Friday, April 07, 2006

More Waterfront News

My friend Larry left an extremely interesting addition to my NYC-waterfront-in-the-news post in the comments. He'd found a post on BlogChelsea - it's about BasketBall City & it looks like the BasketBall City people are getting ready to make one last-ditch effort to evade the eviction that has been in store for them from the git-go.

Now everybody I paddle with has probably gone to look at the article. For those of you who don't paddle with me - a story about the fate of BasketBall City is, for me and rest of the gang at Pier 63, a whole different level of interesting. Yesterday's articles were hmm-that's-very-interesting interesting. This one is may-you-live-in-interesting-times interesting - because the barge where most of my paddling friends & I keep our boats is a subtenant of Basketball City. When they go, we go.

Fortunately the latest rumor I've heard, as I said in my comment back to Larry, is that we don't go too far, just a couple of piers north. But it's still all up in the air.

Everyone involved has known that the current situation was temporary all along - BasketBall City was an interim tenant right from the start, and the fact that the building was eventually going to be torn down was all written up very clearly in the Hudson River Park legislation. The bit about the barge (which is generally popular with Chelsea residents) being moved was pencilled in right before it was passed. As far as I know no one involved in writing the legislation has ever actually said "I wrote that". A few years ago, when I was still with MKC & attending relevant meetings as the company's representative, I went to a community board meeting where Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, who was very involved in the creation of the legislation, offered to try to have that taken out. Initially it seemed like the board was happy with the idea, but one member was vehemently opposed to making ANY changes, felt that the legislature should be regarded as though carved in stone, and that any changes would be "A terrible, a TERRIBLE precedent". He almost literally shouted everyone else into submission & that was the end of that - Assemblyman Gottfried needed the Community Board to give the go-ahead to do anything. The guy who shouted everybody else down is generally not a bad guy, but boy in that case I do wish somebody had brought along their copy of Robert's Rules. Oh well.

Anyways, the deal was always that when the Trust was ready to work on the Chelsea section, BBC would have to leave, the building they'd been in (which doesn't have any of the haunting quality some of us saw in the P64 piershed - it's just a big square cinderblock thing) would be torn down, and the barge moored at Pier 63 would be moved. It was never a question of if, just when.

You folks with garages? Count your blessings, oh ye fortunate ones.

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