It’s an old dance, and a rather tired one—artists move into new neighborhoods, get priced out, move, get priced out—a seemingly endless repetition of advance and retreat. But there are only so many steps that artists can take in a finite amount of space, only so many neighborhoods that they can flee to when their studios are converted into luxury condos. And now, The New York Times reports, the dance may be nearing its end. In a city as expensive as New York is, there just aren’t that many places left to go. Read More
Because not everyone in South Williamsburg wants to do all their food shopping at Marlow & Daughters—after all, how much pastured pork and lamb and loaves of sprouted spelt can a person eat?—the neighborhood, divided roughly by Grand Street from its yet-hipper northern relative, now has a new grocery store. Urban Market of Williamsburg, which celebrated its grand opening today, occupies a 16,000 square-foot space at 11 Broadway, just across Kent Avenue from the East River.
Like Whole Foods, Urban Market will offer traditional grocery and household products, as well as specialty, locally-sourced and organic items, making it the neighborhood’s first full-service grocery store. (Northern Williamsburg is slated to get a particularly sleek-looking Whole Foods in the not-too-distant future, at the corner of Bedford Avenue and North 4th Street, in the heart of what The Observer recently heard described as “the Times Square of Brooklyn.”) Read More
When friends visit Ryan Gross at his apartment, they often bring bathing suits, regardless of the temperature. With three roommates, Mr. Gross, a 25-year-old musician who works nights as a bar back at a Brooklyn concert hall, shares a sleek four-bedroom unit in a corner property known as the Lofts on Irving.
The building boasts an indoor pool and a rooftop hot tub, and Mr. Gross’s apartment is outfitted with stainless steel appliances and an eastern-facing glass wall. The Lofts’s 60 dwellings are floored with bleached oak, and each has a private balcony. Downstairs, within skipping distance of the pool, residents can retire at day’s end to a sauna for a salutary schvitz. Read More
Construction crews have begun to remake the once-scruffy Astor Place in the East Village about five years after plans were introduced.
Once a broken punk boulevard, until recently a fake I.D. production center and, now, the home of Edward Minskoff‘s (widely derided) 51 Astor Place office building, Curbed noted this week that signs went up in the area alerting passersby to the imminent overhaul. Read More
Lure Fishbar, the subterranean Soho restaurant where media elites sup side-by-side with Hollywood celebrities, will live to serve lobster tail another day. Lure, lodged beneath the Prada store on the corner of Mercer and Prince, has signed a new 10-year lease, as reported by Eater earlier today. Read More
Living in New York, one quickly becomes accustomed to the ongoing and ever-escalating financial bloodletting that is an unavoidable part of life in this city. Whereas newcomers wince over every $13 cocktail, $1,300 rent check and $14 movie ticket—to wit, Andrew Sullivan’s New York Shitty post of last fall, in which he decried, among other things that “a glance at your bank account shows a giant sucking sound as the city effectively robs you of all your pennies at every juncture”—after a few months of residency, they’ve generally resigned themselves to an embarrassingly low bank balance. There is, after all, only so much one can do after rent and health insurance premiums and $112 metro cards and grocery stores where tubs of yogurt run $5 have taken their cut.
So when we read that a Park Slope parking space had sold for $80,000, the first thing we thought was, “Eighty thousand isn’t that bad.” Read More
Prospect Lefferts Gardens sure has come a long way! When we moved to the neighborhood last February, a few brands of kettle-cooked chips at the Yemeni guys’ bodega on Flatbush were the closest thing there was to gentrified retail.
But just a few weeks ago the folks at the Wholesome Gourmet Market unsheathed their new storefront, Read More
“So many of the civic successes heralded by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,” Ginia Bellafonte wrote in The New York Times back in 2012, “might have happened in Lithuania for all the effect they have had (or could have) on the lives of people in Brownsville,” which Ms. Bellafonte then goes on to helpfully identify as a neighborhood in northeastern Brooklyn.
We’re not sure if gentrification counts as a “civic success,” and we aren’t aware of any pasty-faced, heritage flannel-wearing hipsters wandering around Pitkin Avenue, the neighborhood’s main drag, yet. But if trends in nearby neighborhoods are any indication, it won’t be long before Brownsville—a byword for blight, home to the largest concentration of public housing towers in the city and to this day a place that some mail carriers fear to tread—is selling something artisanal besides stamp bags. Read More
The first, and perhaps most memorable scene of Gut Renovation—Su Friedrich’s 81-minute documentary screed about development in Williamsburg—comes a little over 10 minutes into the movie when Ms. Friedrich, filming from the window of her loft apartment at 118 North 11th Street calls down to a group of suited men (who are, presumably, developers) and screams, “you’re ruining the neighborhood.”
Is is that fury-filled charge that best encapsulates the entire film and indeed, Ms. Friedrich’s editorial/personal/professional perspective on what went wrong in Williamsburg and who is to blame.
It is, in many ways, a movie of interiors—a first-person film about one woman’s experience of loss in the wake of the real estate boom that transformed Williamsburg, and one that that completely glosses over Ms. Friedrich’s own role in that transformation. Ms. Friedrich paints herself, and other artists like her, as the victims—never the perpetrators—in the saga of Williamsburg’s gentrification and development. Though she does, at one point, credit artists with engaging in community activism that made the neighborhood a better place to live. Read More
The say that New York is not the city it once was is a statement so obvious and oft-repeated that it is all but meaningless. And yet, even for the blasé, who view negative neighborhood change as a losing battle, there are occasionally startling changes, changes that suggest the city has reached an altogether different stage in its gentrification and development.
Like the impending closure of a hip Soho hot spot that has consistently studded its small, intimate tables with celebrities over its 20-year run. And, less than a mile away in the West Village, the opening of a juice bar. Read More