As someone who lives in the Astor Place area, I realize it's the most cliched of possible things to bitch about, but I really cannot get over the sheer size of the new building that's going up (which EV Grieve accurately describes as the "Death Star.") It seems much more massive than the original plans made it out to be, although maybe I'm just in denial.
Time was when everyone was up in arms about the Cooper Union dorm that went up, which looks positively quaint by comparison. I actually spent several days living in that space as a visiting reporter back in 1993 (you can read about that here).
Then came the arrival of Kmart in the old Wannamker building.
Then, of course, there was the purportedly "undulating" big blue shampoo bottle that went up.
Then all those hotel towers started sprouting up down the Bowery, making the surrounding cityscape look similar to the opening scene of "Blade Runner."
And now comes this. It seems like only a couple of weeks ago, the plot of land had been razed and we all started musing about how nice it would be to leave it that way. Remember all those "Imagine a Park Here" messages? So much for that.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I get rather pointedly depressed every time I look at this thing. What will it look like when it's finished? What areas of sun-dappled pavement will it plunge into perpetual shadow? What will it do to the already eroding neighborhood character? What firms will occupy its interior?
I hope it gets routinely pelted with glass-shattering rocks when it's finished.