Avant-Yard

As long as this great commuter-train parade ground remains open to the skies, the streets ringing it allow us to envision a different future.

The year is 2034. At the conclusion of the Second Civil War the American left is vanquished and Marjorie Taylor Greene, sitting at the head of a ten million–strong white militia, has declared herself president for life. Cultural studies, veganism, and autofiction are now banned, and podcasts have been made compulsory for every US citizen over the age of eighteen. Thanks to an alliance, once derided as “neoliberal,” between finance, the real estate industry, and local government, New York survives as the nation’s last nominal refuge from fascism. The devastation suffered throughout much of the city has seen whole neighborhoods rebuilt from scratch. The East Village is now a Google campus, Gramercy is a data center, and Clinton Hill has been abolished as a distinct neighborhood and turned into a single, twenty-block-long climbing gym. Columbia University has taken advantage of the destruction to annex the whole of Manhattan north of 110th Street.

Under Mayor Pete Davidson the city has launched a reconstruction initiative known as NYC LFG. The signature project in that …

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