[TRIGGER WARNING: several f-bombs, one m-f bomb, graphic depictions of opulence.]
Longtime Loyal Readers™ may recall the long and sordid tale of how the entire lower West side of Manhattan ended up without a single hospital bed (see e.g. here, here, here, here and here). I often write about the deadly cruelty, inefficiency, cost and jaw-dropping stupidity of our for-profit health care system here in the U.S. of A., and I won’t repeat that here. Suffice it to say that St. Vincent’s, our neighborhood hospital, was just one more predictable casualty. At least ten New York City hospitals have closed since 2006; others remain on life support.
The fact is that wealthy real estate developers pretty much run this town, and the politicians they own are more than happy to help. The closing of St. Vincent’s was eagerly aided and abetted by a raft of corrupt, neoliberal shitweasels in every branch of state and city government—for example, the hospital emerged from bankruptcy court with its impossible debt obligations 100% intact—whereupon the well-connected Rudin family immediately picked up the property for a song. Perhaps no one was more helpful to this process than former city council speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, the Robin to Michael Bloomberg’s Batman—except that this metaphor really should be about some kind of Bizarro World Robin Hood. How else to describe Quinn proudly taking credit for the destruction of a 161-year old charity hospital with a Level I trauma center smack in the middle of her own district—the primary admitting hospital for victims of the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks in 2001 and survivors of the Titanic in 1912—in favor of a billion dollar luxury condo development?
Here is a map that shows the hospitals closest to where I am presently sitting, as well as the site of the former St. Vincents:
If those distances seem negligible to you, you have never been in New York City during morning or evening rush hours, when the UN is in session, or when our neoliberal shitweasel president is in town back-slapping the banksters on a job well done and/or undermining our liberal congresscritters. Meanwhile, city and fire department officials are busy ensuring that no EMS transit times are made public, as they once routinely were. There can be only one reason for that: those numbers are not good. At this link (@ 1:06) you can see a Beth Israel Hospital ambulance stuck in traffic on 7th Avenue, directly in front of the former entrance to St. Vincent’s emergency room.
But never mind all of that, people, because today I bring you absolutely fantastic news. After walking by the construction site, I actually remembered when I got home to go online and look at the Rudin development’s website! And I am here to tell you: I was so, so wrong about all of this. My silly protest signs, speeches at zoning meetings, signatures on petitions, emails and phone calls to politicians and my impassioned screeds on the subject now just make me look foolish.
Iris’s dumbass protest sign.
Occupy St. Vincent’s, Oct. 27, 2011.
(Jeezus. How embarrassing.)
For as it turns out, hundreds of thousands of residents going without a single nearby hospital bed, trauma unit, emergency room or surgery facility is but a pittance to pay in exchange for something so…so… magnificent. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you: The Greenwich Lane,”a collection of five unique addresses and five townhouses nestled together in the West Village.”
As you can see from this gorgeous rendering, the gleaming towers of floor-to-ceiling glass will provide a stunning visual counterpoint to the surrounding low-rise buildings emblematic of this historic neighborhood. But that’s not even the best part. Nope: the best part is the enormous private garden, billed as “the heart of the community”—although technically speaking, the actual community will have no access to it whatsoever. But never mind that. Just look at it!
A formal garden with a reflecting pool passes into a birch allée with limestone benches, followed by a more sheltered area with a contemplative, trellised pavilion. The garden offers not only the pleasures of a natural landscape; but also, with all of its plantings, it fulfills an important role in creating a healthier microclimate for the buildings, filtering the air and beneficially restoring more trees to the neighborhood.
And just maybe, if some of these trees eventually grow tall enough, people in the neighborhood might be able to see the very tops of them! OMFG swoon!
But I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s the “principal amenities” surrounding the garden that really put the place over the top:
- A dedicated fitness floor with state-of-the-art training, yoga, golf, and wellness rooms, as well as a 25-meter pool.
- A suite of social and entertaining rooms overlooking the central garden, including a private lounge, a dramatic dining room, and a fully outfitted guest chef’s kitchen.
