Join 3,432 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


London, Paris, NY, Copenhagen, everyone's talkin' 'bout gentrification
January 10, 2014 4:29 AM   Subscribe

Please stop moving to New York
posted by mippy (169 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I find it funny that she complains about Sex and the City misrepresenting Queens, while failing to mention how it misrepresents Brooklyn. I'm guessing she did that because it points out what an old, stodgy reference SATC is in an article like that. Love the show but it is over being relevant cultural commentary. If SATC were made today, all those women would live in Brooklyn. Ya know, like "Girls."
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:40 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I thought all of the bohemian types had moved up the Hudson to little abandoned milltowns already?
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:42 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Yah, we basically have. I just moved to a cute lil town in New Jersey after being priced out of Greenpoint.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:47 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I thought all of the bohemian types had moved up the Hudson to little abandoned milltowns already?

No, just the ones who had kids and want more space to house their natural edge furniture workshop.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:47 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Also, tomorrow is my 10-year anniversary of moving to NYC, so I'm feeling sentimental. I think everyone should move here! Everyone who wants to, anyway. Even the rich assholes. It's not one rich asshole's fault that the city's income inequality is insane. Don't get me wrong, that concerns me, too; I'm just not clear how less people coming here would help. We reform that by community engagement, which isn't based on how long you've lived here. And the city is big enough that you don't have to hang out with those folks socially if you don't want to.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:47 AM on January 10 [13 favorites]


Relatedly, I feel like all I hear out of SF these days is some variation on "tech bros are spoiled, entitled assholes."
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:49 AM on January 10


It's not one rich asshole's fault that the city's income inequality is insane.

I dunno, the name "Bloomberg" springs to mind…

(Yes, yes, I know it didn't start or end with him…but he sure didn't help.)
posted by kewb at 4:50 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


The job market in New York City may be poop, but it's a hell of a lot better there than it is in lots of the smaller towns people move to New York from.

This doesn't excuse people having insular attitudes about non-trendy parts of the city. It certainly doesn't invalidate the concerns of people being priced out of their neighborhoods. But I think the 'all newcomers to New York are rich kids wanting to live out Girls' narrative is more than a little simplistic.
posted by ActionPopulated at 4:54 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Please stop writing serious articles about this as if you were the first person ever to come up with this complaint, unless it involves wizards, in which case carry on.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:06 AM on January 10 [52 favorites]


Also her complaint seems to be: Manhattan and Brooklyn are too crowded, and nobody talks about how great Queens is! As a Queens resident I can say: SHUT UP LADY THEY WILL HEAR YOU OH GOD THEIR LOOKING THIS WAY NO NO NO NO NO AAAAAAAAAHHH THEY ARE COMING
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:07 AM on January 10 [35 favorites]


It really reads a bit like, "fuck you, got mine." Except, well, it's "fuck you, don't price me out of mine." After all, maybe she's a Queens "native," but it's likely her parents or her grandparents moved to NYC from somewhere else. Someone else was displaced at some point by her family moving in, but she doesn't want to acknowledge that, does she?
posted by explosion at 5:13 AM on January 10 [18 favorites]


Oh yeah, Queens is next HAHAHAHA
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:15 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I've still not been to NYC, and articles like this make me wonder if the city I want to visit is no longer there. See also: Jeremiah's Vanishing New York. I've never really seen SATC - the programme JVNY says was the beginning of the end for 'old New York' - so my nostalgia mainly comes from Working Girl, old NY magazines on Google Books, and dim memories of Sesame Street and graffitied subway cars. I sometimes feel like, as NYC is a sort of construct in my head (like a lot of British kids I grew up thinking of the US as a somewhat fantastic place) the reality would disappoint.

