The meeting of renovation, refuse, and reflexivity is as historically common an event in Lower Manhattan as the hailing of a taxi cab. The condition pictured above simply would not do in most cities, the open façade looking out over not much at all. In Manhattan, however, while we enjoy our fried halloumi or the like over brunch, I sense that this kind of juxtaposition is tolerated because we always have each other to look at.
It was odd to see a condemned building on an avenue in Chelsea. My usual expectation in Manhattan below 42nd Street and west of 1st Avenue is that any condemned properties have been resolved into new buildings already, that the remaining sites for development are not-condemned and look more or less fine. But there it was, in an expensive and still-fashionable stretch of Manhattan, awaiting a neighboring evacuation of some kind, fated for all to see to be reborn, no doubt, under the ever-rising star of contemporary luxury.