Right through the very heart of it

3 08 2010

You may have heard: SHARI’AH IS COMING! SHARI’AH IS COMING!

All because a group of New York Muslims want to build a MOSQUE AT GROUND ZERO!

Only it’s not exactly a mosque—tho’ the Cordoba Institute will contain a mosque—and it’s not at the former World Trade Center site.

Still, I wondered just where this vessel of Mohammadean infiltration was—not just on the map, but in terms of the neighborhood.

This is the general area:

Stephen Van Dam, NY@tlas, 1998-2004, 5th ed

And a close-up:

If I had any kind of skillz, I’d be able to put a little doohickey in there to show you exactly where the building is, but you’re smart, you can see that it’s right at the tip of the red arrow on Park Place.

But what does it look like, really?

(Apologies for the poor quality of all shots to follow; I shot these on the fly over my lunch hour with my  point-and-shoot . Click on any of the shots or of the maps to make big. Or at least, visible.)

So here it is: 45-47 Park Place, located between Church and West Broadway, two blocks north of Vesey (which is itself the northern border of the re-construction zone).

I think the above shot is 45, and this one, 47:

Regardless, the building itself was denied landmark status today, which means it can be torn down for the HEADQUARTERS OF JIHAD!

And what else occupies such sacred territory?

To the east:

And to the west:

In short, a bar and a market—the ‘Amish Market’.

Lots of bars and markets in the ‘shadow of Ground Zero’:

SE Corner Washington & Cedar: Indian restaurant; O'Hara's pub a bit south.

NE corner Broadway (in view) & Park Pl

And sundry other shops:

NE Corner Cortlandt & Broadway

Park Place, between Church & Broadway (yes, the OTB is for 'off-track betting')

There are Starbucks and pizza joints, Chinese and Korean and French and Japanese restaurants. . .

Cortlandt, NW corner of Broadway

Trinity Place, at Liberty St

And, of course, let’s not forget this spot, south of Ground Zero:

You know that the Pussycat Lounge isn't a pet store, right? At least, not that kind. . . .

And that lingerie shop? Advertises ‘peep show’ in its window.

Where is this in relation to the site?

See the crane?

This is what you see from the proposed Cordoba Institute site:

This building takes up the south side of Park Place between Church & West Broadway

Not exactly ‘looming over’ Ground Zero.

And dhimmis have their places, too:

St Paul's Chapel, overlooking Church St, bet Vesey & Fulton

Church of St Peter, on SE corner Vesey & Church

Trinity Church, which takes up the block between Broadway, Trinity Pl, Rector & Thames

And the quiet spots:

Portion of the FDNY Memorial Wall, at FDNY Engine 10 Ladder 10, at Greenwich & Liberty

On grounds of Church of St Peter

What does this all mean?

I don’t know. What does it mean to have a department store—Century 21—-adjacent to the site? What does it mean you can buy t-shirts and baseball caps and coffee and pizza and sushi and hot dogs and pretzels and *gasp* halal food around and next to and overlooking the place where almost 3000 people died?

A place in the middle of the largest city of the country, a city which never stops, never sleeps, where people may pause and mourn and reflect—and live.

I have been so tremendously angry at those current- and former- and half-politicians and pundits and alleged civil rights organizations who and which spew fear and loathing, trying to make us afraid and mean and small.

So let me, uncharacteristically, respond to anger with affection, even love:

This is my city; this is New York City.

It is big and  it is tough, but it isn’t mean, and it shouldn’t be small.

Let us be large, let us be mixed-up and loud and jostling and gesturing and Jewish and Muslim and Christian and Hindu and Sikh and Voudou and pagan and heretic and agnostic and atheist and conservative and liberal and radical and apathetic and hustling and napping and dancing and falling down and flirting and singing and praying and chanting and arguing and mourning and laughing and embracing and letting go and everything everything everything that we have always been and always became and always will be.

Let us be all of that and everything more. Let us be New York City.

And I’ll refrain from telling the loathsome lot of you to fuck off. Even though that’s a New York thing to do, too.

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8 responses

4 08 2010
emilylhauser

Gorgeous. “Let us be large,” she said, and Walt Whitman came by for coffee. Just gorgeous!

4 08 2010
Christine

You forgot Buddhist. Now I have to light you on fire.

Am I wrong, or is it mostly people who do not live in New York City who care about stopping this? Pat Robertson and Newt Gingrich, srsly?

4 08 2010
geekhiker

I’ve heard some of the silliest arguments put up against the project. So much so it makes my head hurt.

4 08 2010
absurdbeats

@eh: I’m usually much to cranky to tap into Walt’s spirit, but like I said, I thought I’d try something new.

@Christine: I thought of the Buddhists after I turned off the computer. And then I thought of you. But I did not think you would light me on fire. Oh, and Giuliani’s opposed. Of course.

@gh: Hence the need for actual, you know, knowledge. Not that it will make any difference.

5 08 2010
Hershele Ostropoler

I’ve been doing stuff at B’way and Fulton, and I walked over to the site the other day. It’s not at WTC under any definition of “at” I’m familiar with.

And really, so what if it were? (For the record, I’m not so sure what was wrong with the Carmelite convent.) Cordoba Initiative didn’t do this. I’m not sure exactly what message building this sends, and I’m not sure what message Gingrich et al. think it sends, but I’m pretty sure they’re not remotely the same.

7 08 2010
absurdbeats

@HO: Perhaps by ‘at’ they mean: Anywhere in New York City. Or the US. Or North America.

I do think one key difference between the WTC site and Auschwitz is that Auschwitz has been preserved as a site of mass extermination, and thus, by extension, really is a cemetery. The WTC site, as you know, is most certainly NOT being preserved.

As for Gingrich et. al., well, that last line’s for them.

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