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On Vox: Unthinking criticism

People like Ann Shirazi in this Times story bug the hell out of me. I only have the barest little bit of knowledge about city planning and urban development, but this woman clearly knows *nothing*. I'm certainly not uncritically in favor of development (the glass monstrosity in Astor Place is a perfect example of a modern tower that doesn't fit into its surroundings), but this is proof of idiocy:

“I loved my neighborhood,” said Ann Shirazi, a social worker who since 1974 has lived around the corner from the Ariel site. “Now I can’t walk from 100th Street to Broadway because I cannot — I cannot — look at those buildings.”

You're a social worker and the sight of a building you don't like is too much for you to take? Riiiight. They're finally undoing a Moses superblock -- this is cause for celebration. I'm sure there are people with perfectly reasonable objections, but I find it telling that the voice chosen to articulate the objections couches her statements in a complete lack of historical understanding, an overbearing sense of privilege, and no familiarity whatsoever with the costs of past development in her own neighborhood.

Originally posted on anil.vox.com

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