is new york just another white picket fence town?

A friend in Portland turned me onto this book after I explained (4 years back); the city hasn’t changed a bit.  I bought the book; though portions of this book, comprised of essays (writers, scholars, etc) feel a bit outdated (hey we are in constant flux here). The authors still beg the question…is New York City just another town?  A Mall of America?  Yes, Starbucks on every corner, McDonalds, CVS’s, Urban Outfitters, Super Cuts, Barnes and Noble, Sprint Stores…it makes me think of a strip mall one might pass on a routine drive.  A thinking piece to which I will draw more reference.  Sewell Chan works a Q/A from an older New York Times piece: Ask the ‘Suburbanization of New York’ Editors

Maggie Wrigley, an Australian writer and artist who moved to the city in 1984 and was part of the Lower East Side squatters’ movement, wrote: “Change is inevitable — it is how the city lives and breathes. And I don’t begrudge a safer neighborhood — no one wants to dodge bullets or have to fight off a mugger with a two-by-four or a kitchen knife or a gun (as I did).” But she added:

I feel sad and angry that the only newcomers to Manhattan from now on will be those rich enough to buy their way in. No new immigrants will bring their ways and flavors and styles to our neighborhoods. No poor artists or writers or musicians will come here and fight to prove their worth. No struggle, no adventure — just pay to stay.

Maybe, New York is just another white picket fence. -KBD.