Spin Doctors

I squirmed in my seat inside the Shed as my neighbors chatted excitedly about the Memorial Day weekend and all the use they’d now get from their summer homes. We were there for the launch of The Urbanist: Dan Doctoroff and the Rise of New York (Monacelli), which is exactly the kind of vanity publication (complete with hosannas from the likes of Paul Goldberger, Hillary Clinton, and Eric Adams) you’d expect from the former deputy mayor for economic development (his old chief, Michael Bloomberg, penned the foreword). In addition to lobbing favorable comparisons to Robert Moses, a panel of former collaborators crowed about Doctoroff’s singular achievements in citybuilding; of these, the consensus went, the highs are undoubtedly the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park, the redevelopment of Ground Zero, and Hudson Yards’ mitigated victories. The 2012 Olympic bid, meanwhile, was simply too “visionary” for its time, and no one thought to mention the scuttling of the Toronto “smart city” Doctoroff championed during his subsequent post as CEO of Sidewalk Labs. According to Pur…

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