There's only one district of London now where they predict you'll still be able to buy a flat for under £200,000 in 2018. (Standard deposit on a property here is 30% - there is a 5% deposit scheme but who knows how long that will last or whether it will be abused by buy-to-let landlords.) Its' proximity to London is, I think, the same as Jersey to NYC. We live on the inner most corner of that district and worry that gentrification is going to push us out. We'd rather have decent rents than pop-up champagne bars. I like living in London, but this is one big black mark against it, and were my company to decide to up sticks to Manchester - a city I love and left to live here thanks to lack of work - I'd be packing tomorrow.
posted by mippy at 5:16 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Also, yeah, literally the only thing I know about Queens is it's mentioned in a Beastie Boys song and King of Queens was set there. Is it like New York's version of Croydon?
posted by mippy at 5:16 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


If this were about poor people 'coming here' and staying 'with their own kind' in little enclaves and pushing up rents and down wages...well, it'd sound pretty nasty, wouldn't it?
This is a disruptive and unpleasant phenomenon - gentrification, postcode/zipcode snobbery and so on are both day-to-day irritants and also processes which do harm societies and communities. But blaming 'newcomers' seems a bit knee-jerk when we could be blaming current residents of all origins, economic forces, social attitudes, 'locals' being hostile and unhelpful to people they judge 'not-locals', yadda.
posted by AFII at 5:18 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Is it like New York's version of Croydon?

Literally the only thing I know about Croydon is that Sarah Jane Smith lived there. IMPASSE.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:19 AM on January 10 [14 favorites]


Mippy Queens is exactly NYC's version of Croydon.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:20 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


After all, maybe she's a Queens "native," but it's likely her parents or her grandparents moved to NYC from somewhere else. Someone else was displaced at some point by her family moving in, but she doesn't want to acknowledge that, does she?

God, New Amsterdam was soooo much better before all these fucking English settlers started moving in!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:20 AM on January 10 [25 favorites]


If this were about poor people 'coming here' and staying 'with their own kind' in little enclaves and pushing up rents and down wages...well, it'd sound pretty nasty, wouldn't it?

Except that poor people can't price you out of your neighborhood or leverage cultural and political power to marginalize you. Crying "reverse privilege shaming" works about as well as crying "reverse racism" because of the power differentials involved.
posted by kewb at 5:22 AM on January 10 [25 favorites]


Please come to New York with all your riches and glittering gems, silks piled high and fine chests loaded with gold and silver. Please come with hope in your eyes and a song in your heart.

Having it all in one place makes it easier to plunder.
posted by The Whelk at 5:22 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


So what you're saying is that New York == King's Landing?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:24 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Except that poor people can't... leverage cultural and political power to marginalize you

Wait, what? This is New York City we're talking about here. There's been 200 years of new ethnic and cultural groups after another gaining cultural and political power over other groups in neighborhoods!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:26 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I am starting to think that debate over "gentrification" is a distraction from the real story, which is about extremity of inequality and the concentration of intense wealth in just a few areas. There are "winner" cities and towns and "loser" ones. NYC is a winner - it continues to attract people who can pay the premium to live there, and that is inevitably going to bump out people who can't afford the rising premium. But the problem is not really the allure of NYC or gentrification, but the weakness of supports for the middle class, the absence of a true living wage, lack of public policy helping maintain affordability, and the difficulty of achieving home ownership - all of which, if they were different, would allow the city's longtime residents to keep a hold on their place and reduce turnover.

It's not naive hipsters, it's our horribly structured economy that's responsible.
posted by Miko at 5:26 AM on January 10 [69 favorites]


Yeah it's kinda hard to overlook the fact that everyone with the means to moving to a few places means there's a lot more dying, abandoned areas growing out there.
posted by The Whelk at 5:29 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


If the author wants to remain forever safe from the hipster invasion she should move to Staten.
posted by grumpybear69 at 5:29 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I kind of thought Gentrification meant extremity of inequality and the concentration of intense wealth in just a few areas.
Like, that was the actual definition.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:29 AM on January 10


There are actually two entire more boroughs than are mentioned in this piece.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:30 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


FACT there are now more articles about moving to/from New York than there are actual humans living in the five boroughs
posted by Greg Nog at 5:31 AM on January 10 [30 favorites]


There are actually two entire more boroughs than are mentioned in this piece.

