Saturday, March 16, 2013

Christine Quinn Rawhide Leather Bar Realty Check

Grumpy-Cat-Christine-Quinn-Walk-Talk-Tour-NYC photo Slide1_zps05c9c7f1.jpg

After seven years as City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn thinks that she finally needs to do something to connect with average New Yorkers, that is why she has announced a "walk and talk tour." But she is steering clear of the Rawhide, an infamous leather bar in Chelsea, which finds itself in the cross-hairs of Speaker Quinn's promotion of luxury condos, zone-busting office buildings, and boutique hotel construction all across Manhattan.

Quinn became more cautious when I asked, point-blank, what kind of city she wants New York to be under her mayoralty. “A network of neighborhoods,” she responded. “In Queens, you don’t send your mail to Queens. You send it to Bayside, to Flushing, to Sunnyside, because people’s neighborhood identities matter. We have lost a bit of our neighborhood identity in kind of the Duane Reade–ing of New York. I worry about that.” I mentioned Bloomberg’s notorious quote about the city being a luxury product. “One of the things I loved about Chelsea,” she said, “is that on Eighth Avenue, there is the Rawhide bar—not a luxury product. And for many years there were Latino guys from the neighborhood who had a folding card table every Friday and Saturday night and played dominoes. And they knew every guy who walked into the Rawhide, and every guy that walked in the Rawhide knew them. A leather bar may or may not be the best example, but it is the type of neighborhood experience we want to be able to have, what Jane Jacobs called ‘the eyes on the streets’ all watching out for each other.”

Source : Towleroad

Even though Speaker Quinn talks up her fondness of the Rawhide, wouldn't you know it that the greedly landlord has jacked up the rent on the leather bar. Now, the Rawhide is going out of business, precisely because of Speaker Quinn's policies that are gentrifying all of New York, even the former domain of leather bars, of all places.

Opened in 1979, the Rawhide is one of the last of a handful of old-school, unpretentious gay bars left in New York City. It is a survivor. But it won't be for long. The building that houses it on 8th and 21st in Chelsea was sold a couple of years ago and, according to our tipster with inside connections, the new landlord has jacked up the rent, nearly doubling it from $15,000 to $27,000 a month. The Rawhide's last day will be March 30.

What kind of business can afford $27,000 a month? A sterile bank branch, a bubbly fro-yo joint, a dead-eyed 7-Eleven ?

Every day, our city dies by one more of these thousand cuts. Some of the cuts are bigger than others, and this is one of them.

Tell Christine Quinn to put her money where her mouth is--if you value the Rawhide, then stand up for it.

Source : Vanishing New York

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