- A separate catering kitchen for larger events.
- A private screening room seating 22 with a private wet bar.
- A light-filled and sheltered children’s playroom with views of the garden.
- 24-hour attended lobbies, with services including storage for grocery, wine, and flower deliveries, on-site resident managers, complete porter staff, and handymen.
- An underground private parking garage.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, before you ask, I believe it’s safe to assume there are oversized parking spaces large enough to accommodate the vintage Rolls.
This probably goes without saying, but: “As designed by Thomas O’Brien, these handsome spaces bring to mind the cachet of an Old World private club.” Including, probably, the parking garage. Here you can see a little movie wherein this very same Thomas O’Brien d00d ‘splains his unique vision, which looks an awful lot like last year’s Restoration Hardware catalog, but what do I know? (Wait, I know last year’s Restoration Hardware catalog, cover to cover. Hmmm.) Anyway:
It’s also this incredibly unique thing that rises above—in a very nice way—and you look downtown, South and West, over all of this protected, wonderful architecture that is the West Village.
Indeed! Why on earth would anyone want to live in all of this protected, wonderful architecture when instead one can peer down upon it—preferably, I assume, through a $3000 faux-vintage 19th century telescope from Restoration Hardware?
$3000 faux-vintage 19th century telescope from Restoration Hardware.
(On sale now for only $2395, because last year’s catalog hello?)
Also, Thomas O’Brien apparently forgot to mention it, but the views to the south also take in the Freedom
Tower Penis, on the very site of the former World Trade Center.
The bad news is that there are only a very limited number of units still available at these low pre-construction prices:
|140 W. 12th St.||M-1||2||2 / 1||2408||$5,550,000||VIEW|
|302||4||4 / 1||3088||$8,610,000||VIEW|
|150 W. 12th St.||3 E.||5||5 / 1||4187||732||$12,450,000||VIEW|
|4 W.||1||1 / 1||1465||255||$3,850,000||VIEW|
|7 W.||2||2 / 1||2079||$6,100,000||VIEW|
|160 W. 12th St.||36||2||2 / –||1583||$4,195,000||VIEW|
|45||1||1 / –||892||$2,170,000||VIEW|
|47||2||2 / 1||1737||$4,380,000||VIEW|
|58||3||3 / 1||2450||$6,900,000||VIEW|
|64||4||4 / 1||2818||153||$8,570,000||VIEW|
|72||2||2 / 1||2040||$5,740,000||VIEW|
|85||1||1 / 1||1166||$3,450,000||VIEW|
|86||3||3 / 1||2524||$7,350,000||VIEW|
|108||3||3 / 1||2455||$7,950,000||VIEW|
|155 W. 11th St.||4L||1||1 / –||758||$2,050,000||VIEW|
|4C||2||2 / 1||1934||$5,620,000||VIEW|
|4B||2||2 / 1||1670||68||$5,050,000||VIEW|
|6D||2||2 / –||1515||$5,275,000||VIEW|
|7A||4||4 / 1||3687||44||$14,500,000||VIEW|
|8B||3||3 / 1||2383||153||$7,650,000||VIEW|
|10C||2||2 / 1||1938||$6,710,000||VIEW|
|11A||4||4 / 1||3951||44||$17,525,000||VIEW|
|145 W. 11th St.||7||5||4 / 1||4537||83||$18,250,000||VIEW|
The Palace, naturally, will be putting in a generous offer at once, so as not to lose out on this amazing opportunity. OMG I CANNOT PICK MY FAVORITE!!!11!!! (LOL #firstworldproblems, I know right?)
Now I ask you: Could there be anything our neighborhood needs more urgently than this fine establishment in our midst, and the several menial jobs that will be created in order to maintain it? And the fine upstanding citizens dwelling here at least part of the year will contribute literally oodles of tip money to the local delivery people. We can only hope that neither our new neighbors nor their (no doubt charming and adorable!) children ever suffer any ill health or injury on the premises. Because if that should happen, they’re just as fucked as the rest of us.