Anyone know what they are called?
posted by three blind mice at 5:31 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


When you left Greg someone had to take your place, the law of conversation of kilts kicks in.
posted by The Whelk at 5:31 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I'm London born and still live here and probably the best thing about the place is all the new kids turning up from everywhere to make a buck and hang out hipstering in places no banker or super-rich oligarch has ever heard of.
posted by colie at 5:32 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Anyone know what they are called?

Westchester and Long Island.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:33 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


As someone trying to buy a co-op in Brooklyn, I think everyone should move to Queens. Fifth generation Brooklynite? Move to Queens. Fresh off the bus from Iowatucky? Move to Queens.

Queens is great. The people are friendly, the food is diverse, and Old Quentin Queens III, the grandson of the inventor of Queens does his annual walking tour of the borough, giving kisses to babies and sacks of gold to anyone he encounters. It truly is a land of wonders. Move there now. Right now. I'll even help you move, especially if you're currently occupying a co-op in Ditmas Park or Kensington.
posted by griphus at 5:34 AM on January 10 [16 favorites]


Yeah it's kinda hard to overlook the fact that everyone with the means to moving to a few places means there's a lot more dying, abandoned areas growing out there.

No, population continues to grow. It's a mistake to think that the urban boom of the 20th and 21st centuries have come with abandonment of rural areas. Very few times have the populations in rural areas actually declined in census reports, rather the growth there tapered off or plateaued while urban centers growth rates skyrocketed.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:34 AM on January 10


Westchester and Long Island.

Don't be stupid.

It's Connecticut and New Jersey.
posted by griphus at 5:34 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I appreciate that I had the advantage of growing up a stone’s throw away from some of the greatest museums, art galleries, restaurants and site-seeing opportunities America has to offer (although I was rarely able to afford that stuff, but more on that later).

You know she's not even trying when she relies on a generic list of "what's great about New York" to make her point, ignoring the fact that the claim I was rarely able to afford that stuff is nonsense.

the greatest museums: virtually all of them have free admission days a resident can easily take advantage of, and many of them have a "pay what you wish" policies at all times

art galleries: typically are free to visit

site-seeing opportunities: free
posted by layceepee at 5:36 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


So what you're saying is that New York == King's Landing?

I was wondering why I kept seeing swordsmanship classes on Amazon Deals around here.


I am totally signing up for swordsmanship classes
posted by The Whelk at 5:36 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I can't help but think that if things had been different with the proliferation of car culture and the destruction of public transit, and white flight and the hollowing-out of the economic base of city centers all over the country, and the outsourcing of manufacturing, young people wouldn't think they had to move to a tiny number of extremely expensive cities with high unemployment to have a good life.

Heck, every week somebody posts on AskMe looking for a nice small city that has culture and not a horrible amount of sprawl, and it's always the same dozen college towns that ALSO are extremely expensive and have worse unemployment than New York.

I don't know that I can say this without coming off as horribly snobbish. I just had a really hard time living in the suburbs. I don't think New York would be having these kinds of problems if that wasn't true of a lot of people.
posted by Jeanne at 5:36 AM on January 10 [22 favorites]


I kind of thought Gentrification meant extremity of inequality and the concentration of intense wealth in just a few areas.
Like, that was the actual definition


No, it specifically means displacement from real estate of lower-income people by higher income people. It's a condition created by the larger problem of inequality - the more extreme the inequality, the more powerful the gentrification process.

Very few times have the populations in rural areas actually declined in census reports

I think you'd find the decline in other cities, particularly Rust Belt cities, not rural areas which are growing due to suburbanization.

If the author wants to remain forever safe from the hipster invasion she should move to Staten.

