Monday, September 19, 2005


The Gutter on my report: "self-righteous public space advocate"

So there's this real estate blog called Curbed, which has an offshoot called The Gutter, subtitled "Ill-mannered commentary on the architectural arts." Indeed.
I forwarded them my report, pointing them to the chapter on the Times's architectural critics, which generated this 9/19/05 post:
Herbert and Nicolai: Shills for Frank and Bruce?
We like ourselves a self-righteous public space advocate as much as the next guy. But we really like ourselves a self-righteous public space advocate who puts together a 162 page screed about the New York Times' conflict of interest vis-a-vis its business partner Bruce Ratner and his plans for Frank Gehry's basketball Bilbao in Brooklyn, then includes a full chapter on the misdeeds in this regard perpetrated by Times architecture critics past and present. Dig in starting at page 136 for such gems as "Muschamp should have mentioned his previous role in the Times Tower process in his paean to the initial Frank Gehry arena-cum-skyscrapers plan for Atlantic Yards," and "Ouroussoff treated the lack of specificity as a sign of artistic creativity rather than a lack of responsibility to the public." Wonks rule!

Self-righteous public space advocate? Clearly, they didn't read the report, otherwise they would've called me a "self-righteous press critic."

Screed? Ah, a screed would have been easy, just like a snarky comment in a snarky blog. If it's wonky to try to figure out things like how many jobs this project really promises, or the flaws in Ratner's economic projections, then I'll be a wonk.

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