organizations in the city whose goal is the elimination of rent stabilization and the pursuit of building taller and taller at the expense of livability, the working class who can still afford to live in Manhattan, and just the simple charm of living in a city and not in a mega-towered landscape bottomed with chain drug stores, Starbucks, and banks.
Now that Bloomberg is gone, Dan has assumed a position of more influence and attention, as the above article indicates. Dan's "high rise" is no doubt propelled by a vision of becoming mayor of the city one day. His other vision is the more immediate one: changing Manhattan, specifically the East Side, midtown.
Dan is a smart man, though, and, as a lawyer and politician (why are the two always so joined at the hip?), he knows how to say the right thing to whomever he is addressing. One could say that he plays both sides, something both politicians and lawyers become so adept at. Aside from his skills at defining positions with succinct "reasonableness," Dan is also an attractive candidate on a physical level. The ladies, both young and old, must like him. (But a warning: He should stop eating cannoli, as I've been noticing a slight girth advancing along his waist in recent photos. More of this and he'll start looking like Scott Stringer, another hopeful candidate for the position of mayor of New York City.)
Dan's position on the rezoning of east midtown is typical of his "reasonable" stances on other issues. On one hand, he is all for extra zoning privileges for Big Real Estate (the current curse of what's happening with the build-up of sliver high-rises in Manhattan), while on the other hand, he wants to upgrade transportation venues and give people mini-parks with waterfalls. Playing both sides.
So while New York is still turning into Bloomberg's vision of Dubai on the Hudson, the humanitarian perks are meant to assuage the peons and give politicians nice photo-ops, a win-win situation on the surface.
Unfortunately, I still see Big Real Estate winning, Big Time.