On Washington Heights Knockbusters: Goodbye Rite Aid

13Feb08

In which The Gay Recluse celebrates the demolition of an eyesore.

Location: The intersection of Amsterdam and Saint Nicholas, between 162nd and 163rd Streets, in Washington Heights.

Previously: We wish we had a photograph, but — alas! — a search through The Gay Recluse archives came up empty. Thus you will have to imagine a most heinous and jail-like cinder-block structure — (construction costs=10 cents) — one-story tall with the usual Rite Aid signage and details, all working together to create a suburban-wasteland sense of desolation completely not in keeping with the pre-war ruins that mark the rest of the neighborhood. This depressing contrast was accentuated by a location that places it in sight of Jumel Terrace, home of Manhattan’s oldest freestanding mansion, and the monstrously awesome, aged and enormous English Elm of Washington Heights, which graces the corner of 163rd Street. For several years the building was abandoned, after it was apparently declared structurally unsound (it sits atop the abandoned portion of the 163rd Street subway station). Thankfully, it was finally demolished about a week ago.

The future: At one point we were told by a Community Board member that the city planned to buy the land for a playground, but this was later denied (and with petulance) by a Parks representative who claimed to know nothing of the matter. A garden would be ideal, but a skateboard park would also be cool, given the burgeoning numbers of skate punks we see hanging around 168th Street. (Take the skinheads bowling!)

For now: A cement patch, which all things considered is a lake of serenity in comparison to what it replaced. Behold the new vista:

Note the English Elm in the middle left. A Columbia University facility can be seen in the distance. (A potential buyer? There could be worse fates.)

A close-up: imagine the aisles of useless shit that used to stand in this very spot. Now feel the bliss of knowing it is gone forever!

add to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vineTailRank

Advertisements


%d bloggers like this: