We don't need any more indulgent, sometimes
trendy, sometimes trashy, celebrications.
What we do need is an urban forum for the important
local public debates of many difficult issues, many of them related
to land use, that do not get enough timely media coverage.
We care passionately about our city and we
believe deeply in its great and spectacular traditions.
Although some who care enough read every newspaper,
many magazines and newsletters and attend a lot of meetings in
an effort to keep abreast of what's happening, it is often hard
to know and what and when to focus and where.
We will present as clearly and constructively
as possible major planning and design issues affecting our city
and offer reasoned opinions, not only ours, prior to major public
Most importantly, we will ask "What if?"
and "Who stands to gain?"
Much of our focus will be on land use. There
is very little that does not affect land use. Certainly
density, traffic, environmental problems, economic development,
social service facilities, high rents, high assessments, high
taxes, high energy costs, and sometimes high buildings, impact
specific streets, neighborhoods, communities, precincts, boroughs,
the city and the region.
In the future, we will have reports and calendars
for each of the 12 community boards in Manhattan, reports and
calendars for the City Planning Commission and the City Council,
reports on city and state economic development agencies, transportation
agencies and authorities, environmental and park agencies, the
city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, and columns on commercial
and residential real estate and major and/or interesting real
estate transactions and rates.
We will also report on spectacular and fascinating
projects in other cities to ward off myopia and keep a keen eye
on the competition "elsewhere."
In addition, we intend to look closely at specific
schools and profile philanthropic organizations and specific blocks
in addition to the architecture column, "Plots & Plans."
Some of these subjects, of course, are covered
by the city's media, but not comprehensively and definitively.
(As a fledging 'zine, we are not comprehensive and definitive,
We are not Not-In-My-Back-Yarders. New
York is the world's front yard and it should be special, which
not necessarily always mean new. One shouldn't fool with
precious assets and preservation is important. It is often
not hard to find some fault with new development just as it is
not hard to often wonder about the merits of some preservation
efforts. There are rarely easy answers and an open mind
and constructive attitude is more important than reliance on historical
precedent or political favor.
Life in New York does not depend on real estate
alone, of course, and The City Review will devote much of its
energies to the arts and will include critical columns on art
at museums, galleries and the auction houses, serious and popular
music and jazz, theater, films, new and classic, dance, television
Significant as the formal arts are, informal
and more personal interests are increasingly important. Our
consumer technology section will review the best in personal computers,
audio, video and photography and there will be picture layouts
on the best new display window or storefront and great apartments
and design and entertaining at home and out.
Life does not always fit into simple categories
so we will offer selected "roughage" to help digest
this heady brew and for dessert and surprise we will have a "Passion"
And last but no means least there will be letters
and "Op-Ed" pieces we anticipate receiving from the
city's spectrum of concerned and articulate citizenry. (E-mail
them to CarterBH@thecityreview.com.)
Our field of vision will not generally, and
certainly not regularly, extend to covering the weather,
gossip, financial news, parties, personal sex and dating ads,
polls, astrology, comics and physical fitness.
If there is a bias to The City Review, it is
one that is awed by the aggregate endeavors of the millions who
created the city so far, either on their drawing boards, or in
their corporate boardrooms, or in their back rooms, or on their
bulldozers, or with their sandwich boards of protest, or with
their hoarse, stressed voices, or with their sweaty brilliance.
There is still much to preserve and there is
still much to create.
The City Review wants to find out what this
generation's legacy will be for the city, the world's greatest
in this fading century. Democracy needs an informed, caring
public and we believe that there is a need for serious, perhaps
old-fashioned, but not necessarily conservative, nor dry journalism
and that we have a great future with you.