In an interview with The Daily Beast, Chloe Sevigny talks about fleeing the East Village for Park Slope “the dorkiest, hokiest neighborhood”: “Walking around the East Village, I just want to cry at the state of it. There are so many fuckin’ jocks everywhere! It’s like a frat house everywhere. There are all those terrible bars like The 13th Step, and it’s just spreading over to A and B. And now, in Williamsburg, you have all these frat guys dressed as alternatives. I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times, but where are the real weirdos? The real outcasts? They’re a vanishing breed here. Maybe New York isn’t drawing that anymore because it’s too expensive.”
But at least there’s a glimmer, even if just a glimmer, of hope in the West Village: in victory for barflies and urbanists everywhere, Gothamist reports that a judge has knocked down NIMBYs argument that reopening historic dive bar Chumleys would be too noisy for the neighborhood. Basically, the judge ruled that if people didn’t like noise they shouldn’t be living in a city: “In the modern world, some degree of noise, tension and discomfort is the inevitable concomitant of urban life.”
Chelsea is probably over, though: the owner of a vacant, brick building on W. 21st Street in Chelsea thinks that he can get more than double what he paid for it last year, according to Crain’s, and is seeking some $34 million (he paid $12 million). The owner was going to knock the building down and put up something residential, but then thought he could sucker someone in paying almost triple what he did.
But don’t think you can escape the miserable shopping mall that Manhattan has become by moving to Brooklyn. Among a trove of embarrassing quotes in the recent New York Times story from Brooklynites who left because they just felt they couldn’t afford it anymore, comes a limited, but alarming stat: “Nearly a third of the 382 home buyers earned at least $300,000 a year, compared with just 11 percent a year ago. During the same time frame, 65 percent of home buyers offered to pay with cash, compared with 32 percent a year earlier. Most of the buyers have jobs in sales, finance or accounting.”
And with so many Brooklyn neighborhoods reaching price parity with Manhattan neighborhoods, if the de Blasios can ever stop mourning Park Slope enough to get out and explore their new neighborhood, they will find Yorkville not quite similar to their beloved home. Though it is more “sleepy outpost” than a “leafy idyll,” the Times reports that the mayor can find “plenty of acceptable pizza joints, diners and health food stores; and just as in the Slope, there are families with strollers, dogs walking their owners, mom-and-pop stores, a bustling, low-key gym, and a fair amount of economic diversity that belies the stereotype of the richer, crustier Upper East Side.”
Industrial tenants can’t afford the rents in Brooklyn or Queens either anymore. They’re all fleeing to Long Island, The Wall Street Journal reports, which is seeing a nice surge in leasing activity.
But at least Brooklynites can drown their sorrows in fine craft beer and overpriced food truck offerings at Berg’n, the giant food and beer hall opening at Jonathan Butler’s 1000 Dean on August 27. Gothamist offers a preview of what diners can expect: “Enormous communal picnic tables make up most of the seating … For those who regularly feel rocks poking their butts while sitting on the concrete slabs outside Smorgasburg, this is a serious upgrade.” Still not very plush, but then, it’s good to be reminded of those hard years, when you were hungry, or at least, were locked into the college meal plan.
Remember Julia Styles? The 10 Things I Hate About You actress bought a cute Gramercy condo during her salad days that she just sold for $2.7 million, Curbed reports. It’s a fairly bland spread, but one that seems oddly suited to so many of the characters Ms. Styles played in the 1990s.
In what should come as a surprise to no one, Bloomberg, via Crain’s, reports that the Port Authority’s PATH train is less efficient than the New York City subway system. What is surprising, however, is just how inefficient, costing almost three times as much per hour to run as the subway system, or $575.67 to $199.17.
Of course, the best deal of all? Biking to work, which more and more city council members are doing, the New York Daily News reports, among them Antonio Reynoso, Carlos Menchaca and Robert Cornegy. That is, so long as you can manage to avoid the police crackdown on cyclists, which seems, as far as this reporter can tell, to not extend in any way whatsoever to all the cars double-parked in the bike lanes.