Affordable Houisng or Lack Thereof
And here we thought pizza was the main sustenance for armies of children at pre-teen birthday parties or after-soccer-game lunches. Not in Harlem. Read More
In his State of the City address yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged once again to “preserve or construct nearly 200,000 units of affordable housing—enough to house between 400,000 and 500,000 New Yorkers—to help working people by literally putting a roof over their heads.”
And, after announcing the remaining members of his housing “dream team” last Saturday—with Shola Olatoye heading up NYCHA, Vicki Been at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Gary Rodney as president of the Housing Development Corporation, Carl Weisbrod as City Planning chair and Alicia Glen as deputy mayor for housing and economic development—Mr. de Blasio has finally revealed when we can finally expect some details: May 1st.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Since we last wrote about Castle Braid, the rich hipster/artist condo in Bushwick, the story has turned darker for the trust fund kids. Apparently the righteous rage of the Occupy Bushwick sect has led to not only accusations about Castle Braid’s developers finding loopholes that allow them to avoid paying specific taxes, but are now in fear of being the target of arson and/or the disgusting KNOCKOUT game?
It’s like an early Spike Lee movie up in this joint, at least according to the person/persons/trolls running the @Castlebraid Twitter account, which may or may not be a real thing. (Don’t give your hopes up.)
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The brownstone at 272 Berkeley Place, renovated by the late Evelyn and Everett Ortner, champions of Park Slope and the couple who set off the neighborhood’s and the borough’s revival, is now up for sale, as reported by Brownstoner earlier today. It is, in many respects, the brownstone that is responsible for Brooklyn as we know it, a borough of lifestyle gurus and movie stars, of precious parenting and farm-to-table restaurants and “laid-back” types who wear $300 clogs and sip $9 juices.
The Ortners moved into the brownstone in 1963—when most other middle-class residents were fleeing the city—and not only restored it, but proselytized about the the experience, extolling the joy and beauty of brownstone living. Mr. Ortner died in May of this year and Ms. Ortner predeceased him; they left no immediate relatives.
In New York, the commonly accepted wisdom is that art galleries tend to gravitate to gritty up-and-coming areas thick with bohemians, artists and hipster hangers-on. But a new study released by the University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate claims just the opposite: Galleries open in high-end Manhattan neighborhoods that house the kind of wealthy consumers likely to buy art, not the people making it.
“These findings counter the common and somewhat romantic perception that galleries locate in gritty artist communities,” assistant professor Jenny Schuetz, who co-authored the study with Lusk Director Richard Green, wrote. “Similar to jewelry, furniture and antique districts, most galleries cluster near affluent potential art buyers, rather than the artists themselves.”
The neighborhood profile that attracts art galleries, the study asserts, “is consistent with luxury retail.”
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
A recent glitch in the prophetic Google Maps reveals what a difference six years can make.
It looks like the area near North 3rd and East River in Williamsburg hasn’t been updated since 2007.
In recent years, Brooklyn’s defining characteristic has increasingly become the class warfare that has spread, epidemic-like, from the East River towards the ocean. The battles, both brutal and bittersweet, are fought out one cheese shop, exposed lightbulb-lit wine store and frozen yogurt joint at a time. The middle-class displaces the low-income and delights, in the brief window before they themselves are pushed out by the rapidly-escalating rents, in the surge of bars and restaurants, organic groceries and quirky boutiques that follow in their wake.
Once they move on, the cycle repeats, and another community tries to square the undeniable advantages that money brings (more grocery stores, safer streets, better schools), with the fact that staying around to enjoy them will prove increasingly difficult.
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.
As Vishaan Chakrabarti, a principal at SHoP Architects, was unveiling the Southside Williamsburg master plan they designed for Two Trees, he evoked the image of Manhattan’s skyline. “Just like in the dead center of New York,” he told the assembled group of reporters, “we have this parabolic moment—there’s this moment of exuberance that happens” as Read More