Auction items posted since this New York article (below) came out last Friday:

  • walking tour of New Orleans, during Mardi Gras, with Harry Shearer
  • lunch with Fred Seaman, John Lennon’s personal assistant in 1979/80
  • “West Side Highway, New York City” (2002), photograph by Joel Grey (numbered, signed)
  • Gary Indiana photo prints—one of art dealer Colin de Land, the other of William S. Burroughs, both limited editions
  • Gary Indiana print of cat drawings
  • Elizabeth Cline will take you shopping at New York’s best ethical fashion boutiques, and give you a signed copy of Overdressed
  • two VIP tickets—reserved seats, front row—to the Cutting Room, including drinks and dinner
  • a “Jane Jacobs tour” of Greenwich Village with NYU professor Richard Sennett, to see the places where she lived, worked, smoked and drank, as well as those she saved—and built
  • walking tour of Paris, to see some architectural treasures saved by S.O.S. Paris

Visit the auction now:


NYU Shall Not Pass!
Village celebrities say: Hey, hey, ho, ho, Sexton’s plan has got to go.
By Gabriel Sherman
Published Dec 13, 2013

Some of New York City’s most glamorous bohemians are taking to the barricades in a battle that recalls the heroic, successful stand against Westway but seems, given current realities, a bit more quixotic. “The Village is rapidly disappearing. I don’t believe it’s NYU’s prerogative to destroy it,” said the Oscar-nominated screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan, one of dozens of Greenwich Village actors, artists, and writers aligned with a group of more than 400 NYU faculty members to protest NYU’s ambitious expansion plan. “NYU pretty much owns the entire neighborhood!” the essayist Fran Lebowitz said with that trademark drawl. “I personally don’t feel universities add to the life of the city. Places where universities add to life had no life to begin with, seriously!” “You can’t walk on the sidewalk as it is,” Matthew Modine added. “This is the remaining portion of the city that predates the automobile. On a weekend, I find it impossible to walk out onto the street.” The thought of Modine and Lebowitz being impeded by students paying the full NYU freight of roughly $64,000 is indeed a little distasteful—although it has to be said that this is largely an upper-middle-class problem. The Village has always been for artists—but in the past, a much larger percentage of them were starving.

The person who has created this unfortunate situation is John Sexton, NYU’s president since 2001. Sexton is congenitally high-handed, as if anywhere in the Village and the sky above it is within the bounds of his fiefdom. Universities now are as much business incubators as student educators. They’re corporate behemoths, speaking the language of market share while enjoying the support of government and taxpayer largesse. Like the lion’s share of New York disputes, the argument between Sexton and his critics boils down to high-priced real estate. NYU’s master plan, called NYU 2031, proposes to add 6 million square feet of new space across the city in the next eighteen years. Nearly a third of that development is slated for Greenwich Village, where NYU is aiming to add four new buildings totaling some 2 million square feet. Indeed, if Modine does not like to be jostled now, by the time he’s 72 he may want to move to Florida.

To his opponents, Sexton can seem like the reincarnation of Robert Moses, the planner of Westway. “The NYU expansion plan doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the education business but a lot to do with the real-estate business,” said the actress Kathleen Chalfant. “It’s absolutely terrifying that it’s being done.”

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“While We Were Sleeping”

While We Were Sleeping is an urgent call to save Greenwich Village from New York University's uncontrolled expansion.

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