Oh Canada!

Thu, 2017/08/24 - 1:09pm | Your editor
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Your editor has just accepted another gig, this time unpaid volunteer work. I will become the new editor of the Sutton Area Community's SAC News Bulletin, which will also result in my getting a seat on the SAC board. My payback will be indirect, through the valuation of the neighborhood where I have lived and worked for over 25 years, and where we own an apartment and my office.

I have already written here about the threat to our quiet area from overweening high-rise apartment apartment buildings being sold to exotic oligarchs to launder what are often ill-got gains. The nearest one (whose foundations are being laid now) is a block and a half from this office which we own along with our apartment. The locals are fighting the latest builders, an outfit called Lend-Lease which bought out the site from the bankrupt Bauhouse Group, and so far the city has not issued permits for more than the foundation. Parties of Chinese periodically arrive by bus with paperwork showing the plans for a 99 story monster. We locals are against it because it will cause problems for our views, parking, sewage, and quality of life.

A countervailing factor is the development just across part of the East River from here of Roosevelt Island (formerly Welfare Island where among those hospitalized was Ezra Pound). The first homes built on the island combined Mitchell-Lama subsidized rental residences for the poor with what were then cheap coops just a short distance from East Midtown by the gondola (mislabeled as a tram—it is more like an aerial ski-lift). More recently the F train was also diverted to Roosevelt Island.

There a monument to FDR's Four Freedoms was finally built a few years ago. However the Queensborough-Koch Bridge does not give pedestrians or cyclists access to the island, so far at least.

Now the island will become a graduate tech campus for a jv between Cornell and Haifa's Technion Institute of Technology which will be working on block-chain systems. Both sons of my Israeli first cousin Esti are Technion graduates.

A new way to reach Roosevelt Island will go live next week, a ferry. It will take people to either Astoria in Queens or E. 34th St. in Manhattan in 20 minutes. Apart from the UN, which is a key element in our neighborhood. Cornell also has a club near here (where the Technion deal was partly negotiated) and its “Downstate” Medical School. I imagine most of the faculty will aim for East Midtown rather than the outer boroughs which should help our real estate valuations if the monster tower is stopped.

There is not much I can do about the Trump Tower which also dwarfs our residential area, because it was put up on business streets, 5th and Madison Avenues between 57th and 56th Street. Its location means that the President, First Lady, and I voted for different presidential candidates last Nov. at the same polling place, the school on 56th St.,


Eduardo Garcia writes that Mexico is about to allow a second stock market to open after more than 100 years of only allowing a single “Bolsa de Valores”. It will be for smaller-cap or higher-risk firms.


Execs from some top European companies operating joint ventures in China are joining forces to try to block political pressure being exerted by their state sector partners to give Beijing and their required Communist Party unions more say over business and investment decisions. They also fear that technology they bring to jv's is being used to compete with their European wholly-owned operations.


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