Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Guantanamo, meet Leonardo

Curbed reported yesterday on the winning proposal (codename "Leonardo") to renovate Pier 57 near W. 15th Street: If all goes as the development team plans, it will mix elements of a museum, marina, tall-ship gallery, restaurant collection, Italian-boutique bouquet, off-site meeting site, and general hip Continental-esque (but only-in-America) hangout. Nonetheless, it's hard for me to call this place "Little Italy on the Hudson" as it bears scant physical resemblance to the real thing (in Chinatown). What to call it instead? We'll have to wait and see once (and if) it all comes together.

You may recall the place had an altogether different nickname as recently as last summer, when activists were calling it Gitmo on the Hudson, the place the cops tossed a lot of the protesters they arrested during the RNC. Wired New York has a slightly more neutral page on the history of the floating pier (90% of its weight is sustained through buoyancy!), which is near Chelsea Piers. The owners of that upscale rec complex also had been eyeing 57 for their uses, but they lost out in the latest Hudson River Park Trust deliberations.

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