Paper magazine co-founder and co-editor Kim Hastreiter is always way ahead of everyone else, but can she and her crimson-rimmed spectacles see 100 years into the future? Only our grandchildren will know for sure, but Hastreiter’s predictions are certainly among the most entertaining of the “ten knowledgeable New Yorkers” commissioned by The New York Times to imagine the city of New York a century from now. While overcaffeinated financial guru Jim Cramer predicts that NYC will in 2108 be owned by Chinese and Arab investors, and anthropologist Robin Hagle forecasts that “people will visit Fresh Kills landfill the way tourists go to the cemeteries in France,” Hastreiter foresees a smaller, steamier, more reptile-friendly Manhattan:
The island of Manhattan in 2108 is half the size of what it was a hundred years ago; Seventh Avenue and Third Avenue are waterfront. Richard Meier‘s glass towers are under water and filled with schools of phosphorescent fish; tourists come by submarine taxi to see them.
The tropical temperatures have brought a huge alligator problem to Central Park, although New Yorkers have recently taken to taming alligators from birth and keeping them as pets. The city’s first “alligator run” has just opened in Washington Square Park, which is now lush with palm trees.
As for the downtown types, she predicts that they’ll have all moved “to what used to be called New Jersey,” specifically newly bohemian Bayonne. Meanwhile, “An archaeological dig in the former subway system in New York uncovers hieroglyphics signed K. Haring, spawning an urban myth that New York was built by aliens and crawling babies.”