New York, Las Vegas, Nevada

It's always a joy to read Curbed's reporting of news with interest to us architects. Today they point us to the utterly freaky rendition of Lower Manhattan's perpetually exciting neighborhoods: The East Village, The Meatpacking District, and Greenwich Village. Done as an outdoor mall, of course, with parking for a trillion automobiles at the perimeter.

Tropolism means largely ignoring the simulacra as anything approaching urbanism. We see it as simply a more refined form of decoration, therby avoiding years of internal architectural debate.

What I am very interested to know is that there is an audience for this kind of knockoff. These 'hoods are full of tenement dwellers, NYU kids, artists of every sort, sellers, buyers, rich, poor, and every ethnicity, with all their foods. And all these groups' kids. If you separate the physical characteristics of these neighborhoods from the vibrant urban life that inhabits them, as the mall's renderings do, the tenements, open spaces, hot dog stands, and yellow cabs appear like a movie set, for a particularly bad New York disaster movie, after the principal photography is complete, and everyone went home, because they got paid.


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