Thinking About Pittsburgh And New York

I’ve been going back and forth between Pittsburgh and New York, to set up “The Blogger Show”. Even though the cities resemble each other strongly in many ways, the issues they face now are almost completely opposite. While Pittsburgh obsesses endlessly about population loss and seems to use every program of force imaginable, to make the city seem safe for the white bread suburban crowd who left years ago; New York, struggles with the insane demand for urban life and the pressure this is putting on it’s creative people as prices rise.

The whole situation is a vast tragedy. While so many New Yorkers are looking for options in other places, one the places that could have been a great one has decided(or rather a few people decided) it would rather be a parking lot for sports events than a real city.

“On Wednesday night, the author joined other thinkers at a panel discussion called “Is New York Losing its Soul,” part of the Municipal Art Society’s Jane Jacobs exhibition.

The debate centered around the city’s evolution away from its role as an haven for the arts. Rocco Landesman, president of Jujamcyn Theaters, told how many smaller Broadway theaters were selling their air rights in order to remain viable, and how many visiting productions can now only afford to stay in the city for a few days, rather than the few weeks they used to.”

To put the whole thing in perspective, New York is expected to draw in a million new residents in the next decade. What seems to be happening is an issue of pure supply and demand. Since, semi functional, safe, diverse and walkable cities with mass transit are so rare in America, the few that qualify are seeing and explosion of demand which is destroying many of the qualities that made them so attractive.

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