New Times Tower: Now, More Snobulous!

TimesTowerFast food restaurants, educational and medical facilities not permitted to lease space in the 52-story building include: Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, juvenile or adult day-care centers, social-services offices, job training centers, and auction houses (except “high-end auction houses specializing in art and historical artifacts”).

That’s according to The Village Voice‘s Paul Moses who harshly criticizes The New York Times this week over lease stipulations in the Renzo Piano-designed tower that the Gray Lady will soon call home.

Thankfully, soy latte-addicted reporters can relax, because Starbucks is permitted to set up shop downstairs. Huzzah!

Our personal favorite exclusion is any government office where you can show up “without appointment.” It’s a well-known fact that the huddled masses never call ahead (or have their names on a list).

Surely, David Brooks is already mining this article for column-worthy cultural signifiers.

His colleagues on the editorial page have already weighed in on the principle: “The Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday that the economically troubled city of New London, Conn., can use its power of eminent domain to spur development was a welcome vindication of cities’ ability to act in the public interest. It also is a setback to the ‘property rights’ movement, which is trying to block government from imposing reasonable zoning and environmental regulations. Still, the dissenters provided a useful reminder that eminent domain must not be used for purely private gain.”

“The ‘property rights’ movement!” How charmingly Marxist. Ahem.

In the mean time, The Real Estate is reminded of The Times’ three-week series on class in America that began last May.

The introductory piece posed the challenging question: “Why does it appear that class is fading as a force in American life?

So coy!

“Today, the country has gone a long way toward an appearance of classlessness. Americans of all sorts are awash in luxuries that would have dazzled their grandparents. Social diversity has erased many of the old markers. It has become harder to read people’s status in the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the votes they cast, the god they worship, the color of their skin. The contours of class have blurred; some say they have disappeared.”

We say the difference between Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks coffee ain’t the coffee.

– Michael Calderone New Times Tower: Now, More Snobulous!