Written by someone who grew up here, moved away and comes back to visit from time to time:
The Manhattan of 2007 is even more torn up than it was in the limping weeks after 9/11, but these days construction—not destruction—is the reason. In nearly every corridor where it’s possible to raise a finger toward the heavens, a massive crane is erecting yet another addition to the skyline.
The 'New' New York
...it seems as if every other office building has been converted into residential condominiums or luxury rentals. The neighborhood’s grand redevelopment blueprint once aimed to include a raft of cultural institutions. But in an apt metaphor for the city, the plan now cuts the arts back to a supporting role, upstaged by millions of square feet of more office space.
Even the residential parts of Manhattan have become more like the rest of America. New Yorkers who once prided themselves on patronizing unique boutiques and specialized butchers, bakers and candlestick makers now shop at the same big-box stores as everybody else. An entire block of Chelsea has been turned into a suburban mall, complete with a Best Buy, a Home Depot (can you take lumber on the subway?) and an Outback Steakhouse.
Photo from MSN