It has been a long time coming, creeping ever closer with each new luxury condo and $8 million townhouse sale, every $17 bowl of ramen, $10 latte and cup of cold-pressed beet-and-kale juice, but now the end is finally upon us: Brooklyn is over. Done. Finished. Brooklyn as brand has overtaken Brooklyn as place, turning itself over fully to the project that was always its greatest work in the first place: the cultivation of a luxury lifestyle. Read More
How We Live Now
In the most recent issue of New York magazine, architecture critic Justin Davidson attempts to lob a grenade, arguing in favor of gentrification in the provocatively titled, “Is gentrification all bad?“
But rather than a Bloombergian manifesto in support of ever more billionaires moving to New York, Davidson offers a well-argued, thoroughly-reported and exceedingly reasonable case for the beneficent impact of middle-class newcomers on lower-income neighborhoods. Examining two gentrifying neighborhoods—Inwood and Bed-Stuy—he concludes that both neighborhoods are benefitting from the influx of more upwardly-mobile professionals and the changes that follow in their wake.
Davidson’s right, of course—few would argue that gentrification is all bad—but he’s also missing the point. Read More
Not so long ago, developers focused their energies on building expansive condos for Wall Street executives and trust funders, corporate lawyers and movie stars, stuffing them full of Bosch and Viking and Miele, en-suite marble baths and heated herringbone floors. Now it seems like the only buyers they care about potash magnates, casino kings and Eastern European oligarchs. Read More
“Nate, a midlevel Wall Streeter, and his longtime girlfriend, Emily, are effectively evicted from New York City when they find they can no longer afford their apartment.”
So begins the description on the dust jacket of a novel that arrived at The Observer offices earlier this summer. It’s called The Exiles, and its author is a former Manhattanite named Allison Lynn who has since fled the city, according to the press materials. Read More
Given that every day seems to bring news of more luxury condos coming to Chelsea (even the development sites are getting gussied up), we’re not surprised to hear that the likelihood of yet another local institution making way for high-end housing has riled the locals. What is unusual, however, is that the institution locals are so sad to see go is a medium-security prison.
“I consider it a tragedy that the prison is lost,” community board member Pamela Wolff told The New York Times, which reported on the state’s plan to lease or sell Bayview Correctional Facility, a medium security women’s prison at 550 West 20th Street. “The amount of recidivism was minimal. For those women, for this community, which for 35 years has been in perfect harmony with the use of that facility, the repercussions will never be measured.” Read More