No such luck; it's inevitable unless the economic structure changes. I just read a great article on the "authenticity" of the Staten Island food scene in, I think, Saveur.
posted by Miko at 5:37 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I've heard of Queens. I know all about the Christmas traditions in Hollis, even.
posted by vacapinta at 5:37 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


I live in London which is the world capital of gentrification.
The bit I live in (Brentford) is famously down at heal, an old industrial chunk. It's surrounded by posher areas, with Kew (home of Kew Gardens) just over the river.
There is a very real chance that I won't be able to live here for ever because right out of my window there are two huge very expensive blocks of flats being built.

If you walk along the river to Kew Bridge there are more, thousands and thousands of flats. They are all mind bogglingly pricey (like £300,000 for a 1 bedroom). The thing is, they're not in Brentford.
They're in Kew Bridge, or further along Kew Bridge West, or even further along Kew Reach.
Now imaginary districts invented so no one will have to admit to living in Brentford.

I wonder how long it will be before anyone will admit they live in Brentford, or before we're all Just Kew North Bank or some such.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:37 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I have it on good authority that one of them is Philadelphia.

Can't remember the other, because of that damn wizard.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:38 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Per Jeanne's comment, it is very true that some cities are newly appealing, functioning as magnets for population - and for places like NYC, it's a significant contrast from the reality of the last half of the 20th century, when flight characterized almost all major cities. Urban sociologists term this reorientation toward cities the Fifth Migration (playing on Lewis Mumford's discussion of the Fourth Migration as the move into the suburbs in the mid-20th century), and though there are a lot of positives to this development and to increasing urbanization, it isn't evenly distributed across all cities, as you note, and at the same time, sprawl continues to go up and suburbanization continues. So, how transformative it will be is debatable.
posted by Miko at 5:44 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Just stay away from Far Rockaway, because it's my mom' sold neighborhood and I've got my eye on it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:44 AM on January 10


The fact that this is even a topic of conversation is one of many reasons I would never ever ever ever think of moving to NYC.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:46 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


The Saveur 100: Staten Island
posted by Miko at 5:47 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I agree with Jeanne. I currently live in a moderately sized southern city. I like it in many ways, except that I live in a gormless suburb. It's ten minutes' drive to the grocery store. A few miles to a coffee shop. There was no option, really: there are denser neighborhoods, but they're high crime, and have no amenities because they're poor and the city, like most, has no meaningful transit options.

Want an urban city with amenities and transit? New York. Boston. Washington. Philadelphia. Chicago. San Francisco. Portland.

There are a few other places, but they're mostly in development (Charlotte's uptown and south end corridor) or recovery (Los Angeles).
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:52 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I think you'd find the decline in other cities, particularly Rust Belt cities, not rural areas which are growing due to suburbanization.

So, yeah. Living in a Rust-Belt city that's lost 54% of it's population since its peak, I don't see having people wanting to move to your city as a problem.
posted by octothorpe at 5:57 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Setting aside economic reform, an interim solution just for NYC would be to hype up other great places to live, so as to get people to stop acting as if NYC is such a singular place. Stop making NYC an obligatory part of the conversation.

Remind people of all the other places in the world that are great to live in. People move to NYC because they hear so much about it, because it is informally considered the capital of the US, because it's supposedly the city of such possibility, etc. etc. etc. When Americans have big dreams that are not related to Hollywood, they often think of NYC first.

People hear "don't move to New York", and many will want to do so even more. Why? Because now you're setting up a challenge and implying that they cannot live up to it, that they could not find a tiny apartment and live in it, etc. etc. etc. Think about the romance of being broke in NYC that we see in pop culture like Two Broke Girls - we're broke, but we soldier on, and we live in this amazing city, deedle-dee-doo.

The media needs to stop pretending that NYC has a monopoly on interesting things. NYC is fine, but many other places are fine, too. Even as far as just cities that I have been to go, I would be at least equally happy living in Denver, Seattle, Vancouver, Montreal, Ljubljana, Trieste, etc. Hell, I would be equally happy in the Capital Region in Upstate New York, where I'm originally from.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:04 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I livei in Queens, please STFU KTHXBAI
posted by fungible at 6:05 AM on January 10


Moscow used to get roundly criticised for requiring visas for Russians to move there. It seems increasingly like a good way to manage what would otherwise be massive property issues.
posted by jaduncan at 6:07 AM on January 10


I just fell flat on my ass on black ice walking to the bus.

