As construction around Astor Place continues to make things noisy and horrible around Cooper Square — for real though, navigating those sidewalks is beginning to feel a little bit like a game of minefield — there’s a little pocket of weird opening up this Sunday that hints toward a strange future for the area.
If you thought the biggest, most luxurious CVS in the world had opened up when their glowing red sign appeared on the facade of the New School’s fancy new behemoth, then whoa buddy prepare yourselves for this one. The CVS, which we’ve been anticipating for a while now, is finally close to opening inside the “Death Star” building (or as the owners prefer, a “trophy office tower,” sigh) and will likely be the toniest drug store in the whole wide world when it does.
Yup, CVS is taking up residence at 51 Astor Place with an enviable view of our beloved cube– that is, whenever she returns to us. But she’ll have to compete with, or at the very least rub shoulders with a more, er, contemporary art addition. The lobby next door is decorated with what the building developers described to B+B as “one of the most iconic sculptures Jeff Koons has ever done.” You can’t argue with that. But you also can’t argue with stupid. Koons’ made his name (and massive net worth) with this readily recognizable red rubber balloon bunny sculpture (aka a monument to vapidness).
Pretty fancy digs for a CVS, whose brand name usually calls to mind lonely strip malls and high blood pressure, but apparently that’s just in line with the face of our changing neighborhood. How else are they going to get rich people to actually come inside this place unless they can guarantee their guests will be in the presence of a symbol of conspicuous wealth and cultural decay?
The reflective black building is also home to IBM Watson, Daily Mail, Claren Road Asset Management (a credit-focused private equity lender), St. John’s University, and an online antique auctioneer called 1st dibs.
The other street level openings in the works are not really surprising and pretty much in line with this new New York ethos of work longer hours / try desperately to live longer by spending the rest of your waking life drinking liquid calories and sweating them off. If you’re an aspiring office drone, the area will now offer plenty of opportunity for living a #branded lifestyle: start off with a sweat at Flywheel Sports, grab your caffeine fix at Bluestone Lane Coffee, and speed through lunch at Chop’t (just hope you don’t find a dead rodent in your wrap, that’s really gonna blow your calorie count for the day).
CVS has jerked us around with an exact opening date for a while now. EV Grieve reported this morning that, after a false start last week, the Jeff Koons CVS would finally blow open its doors today. We know you’re all just chomping at the bit to run out and buy more generic shampoo and cold meds. It’s not like there’s another CVS right down the street. But no matter, it’s all about convenience and comfort these days.
But when B+B went by this afternoon, we were disappointed to see that last-minute construction was still underway. Clearly some people were miffed. A man holding a Starbucks iced latte approached and turned around abruptly, hissing: “What the fuck!” when he saw this sign on the door.
Let’s hope they’re serious about that December 20th opening date. Because apparently, some people just gotta have their CVS.