Well, Alicia Hurley of NYU — she’s Vice President for Government Relations and Community Engagement, otherwise known as the best friend of the wrecking ball — is hurriedly sending out emails to those voicing their opposition to the demolition of the Provincetown Playhouse and attaching a slick (and likely misleading) PDF claiming that the demolition and reconstruction of the building will be the university’s greatest gift to urban planning since Olmstead and Vaux proposed and built Central Park.
I have written this modern-day Cruella De Vil the following email. And thank God the emails and phone calls voicing opposition are still pouring in, despite today’s article in the New York Times.
Nice bit of propaganda you’re selling there, Ms. Hurley. Unlike Mr. Beckman, who promised he would send me, an alum of NYU, the PDF you’ve been sending to people voicing opposition to your plan to demolish the Provincetown Playhouse, I have obtained it through other means. Not that I was surprised to find Mr. Beckman untrue to his word.
What’s disturbing is the choice of language in the email you’re sending out: “So far you have been presented with only one side of the story. The attached material attempts to offer a fuller view.” So much for your empathetic quote to the Times: “Our minds are open, our hearts are open.” You’re open to little more than your addiction to demolition.
NYU publicly agreed to exhaust all reuse possibilites before hauling out your precious wrecking ball. Just as Andrew Berman has rightly emphasized, you have not done so and the community — more mobilized, more enraged than you may think — will continue to battle your plans. You can foist as slick a PDF as you can devise upon the public, you can wear a bleeding-heart mask to the Times all you like. NYU has arrogantly abrogated its agreement to make reuse a priority and thus has spurned the trust of the community, the New York theatre, and the American theatre. How dare you demand such trust be given to you simply because you’re NYU.
If it wasn’t already terrible enough that you’re addicted to a culture of demolition, now there’s proof you’re addicted to a culture of exceptionalism, too.