Lost Neighborhood Landmarks of the Year
4) Amato Opera, East Village. Another de-brick in the wall on the new-fangled Bowery.
3) Cheyenne Diner, 33rd/Ninth. Under the cover of darkness in September, Hell's Pantry lost a little piece of its soul.
2) Tavern on the Green, Central Park. Closing tonight, to reopen—who knows when, and who knows with what name. But maybe with edible food.
1) Astroland/Astroland Rocket, Coney Island. Wrote one observer of the incident, "It was a sad day, for even the sky was crying." The sound was later determined to be Joe Sitt laughing.
Threatened Neighborhood Landmarks That Are Somehow Still Standing
4) World's Fair Pavilion, Queens. Seriously, how is that thing still standing?
3) Holiday Cocktail Lounge, East Village. Its 90-ish year old owner retired from full-time bartending, perhaps hinting that a second Chipotle could be in St. Mark's Place future real soon.
2) St. Vincent's Hospital O'Toole Building, West Village. Christopher Hitchens writes, "Go and have a look while you can, because it is again menaced with demolition, along with perhaps a cluster of other West Village buildings, in order to make room for a monstrous alteration to Seventh Avenue, at just the point where the greatest number of quirky and individual streets converge." What he said.
1) Daniel Goldstein's Apartment Building, Atlantic Yards Footprint. The dude abides.
Best New Neighborhood Cultural Landmark
Take a trendy, hipster-infested neighborhood, say, Williamsburg. Combine with emergent trends towards butchery, artisanal oil, and locavorism. Combine with warehouse/aged aesthetic. Find wooden mallet and hit self in head several dozen times. Voila: the Brooklyn Kitchen Labs and The Meat Hook.
The Most Epic Bike Lane Battles of the Year
3) Grand Street, Chinatown/Soho. (Highlight: mayoral smackdown!)
2) Kent Avenue, Williamsburg. (Highlight: punk'd!)
1) Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg. (Highlight: clowns!)
Here Now, A Complete List of New, Noncontroversial Bike Lanes
1) Allen Street, Lower East Side. (Go figure.)
Most Awesomely Absurd Public Art Projects of the Year
The NOT IN MY BACKYARD Award for Outstanding NIMBYism
To the residents of the neighborhood of Tribeca, who simultaneously managed to stop plans to relocated some new bus parking while also avoiding new affordable housing. Oh, and you're still not welcome at Nobu.
Top 3 Reasons To Keep Hating NYU
3) Potential Governor's Island Expansion. Don't worry, it's aspirational!
2) New Signage Erected Near Village's Silver Towers. Upside: more exacting dog urination.
1) Providence Playhouse Mishaps. Mr. Contractor, tear down that wall!
Random Reader Neighborhood Rant of the Year
A Soho resident told us in no uncertain terms that everything's going to hell in the neighborhood: "I could chat with you for hours about the problems that are leaking off of Canal St. onto neighboring streets...particularly Howard Street in SoHo! It's atrocious! The people who come to sell fake bags, and others who sell whatever they can steal from cars by laying blankets down on the sidewalk are ruining the neighborhood! People are constantly urinating on our block.... it reeks!! I would love it if you could draw attention to this problem!"
Zaniest Hotel-vs.-Neighbors Noise Wars
3) Thompson LES. Whattya mean we weren't invited to the pool party?
2) Jane Hotel. A battle so fierce, it needed its own blog.
1) The Cooper Square Hotel (above). When we recline in old age and think back on the neighborhood activists vs. The Man fights that we enjoyed most, it's even odds that this one'll top the list.
Probably The Only Thing We'll Remember From This Year Anyway
And with that, we're turning the lights out on 2009. Thanks to everyone who read, tipped us, commented, and in general contributed to our best year yet. Catch you in the next decade.