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nov yorkplaying chicken no more, says Swan: Whoa! Apostate truck burners in the new old Downtown BK? Hmmmm… interesting. If John Strausbaugh’s recent comments about the process of “benign ethnic cleansing” in Manhattan are true, what will folks say about the new new Downtown when it’s cleared of all but civil servants & students in the daytime, the wealthy at night? That their prayers were answered? No public figure would put it that way but note the huge gulf in coverage between the plight of the homes on Duffield Street– whose potential date with the wrecking ball we’ve long decried, including in the pages of New York Calling– and what all this portends for non-institutional culture downtown. (Hello BAM imperialists.) The closure last year of Beat Street Records on Fulton got very little attention compared to the fate of other, far less heterogeneous public spaces. Ya’ll will look long & hard for this information on the internet but talk to people– not real estate shills– about what downtown was like before Metrotech. Is it possible what was “blighted” then is about as “blighted” as the private property threatened by eminent domain today? Next, look to some favorite Brooklyn blog and see how much they talk about, say, Nigerian & Guyanese shopkeepers downtown, & what are those other dudes with ghetto stores– Syrian? Siberian? Silesian? If Notorious B.I.G. is Brooklyn’s secular black Jegreaser’s palacesus, then what the hell is Scarface? Please nudge us when the people– of Livingston Street & Lorraine, of Gowanus & the ghosts of old Myrtle– get a fraction of the attention the new chainstore on Smith Street, the next Clinton Hill wine bar or– oh my gosh!– the latest on those condos which jackoffs don’t actually have to report on, the “news” just shows up in their e-mail. Oh what a job this is.*

* The Music Director adds: Shout out to Devin the Dude, BK feels ya’ll, homie. Inspirational verse, by Andre 3000: “We just keep recording and it ain’t to get no condo.” NOTE: This does not diminish the important work some internet journalists & activists do, just that grits ain’t groceries & construction sure as hell ain’t kulcha.

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