Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Lah-Lah-Lahdahn. It's The New Style

It's now 7pm, and we're accutely aware that we're on the hook for some hot sweaty stadium blogging. We had considerable enthusiasm for the project this morning, but our ardour faded as soon as we sat down in front of a list of infrastructure projects that we were meant to enthuse about. And then we read a typically droll offering from Dahlia Lithwick on the New London case in front of the Supreme Court.

The case concerns eminent domain, the process by which government condemns and buys land that it wants to put towards public use. The idea is that you can have Old Man Withers in the way of a freeway that everyone will use. If Old Man Withers wants to stop the freeway being built he can just dress up as a ghost and scare away the workers like everyone else.

But if they just want to use his land to build, say, a massive, stupid and ill-conceived stadium, or, in New London, a mall, they have to pretend that the tax revenue, or making the town prettier, also qualifies as public use. The key word, apparently, is blighted. We won't anticipate the case, or even try and apply the reasoning to the stadium they want to build over Freddy's (nice jazz and knitting night Sunday, by the way, chaps). But could we please note that even the ass-clowns at the Times realise that the neighborhood is on the up.

Kudos, by the way, to the guys at DDDB, the anti-Ratner stadium folks, for realising how starved for news NY1 was going to be on President's Day. So we got their own segment with them standing outside City Hall getting cross about the stadium. Also featuring Tish! and DDDB's luxuriously-priced lawyer, Norman Siegel. Problem was, NY1 had the intern doing sound, so we could barely make out what he had to say.

Even more interestingly, because it touches on our work, is the latest spoiler offer for the Westside stadium site. from someone else that hates Bloomberg and wants to embarrass the MTA. This outfit is TransGas, which wants to built a power project in Williamsburg and has offered $700 million for the West Side site, $100 million more than Cablevision, and $600 million more than the NY Jets, without quite explaining want it wants to do there.

As this Times article gets close to nailing, the bid is pure spite. Adam Victor, the developer, wants the MTA to sign a power purchase agreement for the 1100 megawatt plant's output, far more than it likely needs. $700 million will sink the economics of any power project, and make it impossible for the plant to raise money, as any banker will tell you. In fact , asking a transportation agency to intervene in developing a power project sounds at best cheeky, and at worst foolish.

Gotta love the guy's chutzpah, though, since it's given him a chance to talk about the Greenpoint power plant he wants to build. He says that the plant will be super-multi-colored and produce so little pollution it will barely affect the hipsters' consumption. He says that the Newtown Creek alternative site, is not pretty enough. But the Greenpoint site has its opponents, including Patti Smith!

But we love the fact that the MTA bidding process has descended into a venal little farce not unlike the California recall. We anticipate, as Gothamist does, all sorts of demented proposals from now on. Including a home for the "New Jersey Nets", with any luck.

Final NY1 moment. Top anchor drollster Pat Kiernan is interviewing chunky general assignment reporter and comedy turn standby Roger Clark about the Olympics, which has occasioned all of these stadium proposals. Towards the end, Pat starts singing the hideously annoying Olympic theme from the ads, like the music coming up under the oscar speeches that go on to long. He just sits there smiling and humming while Roger stumbles towards the end of his report. Very peculiar.


At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you think the Queen is not attending the nuptial ceremony of Prince Charles and Camilla, Gumby Fresh?

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Gringcorp said...

Well that's just freaky, Anonymous. It's like you have an indepth knowledge of our mind, if not our name.

Please read the latest post.


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