Thursday, June 25, 2009

Colonialism alive and well in NYC

The Downtown Express reports on two very different accounts of the same event taking place during a dinner with Mayor Bloomberg and Chinatown leadership.

"Colonialism" is defined as "the building and maintaining of colonies in one territory by people from another territory".

Seems like the "colony" is confused.

From Downtown Express :
Under Cover

Open & shut
After Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a private campaign stop in Chinatown last Friday, the mayor’s staff and the residents he met with had very different accounts of what happened.

Justin Yu, president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, said Bloomberg made a groundbreaking promise to help the community reopen Park Row, closed to traffic after 9/11 because it runs beneath One Police Plaza.

Bloomberg told Chinatown leaders that the decision to reopen Park Row is not his alone, and Bloomberg suggested that residents lobby the federal government, which also has a say, Yu said.

“His hand is pretty limited,” Yu said. But if Yu and others contact federal agencies about reopening the street, “He will in some way back us up,” Yu said.

Chinatown residents who have been fighting for years to reopen the street were surprised to hear of Bloomberg’s commitment — and, as it turned out, so was Bloomberg’s staff.

“That’s not at all what he said about Park Row,” said Marc La Vorgna, spokesperson for the mayor. “The city’s position is that it is a security concern due to the location of the Police Dept. We don’t have a change of position. We’re not advocating for the reopening of Park Row.”

Yu did not back off his account, but he clammed up after we called the mayor’s office, referring all questions back to Bloomberg’s press office.

The dinner took place at a small restaurant on Bayard St. called the New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe Restaurant. Yu said Bloomberg also chatted with the other patrons, and the cooks rushed out of the kitchen to catch a glimpse.

“The mayor said the food tasted very well,” Yu said, “and next time he would bring his girlfriend, just to eat.”

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