Saturday, June 19, 2010

The circuit breakers for the power brokers

The highway and the hospital

The way Robert Moses disregarded the needs of the Greenwich Village community by proposing to build a highway through it is, almost 50 years later, very much the same way Mayor Michael Bloomberg is disregarding the needs of the same Greenwich Village community by letting more luxury condominiums go up in the Village, this time on the former space of St. Vincent's Hospital.

More and more, it seems that each power-hungry man sick with development-envy tests his limits over doomed urban renewal ideas for the vibrant and energetic Greenwich Village.


  1. Condos instead of a hospital? I hope families of people who die because of this decision sue the responsible parties.

  2. Already, supporters of replacing St. Vincent's Hospital with an inferior ''urgent care center'' have compared the last Community Board 2 SVH Omnibus Committee, meeting to a ''meeting of Tea Party activists,'' as a way to disarm or shame the liberal activists, who are trying to resist the latest, sick plans for urban renewal in Greenwich Village. By trashing these activists, who, might I point out, are only advocating for a necessary hospital on the West Side — and not another useless city-financed sports stadium — the urgent care center supporters are cheapening and marginalising the real public health needs of the community.

    What the community wants is a hospital, to restore the vibrant and energetic fabric of the Village. At some point, voters and citizens do draw the line on over-development — it happened to Robert Moses and his highway, and it will happen again to Mayor Bloomberg and the Rudin family over the luxury condos that they want to build on the hollowed ground of St. Vincent’s Hospital.

    The spirit and inspiration of Jane Jacobs can’t be defamed, and just like the highway issue then was enough to be a turning point in this city’s history, so, too, shall this hospital issue : we are demonstrating that when citizens unite to protect the integrity of their community, they will always win.


'' The more you attune yourself from your centre to the centre in everything, the more you will find that there is a sympathetic interrelationship in the universe that enables perfect understanding of all things. '' ~ Swami Kriyananda