Welcome to The City Review



Another 'zine?

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 decisions.

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,  yet.)

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 and books.

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" column.

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.


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