Earlier this week, Brooklyn was declared over, and now Manhattan is over, too. Done. Finished.
On St. Marks Place, a small gift shop has opened, selling I ♥ NY baby tees, cheap ties, and a bunch of bongs. While R & R Gift, right next to the new smoke shop on the corner of Third Avenue, may seem like a blip on the radar in a neighborhood that’s still culturally vibrant (we’re talking Saved by the Bell musicals here), it can’t be denied that this marks the precise moment when Manhattan as a brand has overtaken Manhattan as place, turning itself over fully to the project that was always its greatest work in the first place: tiny Statue of Liberty statues.
Manhattan has been an alluring and extraordinarily successful brand, but its days, like all things that reach the point at which they cease to produce anything more meaningful than their own mythologies, are numbered.
At least we still have Staten Island.