Planes Trains & Automobiles
Last night at the Forum for Urban Design’s Next New York dinner, there were many good ideas for improving the city’s transit infrastructure, collected in a booklet given out to attendees. Peter Derrick wants to integrate and beef up New York’s regional railroads, Bob Yaro’s advocated yet again for the TriboroRX radial outer borough rail line and Ben Fried’s suggested a more robust bus rapid transit network.
But not everybody’s ideas for transit struck us as so enlightened. Bloomberg (first the mayor, and now the corporation) executive Dan Doctoroff and Brookfield’s John Zuccotti sat on stage and chatted, and we could scarcely believe our ears when they started talking about the Second Avenue subway: they hate it.
The waning months of Mayor Bloomberg’s reign are expected to be marked by a series of high-powered departures, as one official after another jumps ship before the mayor leaves office. The latest is Bloomberg stalwart and Dan Doctoroff protégée Seth Pinsky, who is stepping down from the Economic Development Corporation to take a private sector gig with RXR Realty, as the agency announced today. Kyle Kimball, who is currently the agency’s executive director, will succeed him.
The great thing about living in New York used to be that you didn’t have to give a damn about the natural world.
Sadly, those days seem to be gone. Even in my neighborhood, which was lucky enough to be high and relatively dry, things began to resemble a zombie movie by last Wednesday. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, hordes of Upper West Siders staggered about the sidewalks, searching for brunch instead of brains: “Rrrrrr … smoked fish … rrr … hollandaise!”
Now, it seems, we’re all ready to give ourselves a big pat on the back for how we weathered the storm.
We already know Mayor Bloomberg favors waterfront development, come hell or high water—literally—and so, too, does his former development czar Dan Doctoroff, now head of Bloomberg LP.
It was Mr. Doctoroff, in his capacity as deputy mayor for economic development, who thought up many of the schemes that have led to new apartment towers on the waterfront in Williamsburg and Hunters Point. Thousands of units have been built, tens of thousands have been planned. Mr. Doctoroff still believes that is a good idea, so long as appropriate measures are taken.
“I am obviously a believer in waterfront development,” Mr. Doctoroff said
five ring circus
It has been five years since Dan Doctoroff reported to City Hall for work, but the former deputy mayor and current CEO of Bloomberg LP still finds time to think up interesting, even outrageous visions for the city. Well, they would be crazy if they did not have a habit of getting built. After all, so many developments that came out of Mr. Doctoroff’s unsuccessful bid to draw the Olympics to the five boroughs have since been realized regardless, from Atlantic Yards to Hudson Yards to Hunters Point South, the No. 7 extension, water taxis—the list goes on and on.
These success suggest that even though Mr. Doctoroff is no longer in command, might it still be possible to see a gondola stretch across the East River between Lower Manhattan, Governors Island and Brooklyn? Or a light rail line running the entire length of the waterfront from Astoria in Queens to Brooklyn’s Red Hook? Or, most audacious of all, tearing down the Javits convention center and moving it to yet another decked-over rail yard, this time in Sunnyside, where it would be surrounded by apartment and hotel towers and a sizable retail complex?
Dan Doctoroff, Olympic dreamer, got to attend an opening ceremony for the games this summer, even if it was not the one he had hoped for. It was from London, where Mr. Doctoroff was taking in the 2012 summer Olympics, that he fired off an email to his friends declaring “feelings of ‘what might have been’ are curiously absent.”
The Times got a hold of this email, where the former deputy mayor for economic development and current head of Bloomberg LP goes on to say that even without them, the Olympic bid was good for New York.
Perhaps the best way to describe Angela Pinsky’s advocacy for the real estate industry is by saying that when she joined the Real Estate Board of New York almost two years ago, she didn’t see her job as much different from the one she was leaving in the mayor’s office.
“I work on a lot of the same issues,” said Ms. Pinsky, who married Economic Development Corporation head Seth Pinsky last summer. “The thing about the real estate industry, it’s very civic minded. Many owners are family businesses and there’s this strong tradition in the industry of wanting projects and policies that are best not just for the industry’s own interests, but for the entire city.
Eight floors above the neon scissor of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, the offices of the Times Square Alliance, one of the city’s largest business improvement districts, unfold like a suburban paper company.
The Observer contemplated the turquoise Berber carpeting, the spare glass cubicles and an empty rolling garbage bin parked by the door until we Read More
For several days, prominent members of the New York Democratic establishment complained publicly about Caroline Kennedy. Then, suddenly, it all stopped.
“I think people are about to get scared,” said one aide to a New York official.
The seminal, chilling event, in the end, was simply Ms. Read More
Eliot Brown reports that Michael Bloomberg’s former deputy mayor, Dan Doctoroff, has hired Eliot Spitzer’s former state director of operations for a big job over at Bloomberg L.P. Read More