05 February 2008

Why Change What's Perfect?

The blogs yesterday were afire with news that one hidden part of the City's rezoning package for Coney Island would all the two-story Nathan's hot dog pavillion to be converted into a 14-story tower, if the owners of the frankfurter joint so wish.

This seems like a really lousy idea. I mean, why even open that Pandora's Box? Nathan's is a near perfect icon of commerce, neon and classic Coney Island fun. In fact, it's one of the last things in Coney Island which speaks with vibrant energy of the playland the place once was. The building's been there since 1912 and I'd be surprised if the huge signs that paper the building are much younger. The whole structure gets you jazzed just to look at it.

The owner of Nathan's said that, for the time, the company has no plans for expansion. But it's hard for people to resist development bucks these days. Why did the City even open the door?

1 comment:

Lidian said...

That is the worst idea I have heard in awhile...it makes me very sad and very angry to think of it. I have deep Brooklyn roots and though I am in another city now, I love NY, will always be a New Yorker (born/raised in Manhattan). What is the great appeal of the new?

I have a 1960s vintage Nathan's cookbook which I will feature on my Kitchen Retro blog at some point.