It's time to make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to the most deserving people, places and things in the real estate, architecture, and neighborhood universes of New York City. Yep, it's time for the Seventh Annual Curbed Awards! Today's topic: neighbors and neighborhoods!
Lost Neighborhood Landmarks of the Year
4) Hell Yes: The New Museum's rainbow-colored facade ornament was one of the biggest symbols of the Bowery 2.0. Now a single rose marks its former spot.
3) Fedora: The cozy restaurant was a throwback to simpler times in the West Village. Soon to be replaced by the new Fedora, from a restaurateur who meticulously designs establishments to resemble throwbacks to simpler times in the West Village.
2) Guss' Pickles: No more pickle producer on Orchard Street? Oy gevalt!
1) Daniel Goldstein's Apartment: All it took was a few years, a few lawsuits and a few million bucks to finally topple the home base for anti-Atlantic Yards agitprop. Finally, some Russki revenge for Rocky IV.
Threatened Neighborhood Landmarks That Are Somehow Still Standing
4) World's Fair Pavilion: For the second consecutive year we ask, seriously, how is that thing still standing?
3) Mars Bar: The East Village's legendary dive has somehow been immune to 30 years of gentrification. It might not last another.
2) Coney Island Boardwalk Businesses: These reminders of the seedy Coney of old are no longer wanted by the new bosses, but they've resisted surrender and aren't quite dead. Yet.
1) St. Vincent's Hospital O'Toole Building: The sawtooth building's death warrant got signed, but then the entire hospital went bankrupt before the wrecking ball arrived. Coincidence?
Biggest Neighborhood Breakups
Copywriter Daryl Lang left Park Slope in a cloud of rage at "people too socially deficient to act like good neighbors....People who can't figure out their way around without checking their iPhones....Rather than stew here and become the local grouch, I'm recognizing that I have passed my expiration date in this neighborhood." He headed for Manhattan, but it isn't paradise for everyone. A Neighborhood Breakup Honorable Mention goes to blogger Zachary Wilson, who exited East Harlem in a huff after his boss kept him from seeing Lady Gaga.
Zaniest Hotel-vs.-Neighbors Noise Wars
3) Hotel Toshi Nolita: Residents of Nolita's 280 Mulberry Street invoked neighborhood tradition to rally folks against interloper Hotel Toshi. Their primary weapon: withholding rents.
2) Hotel Le Bleu: The pricey Park Slope boutique hotel finally replaced its controversial rooftop nightclub/lounge with an Italian restaurant. But aging rockers still crash there.
1) Hotel Toshi Williamsburg: The anti-Toshi battle has been longer at Williamsburg's 135 Metropolitan Avenue, where Toshi got busted but came right back. The DOB's latest violation urges the building to "discontinue illegal use." Will Toshi say TTFN in 2011?
Best Neighborhood Beef Over the Happiness of Children
An anonymous Dumbo resident said it all with a flyer speaking out against the upcoming move of Jane Walentas's restored antique carousel to Empire Fulton Ferry Park: "No doubt she thinks of it as her great legacy, for which we should all be thankful. After all, you are incapable of teaching your children to be entertained by a mere park. They must have a whirligig that will improve their lives."
The Not in My Backyard Award for Outsanding NIMBYism
The neighbors of a new 22-story middle-class housing building on West 25th Street were up in arms about the parking spots that disappeared when the construction fence went up. Then the saws cut down a leafy London Plane tree that had stood on the site. The neighbors reacted with this sign requesting an island around the tree, for which they win this year's first NIMBY award.
The Not in My Belly, Yo! Award for Outstanding NIMBYism
Oh, what a bright day it was when Shake Shack announced plans to take over a former parking lot at 47 Prince Street, possibly breaking the Gottlieb Curse. Oh, what a dark day it was when Shake Shack abandoned the space?and not because of expected zoning problems but because of neighbor opposition.
Biggest NIMBY Defeat
Even with all the celebrity heroism, the lawsuit against Hudson Square's Tower o' Garbage was tossed at the beginning of 2010. And the city just kept taking victory laps, closing on the land and putting the project out to bid. Poor Urban Glass House.
The New Neighborhood Nicknames of 2010
Also knows as the nicknames to be forgotten by 2011
Most Awesomely Absurd Public Art Project of the Year
This giant Battery Park City manhole was 8 years in the making. Look, it has lights on it!
Most Epic Bike Lane Battle of the Year
This award can only go to the bike lane with dueling early morning protests, featuring a rare appearance from angry old people bearing signs. On the same side as the angry old people: Marty Markowitz, who wrote a song about it.
Greenwich Village's Top NYU Expansion Protests
3) 4/14/10: NYU's plan is finally unveiled to the public, giving Villagers a chance to release all that pent-up anger. Also: Got milk?
2) 12/5/10: So much blustering!
1) 11/7/10: Villagers brought their sign-making A-game to this one.
Most Beloved Neighborhood Celebrity
It's been two years since Mad Men's John Slattery first marched arm-in-arm with the common man in the fight against the Spring Street garbage garage and salt shed. Now he's one of many boldfaced names taking on the project, and they have yet to give up the fight, even though their lawsuit was dismissed.
Most Hated Neighborhood Celebrity
Norah Jones has had a hard time staying in Cobble Hill's good graces since her window-punching victory. First she made some noise adding the pool/terrace to her Amity Street townhouse. Then some neighbors decided to blame Norah for all their bed bug problems.
The Friendliest Neighbor Medals
Proof that the written word is alive and well
Bronze: Pardon me, sirs, would it be too much trouble for you to stop skateboarding on my roof?
Silver: Madame, I find your Katy Perry addiction a slight annoyance!
Gold: You've made quite the mess up on our roof deck, Sport!
And Now, Brian Williams Summarizes the Year in Brooklyn (Media Coverage)
A final tip of the cap to the neighborhoods that left us too soon.