Local flavor

Mar 18, 2007 13:17

Some time ago, walking to the bus stop in the morning, I realized I left at home the book I was reading. So I picked up from a stand a free Brooklyn newspaper (which I rarely do - it's usually 75% advertisement) to read on the bus. Immediately I was surprised to find a photo of a very familiar-looking church, and even more so - when I've read the article accompanying the photo.

There is no question that it’s sad to think that Bay Ridge United Methodist’s final Mass will soon be said by a wrecking ball. It’s a beautiful building, and it’s no wonder so many people fought to save it.
Or is it?[...]
My eyebrows went up when I read some more:
Won’t anyone stand up and say that the neighborhood needs more housing?
Turns out, someone is: New York City Libertarian Party President Jim Lesczynski.
“If developers were simply freed from building regulations, and allowed to build as high as they would be willing to invest, there would be enough housing for anyone who wanted to live here, and then some,” he said.

Quoting a Libertarian? Advocating removal of the old building (however unprofitable) instead of crying out "old is untouchable"? Daring to say a word against NY building codes? Taking the side of progress (not "progress") and wishes of the legal owners of the building (the Methodist Church) rather than siding with authoritarian Democrat Vincent Gentile who proposes to build a smaller church AND low-income housing instead of expensive condominium?

Who is this Matthew Lysiak, who's this brave hero?

Then I came across Karol's post at AlarmingNews, and everything became clear. The journalist who impressed me so much is the author of untimely deceased blog Bay Ridge Conservative, which I still miss. Well, if he's found a tribune at Brooklyn Paper - they just found one more regular reader!

I went outside, to snap some pictures of the church while it's still standing - and let me tell you, there is one thing I disagree with Mr.Lysiak: I wouldn't call this building beautiful. What more, I'm going to issue an unthinkable for New Urbanists statement: not all 100-yo buildings are beautiful. Some are downright ugly, built by inferior contractors and designed by architects with no taste, and the sooner they will be demolished, the better.

See for yourself. Doesn't it look like a cartoon? A German gingerbread house, the one you'd tie to a Christmas tree for toddlers' amusement, rather than to include in National Landmark Register?

See the follow-up article by M.Lysiak
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