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Christopher Hitchens: "Save The Village!"

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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PRESERVATION PALS Hitchens, Carter In a case of zigging where he might have zagged, America's Public Intellectual™ Christopher Hitchens goes for a surprise in July's Vanity Fair, making a case against the redevelopment of St. Vincent's Hospital in New York's West Village. (The owners and a developer proposed a new tower and the demolition of half a block; the city laughed in their face.) Vanity Fair's editor Graydon Carter actually showed up a couple months ago at the first Landmarks Preservation Committee hearing. Carter takes an interest, as a lover of the West Village, and as a local merchant—his Waverly Inn is extremely near St. Vincent's, in fact! Many evenings this summer I've walked down Bank Street, past the pack of paparazzi jeering and gabbing outside his Waverly; the young harlots catching their heels on the curbs; the black cars lined up and idling, a cluster of TMZ detritus on what is otherwise a nice block. In any event, Hitchens decries the death of the romantic West Village. Who can blame him?

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