12 June 2006

Developers Rain on the Dead

Luxury condos. Someone rends the city's cultural fabric, and you just know luxury condos are at the bottom of it. (Are their any other kind of condos, by the way? Everyday condos? Middle-class condos? Efficiency condos? Must every condo-dweller live in the lap of luxury?)

The folks of Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in New York City, recently noticed that the tombstones in their circa 1829 graveyard on W. 21st Street had all kinds of schmutz on them. Where was it coming from? Why, the huge former Chelsea department store next door, which is being converted into more of those lovable old luxury condos. The construction site was raining mortar on the graves, some of them belonging to Jews who had fought in the Revolutionary War.

The culprit? Elad Properties—a name so bland, you know they're up to no good. Elad the same outfit that's busy ruining and condoizing the Plaza Hotel. No one from Elad was quoted in the Times article about the mess. Just Elad's lawyer, who said a few sharky, noncommittal things. Can't let a bunch of corpses who once fought for our freedom get in the way of $7.5 million dollar "castles in the sky." Not too worried about that final castle in the sky are the muckamucks at Elad.

But watch out guys! The name of Shearith Israel's Rabbi is "Angel."

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