Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Note from New York

Am I a mean person?

Original message:


My name is Kathryn. I am contacting you on behalf of Friedland Realty ( Friedland sells and leases commercial property in Metropolitan, NY. Currently, they are working on a lot of projects in the Bronx and Westchester to increase commerce and promote growth. As I primarily write content for Friedland, I was wondering if you accept guest posts on your blog relating to green infrastructure and architecture. I’d love the opportunity to share an informative and educational article with you and the readers of ( Please let me know if this is something you are interested in.

Best regards,


My response:

hi kathryn,

thanks for the message but i have to decline for two major reasons:

1) 99% of the blog content concerns one site in seattle.

2) said site was a popular symbolic place for the neighborhood and was ruined by people in your industry: a classic case of gentrification where they bought old buildings that small businesspeople and artist-types had made popular, and tried to make a fast buck off it with their reactionary designs and overpriced rents. i know that's the way the world works, but the readers of my site and the neighbors that i try to 'organize' have no sympathy for the industry until it responds to what we value. we'll probably never win this fight (the owner of the property lets us use it now but we have to get insurance and follow their rules) but i'll never do anything to 'support commerce or promote growth' unless it is something radically different from the current paradigm. prove to me that you're not an agent of a shallow, exorbitant profit-seeking business enterprise; that you care about the daily experience of 'place' and the residents who already live there (regardless of their income), and maybe i'll share your marketing material with my readers.

in the meantime, good luck with your financial crisis,

I'm actually not even sure this message was sent to me by a real person, but I'm hoping it is read by one...

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