New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Rise Up

I just met Jenn by her office, which is across Broadway from my office, and we walked to our favorite lunch spot (when the soup man is AWOL), the wonderful JY Deli, on the west side of Eighth Avenue between 55th and 56th Streets. We got turkey sandwiches, bananas, and apples.

Just north the deli, between 56th and 57th, they are building a new building for Hearst, which is the company that owns Esquire, Cosmo, Marie Claire, and a bunch of other magazines. The new Hearst building is pretty sweet looking, much nicer than the new Time Warner center on Columbus Circle (though they invented an address for it called One Central Park). The Hearst building is going to be 45-storeys tall. They've almost completed the basic structure up to the top floor, so in a couple of days there will be a ceremony with the Mayor and some other dignitaries to commemorate this milestone in building one of the biggest new towers in the city.

Today there's an article in the New York Observer that gives a good description of it. The Hearst tower will be a "green" building, which is good for environmental reasons, and it preserves the original Hearst building on that location by basically building on top of it, though of course they sunk huge beams through it to support all the weight. It has an interesting multiple-diamond glass design the reaches into the sky.

I don't know if I'll still be working at Esquire when they move in in the second quarter of 2006, but I'm sure it will be really nice, the crown jewel of New York publishing buildings. At the moment the uber-magazine shop is the Conde Nast building at Times Square. I had a temp job at Lucky for a few weeks (you should laugh, I did, but they paid me) and enjoyed being in such a spiffy building. The Conde Nast cafeteria was well-known for good food and the daily fashion show of Vogue editors and models ordering their steamed tofu stir fry with the "sauce on the side." Those food court guys didn't bat an eye at the requests.

Whether or not I find myself working at the new Hearst building, I'm happy to see new construction in the city, and I'll be very satisfied when I see some actual construction work at the former World Trade Center site, because I want the "New York rising up from the ashes" thing to be more than a metaphor.

Also, I've had this fear for as long as I've lived here that over time, New York will be less and less viable as a place to do business. That, basically, New York City is dying, because nobody needs New York (and quite frankly, most of red state America hates New York, where they think everybody is either Jewish, or gay, or Joey Ramone, or all three).

With the communication and data-sharing capabilities technology has given us, it just seems like everybody will eventually end up in sprawling New Jersey office parks. Who needs a big city with no place to park? Nobody! The only people who really benefit from high-density human contact are artists and other creative types, and the current political climate doesn't seem to favor them at all.

So I'm glad to see that companies, and not just media companies, are still building skyscrapers in New York, because it's a vote for the continued vibrance and importance of the city, which gives me energy and inspiration every day.


Blogger Jenn said...

I like to believe that, as New York has risen from the metaphorical ashes before, it will do so again (in the most literal sense this time). I wish the new WTC towers would go up a bit faster, but it is heartening to see so much construction in midtown Manhattan--especially that beautiful building across the street-- and to read that more companies are moving their operations back to Manhattan (after heading across the Hudson to NJ post-9/11). This city, and its residents, continue to provide energy and inspiration.

10:52 AM  

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