Thursday, October 1, 2009

Isles of Despair - Part 2

Well, Sports Illustrated have released their NHL predictions for the 2009-2010 season and low and behold the New York Islanders look to come in 15th in the Eastern Conference.

In other Islander related news – their owner Charles Wang (no offense) is pushing his Lighthouse Project. This is actually pretty interesting. The Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders’ current home, is widely considered to be a dump. Both the Islanders and I were born in the same year, a few miles apart. Since their inception, the Islanders have played at that coliseum which now is often referred to as the Nassau Mausoleum, both due to its age and the Islanders decrepit play as of late.

But Wang’s Lighthouse Project would refurbish the coliseum but more importantly, develop a dynamic urban center with self-sustaining housing and shops. I get giddy when I hear about stuff like this. I believe Americans should all live in small houses and drive small cars. If I had practical public transport, I’d prefer it to driving. I know many of my countrymen would label me anti-American for relaying affection for such Euro-aligned views, but so be it.

It’s just refreshing to see this type of change potentially coming to the place that was ground-zero for Robert Moses’ conformist suburban utopia that nearly killed urban America (highways as far as the eye can see, everyone in cars).
I hope this thing pans out. The team’s ability to stay in New York may depend on it. I’m sure the Lighthouse Project is going to get fierce resistance from Long Island hard-liners. To paraphrase one Long Island politician: “Mr. Wang shouldn’t tell us what to do with our town – and we won’t tell him when the Islanders need to start winning again.”

The Nassau Mausoleum, in it's current state:

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