The Other Side of the Tracks

by Jacob Moore

A recent lot at the online auctioneer Nate D. Sanders: “Donald Trump hand-drawn and signed sketch of the New York City skyline, with Trump Tower at its center. Composed and signed ‘Donald J Trump’ in gold marker...Originally drawn by Trump for a charity event, and very rare, with only a handful of such drawings known.”

Even the most casual observer of New York real estate today will have noticed that megaprojects are on the rise. From the Lower East Side’s Essex Crossing to the BAM Cultural District in downtown Brooklyn to the Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s western edge, working, shopping, and sleeping seem to be getting closer and closer for New Yorkers of means. Soon to be gone, we are told, are the days of cross-city commutes, overcrowded Midtown streets, and desolate nights in the Financial District. The future, it seems, is mixed-use. And although there’s nothing new about this idea on its own — imagine the pharmacy downstairs and apartment upstairs on any “Main Street, USA” — what is new is the scale and rate at which it’s happening, here in New York and around the globe. Urban renewal has been renewed, and this time there’s a mall attached. With their purported formal, social, and economic impact on the city, projects such as Hudson Yards would seem to demand every New Yorker’s attention. And yet even in the art world, whose Chelsea epicenter is right next door to the construction site, the project has been rising with little attention. It shouldn’t be this easy — should it? — to be bored by the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States.

The full article is available in Even no. 8, published in fall 2017. Buy issue 8 now.