Friday, August 3, 2007

community and neighborhood

Some ideas and questions about appropriate behavior within a community or neighborhood. The east village is a new york city neighborhood that prides itself on its diversity. This is a diversity that is cultural and racial but also economic. This diversity is probably one of the attributes that attracted the Zwirners to our neighborhood originally. This diversity is also probably a reason that a couple of years ago no one took to the streets, or to the net, or to the press, although the Zwirners' original construction at 234 East 13th Street turned a multi-dwelling building into a single family house that is so out of scale with the majority of the very small apartments existing within the surrounding old tenement buildings. I, for one, try to be as accepting as possible and thought let's give them a chance (even though the original construction was extremely loud and echoed throughout the back courtyard, broke many NYC rules as to accepted construction times, caused our apartments to be filled with dust, lasted a long time, and I work from home.)

But this time is different. I find it completely inappropriate that the Zwirners are now about to double the size of their current home which is already over 7000 square feet. Their new construction will mean that 5 out of the 7 windows in my 450 square foot apartment will eventually have a wall three feet a way from them. Although my apartment is extremely small, I invested all of my savings into it because its large windows allow sunlight to fill its small space and to fill me with happiness.

These are the questions I have for the Zwirners right now:

Is this really what you want to do?

Do you know that this would completely negatively affect all of your neighbors lives not just in the short term but in the long term? And then, would you really want to live among so many resentful people and have them as your neighbors?

Is it really within a community spirit to take away so much from your neighbors who already have so little when compared to you?

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to move to an already large property on the upper east side or in tribeca where there is room and many properties like the one you are envisioning, rather than jam an extremely large mansion into a community of 300 - 500 square foot apartments in old tenement buildings and while doing so take away all of the light of your surrounding neighbors?

I really do think that when the Zwirners think things through and realize the potential impact of their actions, they will change their minds.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

awww 2 bad.

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