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Monday, December 22, 2014

Selfish disregard for history

Most of Greenwich Village, in NYC, looks the way it did 100 to 200 years ago.
It has pained me lately to see the callous attitude of so many younger people in the village. They really don't care much about history and basically mock those of us who do. I'm wondering why they live in Coconut Grove if they don't care about the history or the beauty, or what's left of both. Commodore Ralph Munroe must be spinning in his grave (look him up young people) to hear all the talk about greed and progress. Perhaps it's that so many of these people grew up in the CocoWalk and Mayfair age and they don't know what the Grove once was. 

The Keller Hotel from the 1890s.
One of my favorite places in NYC.
I can just imagine these people in "real" historical places like say, Boston: "Hey, let's get rid of that Freedom Trail. Why do we need that ugly red line up and down the sidewalks? And while we're out it, let's get rid of those old sidewalks, I don't care that Paul Revere and Benjamin Franklin walked on them, let's put in new cheaper stuff and while we're at it, let's pull out those 200 year old trees and put something else in! And that old North Church, it's too old, let's put in a chrome and glass condo instead!"

Or in Philadelphia: "That bell is cracked! Let's get a new one -- something shiny in chrome and glass!"

Or New York: "Highline? Fogetabout it. Knock those old train tracks down. We don't need them." Or in Greenwich Village: "George Washington's mews? What the hell are mews? Knock 'em down, put in an outdoor mall!"

They would have a field day in New Orleans.

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Anonymous Bryan said...

Hello Tom, it's confusing to think of how/why it's the attitude of the younger people towards the history of the Grove that pains you. My wife and I are a young married couple in our mid-30's, as our numerous neighbors of ours, and we all despise what is happening to the Grove. The real source of the pain is from politicians & developers (in a more senior age demo primarily) who are raping the Grove of its history.

December 22, 2014 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree its the old people of the grove mainly the artsy fartsy ones that have destroyed the grove.the younger demo love the look of the grove we just sudgested bringing back the life of the grove not tearing it down for profit.but onces again the grape needs an escape sure this wont be published but atleast youll see it.

December 22, 2014 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said. It's freaking materialism, of course, the same disease ailing the entire planet, not just the Grove. (Look at what happens even in the East, Tibet. etc, Tradition and Spirituality Bulldozed by money-making robots everywhere)

Fortunately in Europe and some older American Cities, History, Traditions and some sense of Style is preserved, fighting off material profit sharks. Sadly, the only reason such historic places and features often survive the voracity of Developer$$$ is because they generate tourism, as an alternate $$$ attraction

The Grove is not there yet, with just over 100 years, even being the "oldest" town around here in the South. So it's expendable. Its so called "history" hasn't quite been made yet, as in Boston or Phily or even N. York. So it's expendable.

All our new "Grovites" want is freaking $$$, to own stuff, and a Starbucks or Mall to show it off at. That's what big marketing Co's and developers want, and the young Grove doesn't have enough of a sense of "History" to fight them off. Money wins, as usual. Ask the Romans or Greeks.. only a few ruins or nostalgic vestiges are what's left behind these days, unless the Historic sites are really old and revered, as whatever is still left standing in other parts of the world. Unless, of course, Wars (for freaking money and power too, of course) destroy that too, as it happens in the Middle East all the time these days.

Still time to go shopping at our beloved CVS's, Don Shulas and Gap stores! Grab those specials while they last, who cares about art or history these days. A building is a building, the plastic stuff they sell is what matters!

December 22, 2014 9:19 AM  
Anonymous "Escape"-goat said...

What old grove? It's been gone for a while. Unless you mean to blame the young people from 20 years ago.

December 22, 2014 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we want walmart dammit

December 22, 2014 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, your age demographic is certainly the one to blame if there is blame to go around. I may not be "young" anymore, but the commissioners and developers all have more in common with you than I, my friend.

December 22, 2014 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What am I, a 39 year old Grove resident supposed to prevent from being built? The Mayfair? (built when I was elementary school) Cocowalk (built when I was in middle school) all were here before I moved here. When you ask an old Grovite (and no matter how long you've lived here, you're always going to be "new" to the Grove when it comes to them) all they can say is how great it was when a Tom Thumb and Krest drugs used to be in the village.

If it meant something them, then maybe the old timers wouldn't have cashed out their sizable property values in the '80s to glitzy condo developers. The irony is, old Grovites have no one else to blame for the change but themselves.

December 22, 2014 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the work being done in Grove is in terrible taste and with total disregard for history because the developments and its supporters (including Historic Preservation Board) are here only for the short haul.

December 22, 2014 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aside from the Barnacle and the Pan Am flying boat terminal, anything historical was torn down in the 1960's and 1970's to make way for such favorites as the Taurus, the city auditorium (thankfully demolished) and the Tom Thumb, so near and dear to the Olde Tyme Grovites!

December 23, 2014 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is validity to this writer's view. If there is a bad guy, is it the developer or the Grove who sold the property? In the abstract, neither is at fault for anything systemic such as a overall style/demo change. Change is inevitable, especially in our present world. The trick is to manage it for the best. In this community locale, this is really about quality design, both old and new, and quality of life uses suitable for the area and its residents. I say embrace change and improvements actively, but with a critical eye on design and impact on local residents.

December 23, 2014 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As progressive, young Grovites, we want a Taco Bell or a KFC and a brand new Waterfront Walmart, instead of that old Scottys: Bayside fun at lunch!

December 23, 2014 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:34am
Taurus is right now the oldest bar in Miami since Tobacco Road was removed for a smacking new CVS.

December 23, 2014 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I couldn't agree more. Let's hope that this round of redevelopment tries to keep those goals of form vs. function at a level that we can all be proud of.



December 23, 2014 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Turndownforwhat said...

Taurus was gone for a while, so I don't think it counts.

December 23, 2014 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Taurus is right now the oldest bar in Miami since Tobacco Road was removed for a smacking new CVS"

But what we need is a smacking new KFC, not another CVS! Let's destroy Taurus ASAP, before we get rid of Scottys, and replace them with the much awaited KFC and the Waterfront Walmart! (Make it bigger and taller than the Fresh Market, biggest is South Florida so we can all be proud)

December 24, 2014 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love a place to get good fried chicken in the Grove!

December 24, 2014 2:57 PM  
Blogger Brian Breslin said...

I'm a bit late to the convo here, but here are my 2 cents.
I'm a 32 year old 8 year resident of the grove, and native miamian who grew up coming to cocowalk and mayfair when i was a middle schooler. I know little about the "old grove" that keeps being missed because most of it was gone by the 1980s. I remember going to see movies and local computer meetups in the old theater in what is now the post office in the late 80s.

Things that the "young" people of the grove have absolutely nothing to do with:
- The absolute embarassment that is the playhouse
- The selling off of all these waterfront properties over the years (Tom, your generation owns all this land, not the young people who can barely afford a townhouse here)
- The deplorable state of the bars and restaurants in the area, again older generations own these places.

Things the young generation should be responsible for: being active and engaged participants in shaping the next 20 years of the grove. The Fort family is doing an excellent job with their piece of the grove, but I don't see anyone else coordinating their money to keep the grove evolving but maintaining its low-key, welcoming attitude.

So the real issue should not be whose fault is this, but rather how do we all work together across generations to shape the grove for the better?

January 08, 2015 11:20 AM  

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