Well folks, it takes a lot for me to come out of semi-retirement to weigh in on current events, but this whole Neir’s Tavern situation became such an unnecessary debacle that I can’t sit idly by and not call attention to some things.
Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio - himself a millionaire landlord and facilitator of citywide hotel-shelter slumlordship - decided to tell the owner of Neir’s that greedy building owners are awful. Where the hell was he when the LPC denied the landmarking bid for it back in 2016? A lot of the worry over the bar's fate could have been avoided if the LPC stopped doing what it always does to Queens history. And he can request that the “new” LPC (minus Meenakshi Srinivasan) take a second look at it.
Now, Loycent Gordon is not only an immigrant but also the black owner of a small business. This is EXACTLY the type of entrepreneur that fauxgressives want to be seen helping. But perhaps because Loy is also a lover of Queens history, and therefore a threat to development, he was totally disregarded for years. Except, that is, after he became so desperate that he felt forced to plead with the mayor on his radio program. How utterly sickening.
How the hell did we as a society get to this point?
And another question for those of you out there in Crapland… did you hear those January crickets yesterday? That sound was coming from every borough president candidate out there as an establishment dating back to 1829 almost went dark.
And why did the owner really have a change of heart? The NY Times explains:
Mr. Holden, a Democrat who represents the area, said the negotiations were tense until it became clear that a major problem for Mr. Shi was that he could not get a mortgage because the building lacked a proper certificate of occupancy and did not meet current zoning rules.
Mr. Holden said an agreement was reached under which his office would work to ensure that the building met all requirements; the city would make a small business grant available to improve the property; and Mr. Shi would raise the rent much less than he had proposed.
So while we can all celebrate that a piece of Queens history has been temporarily spared, keep in mind that the lease is only for 5 years and in 2026 this might happen all over again. And in the meantime, it's very likely that the next piece of Queens history that gets threatened won't have the stars align for it the way this one did. Because we keep electing the same lame tweeders over and over and over again and the rare ones who actually give a damn like Holden will be gone. (Why the hell did Michael Gianaris show up to the victory party when he did absolutely nothing?)
A big thank you and shout out to the media who realized the significance of this story and what it would have meant to lose Neir's and used the power of the press to call attention to it. All of the stories were pretty good (and I read or watched them all), but 2 really stood out to me: Corey Kilgannon's original NY Times piece and PIX11's story. Check out the reaction of the news anchor at the end. He totally gets it.
It's 2020, people. Wake up already, heh?
I like to add (again) that de Blasio's Landmark Preservation Committee refused to give Loycent and Neir's landmark status because they felt that a bar that has existed 190 years was not historically significant enough.
Congratulations to Mr. Gordon and the staff at Neir's and a great job done by Councilmember Holden and Assemblyman Miller (leave it to de Blasio to try to bigfoot credit for it). Here's to five more years, hopefully there will be better and moral officials running this city in the future.