Culture on the Cheap
The Viridian Blooms!
Those of you who have read this blog know I have no affection for this development. For reasons only known to him Magic Johnson decided to fund/put his face on this, The Viridian (a fancy word for green, as in Green Street, in Greenpoint and how much “green” are you willing to outlay? $400,000 for starters.), in the name of urban renewal.
Urban renewal suggests blight. When I first moved to this block 110-130 Green Street housed businesses: a bus depot and stone worker’s shop. I can’t honestly say I liked having buses coming and going all hours of the night past my apartment. I didn’t. On the other hand I knew this came with living in an “industrial” neighborhood and with such businesses come jobs and tax revenue. Then came the rezone and shortly thereafter the Viridian.
I never experienced blight until Magic and his funky bunch moved in. Green Street has never been pretty— but it got a helluva lot uglier after Magic razed one third of it. Graffiti, garbage— LOTS OF GARBAGE, junkies shooting up and nodding off (on his illegally parked construction equipment) is what I will always remember the Viridian for. A condominium complex purported to sport such luxe accommodations as a concierge, rooftop cabanas, virtual golf, etc. A testament to progress and and urban renewal.
As of January 3, 2009 here’s what I saw:
A contextually inappropriate, shoddily built and VERY UGLY pile of crap. Let’s have a virtual auction my fellow Greenpointers. How much would you pay to rent a 500 square foot apartment in this dump? I’ll start the bidding at $500. One dollar per square foot.