Yesterday’s New York Post:
Matthew Broderick made a matinee appearance in Manhattan Supreme Court [Tuesday 2/26] to show his opposition to the planned, 20-year, $6 billion expansion of New York University in Greenwich Village.
“I live in the Village, I have children, I like parks. The issue is personal,” the actor, currently starring in “Nice Work if You Can Get It” on Broadway, told reporters before heading off to prepare for an evening performance.
NYU was given the go-ahead by the City Council last summer to take four plots of parkland on Mercer Street between West Third and Houston streets for the almost 2 million-square-foot addition to its Greenwich Village campus.
Activists sued to block the move in September. And they packed Judge Donna Mills’ courtroom yesterday to hear attorneys argue over whether there will be a separate proceeding on the pocket parks, which is a facet of the larger case.
Mills ordered the parties to state their positions in papers due by mid-March.
Broderick, who played the lead in the 1980s high school comedy “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” lives on Charles Street with his “Sex & the City” actress wife Sarah Jessica Parker and their three kids. He joined about 100 of his fellow West Village residents who oppose the plan and turned out for the proceeding yesterday.
“I’m very interested in this whole change that’s potentially going to happen to the Village,” Broderick explained. “I grew up on Washington Square. NYU has just taken more and more of what I think of as a unique and important part of the Village, where a huge amount of creativity has come from.”
Playwright and fellow Village resident Kenneth Lonergan, who wrote the screenplays for “Gangs of New York” and “Analyze This,” joined high-school classmate Broderick at the hearing.
Outside the courtroom, he bemoaned changes in the neighborhood, saying it was “completely different” 20 years ago and “now there’s, frankly, huge, ugly buildings. It’s appalling. NYU doesn’t own Greenwich Village.”
Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York has outlined extensively his take on how Sex and The City Killed NYC leading to vast changes and uber gentrification and homogenization of the city. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick lament this as they live in the Village and see all the changes. Of course, who could have really seen this coming from a tv show at the onset? Kudos to him for speaking out – of course if she did, that would be pretty huge.
See also How the Cupcake Crumbled (VNY) (Reference: Magnolia Bakery)
Photo: Steven Hirsch