Once you find the ‘take a stand’ part of you, more things will come your way to take a stand for. Or at least it does in my life.
Around the corner from where I live, there’s been construction going on for sometime. Completely not unusual seeing as how I live in a very trendy, up-and-expanding neighborhood. Add that the Olympics will be in London next year and you can image the amount of cash being thrown around to ‘spiffy’ the place up. I’ve walked by the lot full of cranes loads of times and wondered ‘what will go in this place?’ And secretly I wished for new (affordable) rental units.
I was half right.
Recently a massive banner went up and announced itself Avant Garde Tower. Instead it’s properities to buy (which I’m sure rich people will do and then put them to rent – hence the half rightness). They are incredibly lush properties to buy. No problem with that except the developers feel the need to make it twenty-four stories. WTFloor space?!? In a neighborhood were the tallest thing is about six floors, that’s insanity. There’s simply no reason for that madness. (Though I will honestly say that I would love, love, love to probably live in this monstrosity. Except that the only advertising for it was found in the Mandarin Times and a Hong Kong real estate pamplet. So, you know, they know who can actually afford this level of absurdity.)
Luckily, I’m not the only one who thinks that this doesn’t actually belong here. I came across the ‘ditch the Block sign. Another protest to go to? Hmm, maybe. Seems worthy enough. There’s no need to ruin a great neighborhood with such a high-ass and high class building. Must stop the madness before it gets out of control. Before you know it, a Gap will open on the corner. Then where will that leave us?
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse…
A few days ago we got a letter in the mail (the letter is beneath all the post-its). Basically telling us that a fifty-storey building has filed for permission to be built and if you’re opposed, let the council know. 50 floors – oh, christ on a cracker! Burs and I looked outside and guestimated the address space. We craned our necks and placed quite out of our view point and thought nothing of it. Sure, we’d send in the notice saying we didn’t want it but it would be on the high street. Not near us.
Though the address was on the high street, the truth of it is that it would be built directly across the street from us.
See that view we have and where the arches are – that is where it’ll be. The spot that Burs and I dream a HIGHLINEsque park will someday be. Rather they’d like to tear down pieces of history (the arches are where pedestrians hid during bombings in WWII) to construct the tallest and I’m sure fugliest building in this area to date. This has called me into action. I’m now researching how the Highline came to be. And I want us to go to the town hall meeting or whatever the Brits call it and have our voices heard. What Shoreditch needs is a very cool park with more small business space (which could go beneath within the arches) not another building so high that it’ll block our sunlight. And view. And spying ability on Shoreditch House.
Can voices enlist change? This, my friends, is when we see if it can.