Saturday, January 14, 2006

Excuse me, but I think I just died a little inside.

Matlock was updating his resume this week and he asked me how I would describe what we do. I paused and thought about it for a moment before answering: "Destroying the world, one development at a time." He laughed and I laughed, but I was only half in jest.

Despite the name of this blog, I prefer to not talk about work, mainly because a) it sucks; and b) it's probably not such a good idea - I'm pretty sure the powers that be would not like it. That being said, I will explain that the work I mostly do revolves around land development. Not everyone there does that.

The truth of the matter is, I don't hate being a lawyer. I actually kind of like it. But I do rather hate being a firm lawyer and I know I can't do it for the rest of my life. Anyway, the point of this post was to talk about homogenization blahbetty blah, and not how I want to spend the next 30 years.

At the end of December, one of my favorite bars in NYC closed - The Blind Tiger was old and divey, with an impressive selection of beer (cask ale!) and whiskey. The BT closed, not because it wasn't well-known or well-subscribed, but because the landlord opted not to renew their lease - he's turning the upper floors of the building into luxury condos and is opting to let a Marc Jacobs store open up where the BT once was. Awesome.

The 2nd Avenue Deli, which I honestly have never been too, also recently shut down after the landlord jacked the rent. I can't say whether it's a loss or not, but it was there for 50 years and there's something to be said for the character that a mainstay adds.

Meanwhile, out here in Jersey, it's just more townhouses and strip malls. I was driving down Franklin Ave the other day and noticed a giant luxury townhouse complex going up across from the golf course in Belleville. In Long Branch, the local government wants to take away the modest houses and let a developer role into town.

One of my bosses remarked to another attorney that he had driven across several states with his family over the summer and noticed that towns were looking more and more alike - the housing, the chains, so on and so forth. I've never been a super anti-gentrification person. I can see its pros, honestly. But the homogenization - I just can't stomach it.

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