853. The New NYC: No Roaches, No Rubberneckers


853. While the mayor and city council members were sleeping in The City That Never Sleeps, developers made their own dream come true. They'd infiltrated the Landmarks Conservancy and written its final announcement: "Everyone knows that change is good. We have been blocking change. That's not good. We hereby abolish ourselves." Almost immediately, all the mom and pop stores, all the bodegas, all the barbershops, all the newsstands, all the manicure salons—all the shops that gave the city its character, its personality, its flavor—disappeared. Replacing them were shiny, glassy, stainless steely chain banks, chain drugstores, chain coffee shops, and chain one‐percenter towers. It was as if someone, seeing an unruly jungle full of snakes and lizards, flowers and fruits, and screeching birds and monkeys, had burnt it to the ground and replaced it with a lawn, every mown blade of grass like another, as green as it was sterile. 9.9

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