18 May 2007

NYUzilla sets sights on Union Square

From Gawker: New York University, the alma mater of such notables as E.L. Doctorow and Theo Huxtable, recently announced its 25-year plan for the future domination of Manhattan. The University, one of the largest landowners in Manhattan, recently hired the scary sounding "strategic consultant" SMWM, the same company behind the gentrification of 125th Street and all of East Baltimore. (Uh, how's that going?) In anticipation of their 300th anniversary, N.Y.U. is planning to focus on expanding their holdings near the Washington Square campus and Union Square.

Already, Wa-Squa—as we called it between bong hits in Haydn—is almost entirely owned and operated by N.Y.U., so it is unclear what more they could possibly buy. Maybe they'll snatch up those piercing-tattoo shops on MacDougal, already filled with drunken college students desirous of a tongue ring and an ankle tattoo ("Something small but fun!").

Vast swathes of Union Square, on the other hand, are peskily owned by others. And you can be sure, University Prez John Sexton won't rest easy until Zen Palate is an official dining hall, the old Union Square Bank Building has been gutted and remade into loft-like student residences for VIP freshman and every pub in the East Village is a Josie Woods franchise.

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