Wild Community Board 3 meeting last night.
Chinatown got organized and showed up with signs, lining the hall and bursting into call and response all night until their choreographed walk-out. Got a little heavy a few times with the cops wading in and telling everyone to sit down, the protesters shouting, the folks "in charge" walking away and standing in the corner.
The whole issue is the re-zoning of the neighborhood, which is pretty much a done deal, and it looks to me like CB3 and everyone else took the best bad deal available. Most of the new buildings are capped at 8 stories, on some of the wider streets they can go up to twelve. One thing to remember is that right now there is no cap whatsoever, they can build up to 23 stories, as they have.
Problem with the plan is that it doesn't include low-income housing or community or cultural centers. It kind of pretends to, but it's just a power-grab.
We don't need "incentives" for affordable housing, we need guarantees. And we don't need "affordable" housing, whatever that's supposed to mean, we need low-income housing if we're going to preserve the integrity, character and the actual residents of the Lower East Side.
The Lower East Side is made up of working-class people (or low-income people), artists and radicals. Always has been. These people need to be included in any kind of massive re-zoning plan. We're talking about 111 blocks.
Not a typo. One hundred and eleven blocks.
Great night, though. Watching it, I wrote down this:
The face of power confronted with the people's protest is always the same, doesn't matter if it's white, black or Asian:
Tight smile, eyes shifting in growing panic, looking to the back of the room for the cops.
The use of language betrays and clarifies the respective positions:
The people chant rhythmically, shout, laugh and are inexhaustible.
The Power stutters, makes weak jokes, grows hoarse and then slips into techno-speak and statistics.
The cops talk only in physically followable commands "Sit down or we will eject you." "Sit down." "Come with me."
Lots of fun, kind of sad at the end.
But that's what I call community theater.
The answer to yesterday's MMMQ is Rock of Ages, full line-up of the disc:
Black Crowes, Hard to Handle
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sweet Home Alabama
Styx, Come Sail Away
Rush, Tom Sawyer
Rod Stewart, Maggie May
Steppenwolf, Born to Be Wild
Sublime, What I Got
38 Special, Hold on Loosely
Whitesnake (?) Here I Go Again
Kiss, Rock and Roll All Nite
No one got the answer right, so I'm rescinding all of Ann's previous winnings.
That seems fair to me. And if anyone's got a problem with that, I'll have them ejected from the meeting.
Tonys were just announced.
I've been overlooked again.