It’s not baseball or basketball, ice hockey or football, it’s neighborhood disputes. There’s usually 2 sides though that can expand and these days there will always be armies of lawyers on both sides. Historically the original tactics were forged by likes of the gangs of New York which is where the basic badass conflict process had it’s beginnings with the basic rule being ‘take no prisoners’.
These days, wrapped up in legal processes, it can look more civilized but it’s still really bare knuckle, bruising conflicts. Take a current dispute between Tracy Anderson Studio in TriBeCa and the rest of the tenants at 408 Greenwich St Tribeca. Private real esate in TriBeCa does not come cheap and apartment owners expect the best. But they say, they have no peace because the energetic patrons of Anderson’s Studio pound, jump, rattle and roll causing vibrations, vibrations I tell you…right through the building.
It’s ugly and it’s heading to court even as Anderson, who has a star studded list of clients, (think Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna) is setting up another studio in a different part of TriBeCa so whatever the inconvenience suffered by those angry TriBeCa residents, it will not last forever.
Then there’s the Children’s Magical Garden in the Lower East Side, a community developed garden located on 3 blocks, one of which is now being claimed by a developer after 3o years of not paying attention to it at all. So there’s the community and the children ranged on one side and the developers on the other and the court process is already underway. The children are doing pretty good so far, despite how bad things looked at the beginning, see the video below
And then of course there’s landlords versus tenants, almost always tenants in rent controlled apartments. This one has been translated into a the money-grabbers(the landlords) versus the people (tenants plus the not for profit community organizations which support them) a brawl of epic proportions and it’s played out not just in the courts but on local Community Boards, in the City Council and in all newspapers. That’s mainly because the some of the of the landlords have behaved so very badly that it makes it easy for everyone to hate them.
The people concerned are passionate about these disputes because something dear to them is at stake, so fair enough. And if there’s one thing you can count on about New Yorkers, they’re passionate about what’s important to them. This probably explains why this badass sport has gone on so long and shows no sign of ever losing steam, and that’s is a fundamental and wonderful strength of this great city