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Thursday
Nov222012

America's Wealthy: Alex Gibney's 740 Park Avenue To 'This Side of Paradise' | Back To Great Gatsby

There is perhaps no street in the world that better exemplifies the widening gap between rich and poor than America’s Park Avenue, the famous boulevard of money and power in New York than moves quickly out the corridors of money and power into the squalor of Harlem and the South Bronx.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) documents 40 years of sharply widening income disparty in Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream — a PBS project for Independent Lens.

Gibney’s documentary gazes at the disparity in New York life, turning his lens to 740 Park Avenue, Manhattan’s home to the highest concentration of billionaires in the country moving five-miles north to the South Bronx, home to the poorest congressional district in America.

Asked what motivated him to make the film, Alex Gibney responds:

I am furious at the way that we have allowed money to subvert our democracy. I am appalled at the way that the U.S., a very wealthy nation, permits and even encourages a level of poverty that other wealthy nations would not even consider. Last, I am disturbed at the popular acceptance of theories that argue that we should be as selfish as possible and that altruism itself is evil. That’s a perversion of laissez-faire economic theory going back to Adam Smith and Milton Friedman.

Gibney’s film is part of a larger PBS Project with an international focus Why Poverty?.

Michael Gross, author of the 2005 book about 740 Park Avenue runs a blog about the building and was connected with Alex Gibney by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer. We will post more about this story, along with the many graphs that focus on the staggering growth of income inequality in America.

Vandalog in the South Bronx  link 


 

This Side of Paradise

1125 Grand Concourse

Bronx, New York 10452

From their website: No Longer Empty’s core mission is to widen the public engagement for contemporary art, to promote the work of imaginative and socially-conscious artists, and to demonstrate the capacity of art to revitalize communities. We do so by presenting high-caliber, site specific, public art exhibitions in the heart of communities.

With each exhibition, it is No Longer Empty’s goals to positively impact communities by creating a welcoming, accessible and pulsating cultural/educational hub where a community of artists, educators, scholars and the public come together to create and experience art, free of market imperative and institutional constraints.
 
No Longer Empty draws together the vitality of the contemporary art world and the values of building community.

In the spring of 2012, No Longer Empty transformed the Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx with the exhibition This Side of Paradise. The New York Times explained that the structure that “looked like a limestone luxury liner sailing up the Grand Concourse” was actually a privately endowed retirement home for the formerly well-to-do, “those who might have lost their money but not their manners or manorial tastes.” It was important, for example, that residents not eat peas with their knives.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov142012

Tesla's S Model Named Motortrends Car of the Year, Defying Romney's Tesla Is A 'Loser' Debate Comment

Monday
Nov052012

Northeast Braces for New Storms, Snow, Sleet and New Power Outages | Lower Manhattan Buildings Face Massive Cleanup

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Volunteer Fabrizzio Avila, 15, bundles up from the cold as he rests near donated clothing in the Midland Beach neighborhood in the Staten Island borough New York, Nov. 4, 2012, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. (Craig Ruttle/AP Photo)About 20-40,000 homeless people are bracing for more bad weather as a Nor’easter heads for the battered New York/New Jersey area. Cold air will drop wind chill temperatures to 20 degrees in the areas most severely impacted by Sandy. Wind gusts are expected up to 55 mph by Wednesday.

More than 1.4 million homes remain without power, entering a second week. The coming storm could further delay restoration efforts, while adding new outages. Up to a foot of snow is expected in inland areas throughout the Northeast.

A Powerless New York During Hurricane Sandy New York Magazine

A bit gallingly, downtown’s most foresighted and well-heeled swells had already relocated uptown. Graydon Carter and Anna Wintour, among others, were said to have taken up residence at the Mark; a lot of the younger crowd, led by Emma Watson, were at the Carlyle. Uptown was the new downtown. On Halloween Night, Bemelmans was packed.

Lower Manhattan, rather than the ultimate destination, became a place to go through to get somewhere else, as the enormous traffic jams attested. Downtown was driveover country. At night, it seemed to be a natural landscape, a dark canyonland, gorgeous and lonely. As in all New York disasters, New Yorkers weren’t strangers anymore. Out surveying the damage with flashlights, people stopped to talk in tones of hushed amazement. Neighbors needed food and news.

Future Is in Limbo for the Damaged Buildings Close to the Water’s Edge New York Times

A dark, stark, problematic future faces scores of New YOrk City business and apartment buildings in lower Manhattan. The financial district is in shambles — perhaps worse than on September 11, 2001.

About 100 buildings south of Chambers Street will be opening and have electrical power but no steam. Therefore, there is no heat in the buildings as temperatures plummet.

Other buildings with, or close to, flooded parking garages have a more serious problem, resulting from gasoline, oil and other chemicals that poisoned the waters that flooded these structures.

Now, the buildings themselves must undergo special cleanups before people are allowed in. These cleanups could take weeks with limited services available to do them.

Ruins, Rumors, and Resilience in Rockaway New York Magazine