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Yes! No, it is not like stockyards. Things in Manhattan have changed a LOT since the '80s. And, Jarrett, love your last sentence there.


Jonathan Rabinowitz

He's still on the money. Not to read too much into the metaphor, but the streets are still more dirty than I'd prefer and there are still steady streams of traffic going down the streets and avenues. Where are they all driving to? Who knows??


New York streets are pretty filthy but that has more to do with the lack of alleys and the garbage collection practices (leaving it all out in large piles of plastic bags on the sidewalk every morning) than with issues of class.


I think what Latham is getting at colorfully is the image of NYC as a production house. Commerce = that pitiable business of the herd. I think he is being partly satirical. He's aware that there's a strain in American intellectual writing that always views the city with suspicion.

Should we lament that commerce depends on bringing those unequally yoked rivals together, meshing the divide between the wealthy and the "aspiring" classes? What else is it that makes the city energetic? Should one consider this an unideal situation? Is it a dystopian utopia? If urbanism became an ideal, a bourgeois fantasy, as the auto-detesting Situationists of the 60's suddenly surmised, then the city is no longer interesting... urbanism no longer worth intellectual athleticism. Irrelevant. NYC 2010... unity in a fragmented age. The car is the losing bastard. Constant and Guy Dubord would have peed their pants to see this day. Is this a new situation? There in the gentrification? One wonders if dystopia and utopia are buddies. Grime and catwalks. A city of lights in the age of handheld media. What of those new catwalks!

"The city is as what one wishes to see it..." Indeed.


if social theorists want to hold on to the rich above/poor below theory, they can always shift their gaze west to los angeles, where that is still very much true. it's no secret that in general, the further up you go in elevation, the nicer the homes are and the richer the inhabitants. for example, i currently live in mt washington in northeast los angeles, less than half a mile up the hill from the rather poor neighborhoods of cypress park and highland park, and it's a completely different world up here. it's a trend you can see across the city.

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the firm

Jarrett is now in ...

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