Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: A Square in a City

  1. #1
    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2003
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    713

    A Square in a City


  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    18,013
    Q. 1 Which city is it in ?
    Q. 2 What is the history behind it ?
    Q. 3 Did you want this thread to have been a GTC ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
    Posts
    230
    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    Q. 1 Which city is it in ?
    Q. 2 What is the history behind it ?
    Q. 3 Did you want this thread to have been a GTC ?

    The city is NYC

    The square is either Tompkins or Washington...can't be sure. Leaning towards Washington, tho I cant see that arch.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
    Posts
    230
    Quote Originally posted by Trinity Moses
    The city is NYC

    The square is either Tompkins or Washington...can't be sure. Leaning towards Washington, tho I cant see that arch.

    Ok...I guess Washington. Whats the history?,,,dont know...do know it was sort of the "yard" for bohemian Greenwhich Village...so it plays a backround role in the tales of US bohemia.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2003
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    713
    Tompkins Square is right. I thought this one would be tricky, since it contains no familiar landmarks.

    Tompkins Square plays the same role in the East Village that Washington Square does in Greenwich Village: oasis of green. But Tompkins Square is a bit bigger than Washington Square, and is actually a square in proportion. Like Washington Square it's surrounded by predominantly residential low-rise structures, though Tompkins’ mix of apartment buildings, tenements and houses is less elegant than the gracious five-story Greek Revival townhouses that give Washington Square much of its character.

    As it’s a fair spell from the nearest subway, Tompkins Square feels off the beaten track, and even most New Yorkers never venture there. Nevertheless it’s heavily used as a community park and meeting place: full of children and dogs. It’s also a convenient diagonal shortcut for pedestrians.

    Tompkins Square used to be run down and dangerous, but the usual cycle of artist- and bohemian-spearheaded gentrification has left it a desirable and expensive area with a very strong low-rise neighborhood character. Its population remains quite diverse: yuppies, bohemians, musicians, artists, hipsters, Ukrainians, old folks, Jews—and there is even a curious street lined with Indian restaurants. The urban pioneers of gentrification have settled in and –naturally—they’re now NIMBYs hell-bent on keeping out the high rises that would make so much business sense and that would relieve the tremendous expense of living here.

    The drug dealers are largely gone, but the adjacent commercial streets retain a counter-culture aura; this is New York’s Haight-Ashbury. The Jersey teens who once frequented Bleecker Street on weekends now flock to St. Mark’s Place. In fact it’s a kind of youth culture mecca for kids from the whole country.

    There are still some galleries and lots of places for fringe music and performance. One of these days the endlessly-delayed Second Avenue subway will bring Tompkins Square-- and the East Village generally-- into the mainstream of Manhattan venues; meantime it remains a charming backwater.



    (Finally, look at the photograph: where are the parking lots?)

  6. #6

    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Blue County in a Red State
    Posts
    117
    Quote Originally posted by ablarc
    (Finally, look at the photograph: where are the parking lots?)
    Oh jeez! It's New York City, for God's sake! The real estate is too expensive, even in the "backwater" for such uses. Even so, I assure you they're there. I doesn't matter how urbane, every American city has them in their core. Not a proud fact, but one that needed to be pointed out. I can feel another slam on Sunbelt cities coming.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2003
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    713
    Quote Originally posted by Pride of Place
    I can feel another slam on Sunbelt cities coming.
    Lol, I wasn't really headed in that direction, but...oh, alright.

    I want to be nice. Will you settle for one that's like a sunbelt city but not actually in the Sunbelt?


    Not much left. Whole blocks gone. Dresden, 1945.



    (Who needs Osama bin Laden when we're willing to do part of it ourselves?)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    copyright 2004? where is campus martius? where is kennedy square? where it the hilton? where is the eastern river walk? the new accounting KMPG building?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Heaven or Las Vegas
    Posts
    916
    and there is even a curious street lined with Indian restaurants.
    The running joke about that street is that the dining rooms all lead to one big kitchen hidden in the block. I've been in one of these restaurants, and it was a bargain for NYC. I'd recommend this row for the budget traveler. Also see the bizarre community garden with a 30'+ tower constructed of scrap wood by a local artist/eccentric. Its on a lot maybe 30x80' but there's a lot packed into it. I forget the corner. It was one of those gardens that developers wanted to buy from the city but the community fought to have the city dedicate them as parks. How do you feel about the role of such gardens in urban design? Missing teeth in the street wall or welcome green oases in a harsh setting?

    Bonus anecdote: I had a neighbor who lived in the East Village back in the '70's, and his rent was $200/ mo. He lived above Valerie Solanis, the woman who shot Andy Warhol, and founder of S.C.U.M., the Society for Cutting Up Men.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 1
    Last post: 09 Aug 2010, 2:28 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last post: 15 Oct 2004, 5:57 PM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last post: 29 Sep 2004, 1:33 PM
  4. Replies: 1
    Last post: 27 Sep 2004, 2:58 PM
  5. Best City Square
    Cities and Places
    Replies: 30
    Last post: 27 Sep 2003, 7:36 PM