Fuck everything I am learning to drive and moving to Louisville.
posted by griphus at 6:09 AM on January 10 [11 favorites]


Just this guy, you know: that happens in NYC too. For a long time, large parts of Bushwick were "East Williamsburg." Now, Bushwick is up and coming enough that the person who showed me the place about 10 minutes from where I live would call in Bushwick these days. Bedford-Stuyvesant will be next.

And damnit, I'm losing my cred for living in Bushwick. Five years ago, people thought it was slightly sketchy. It's slightly depressing to know that I was a pioneer, not just setting myself up to live in an interesting neighborhood (they are opening a nuts shop down the street. I wish that was as dirty as it sounds).

I love living here, but I loved the old version more. I wonder how much I did to help destroy it.
posted by Hactar at 6:10 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Ohhhhh, the show is set in Queens. Now I get it. I've always wondered- "Just who are these queens this delivery man is lording over?"
posted by beau jackson at 6:12 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


No such luck; it's inevitable unless the economic structure changes. I just read a great article on the "authenticity" of the Staten Island food scene in, I think, Saveur.

Indeed, the food scene is one of the very few perks for a highly sociable, party-seeking young person. That Sri Lankan place has been on the foodie radar for years, and the tortas are fantastic. Actually living there, though - even a quick walk from the ferry - is an extremely isolating experience. If it's not hipster-proof, it's at least highly hipster-resistant.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:15 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I want exactly as many hipsters to move to Sunset Park as it takes to support a freelancer coffee shop in easy walking distance from my coop. But that's it. I can take the bus to Park Slope if I want artisinal hot dogs.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:16 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I am learning to drive and moving to Louisville.

They have ice there too you know. In fact, when it snows in New York, it ice storms in Kentucky. Seriously. Just do what the other New Yorkers do and move to Mi-yami.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:18 AM on January 10


I moved to New York a little less than seven years ago under the theory, colossally stupid in hindsight, that I could make it here as a freelance writer. While my early years here were marked by finding creative yet honorable ways to pay the rent and extremely cheap ways to eat and have fun, I can honestly say that, despite this city's terrible income inequality and despite how difficult it can be to live paycheck to paycheck during lean times, New York has been very good to me. It demanded that I confront and accept what I wanted to do. It said, "Do you really want this? Because I'm going to slam your face several times into the sidewalk before you get a small scrap. And if you can get up after that and still feel marvel and curiosity and stay focused, you're okay, kid. Just don't forget to stand up for yourself."

I never came here to strike it rich. Money has never been a great motivator for me. But the city did force me to get off my ass, reminding me every day that, if I didn't, I'd be eaten alive, blaming other people for the risks I couldn't take and turning into the kind of permanently sour person who writes articles like the one above. (Admittedly, I had some experience surviving rough assaults on common life while living in San Francisco during the dot com era. I also scoped out the city for a year before moving here. So I was an informed greenhorn by the time I stepped on the JetBlue plane leaving the Bay Area. Of course, I still had a lot to learn and it took me three years before I could honestly say that I loved New York, a passion that escalates every day.)

I've seen remarkable talents move here and dry up and give up and sell out. I've seen this city chew up and spit out friends who let it get to them. God, it pisses me off. I've done everything I can to set some of these great people on the straight and narrow (and have succeeded in some cases). But New York reminds you on a daily basis that you really do have what it takes, if you want it bad enough, and that it's ultimately on you. I think every city does that to some degree if you're bright and ambitious and you flense yourself of the bullshit. Blaming natural developments like inevitable change -- indeed, local changes that you can try fighting, if you choose -- for your failure to find a place in the community or to establish a new one isn't something that you can pin on New York. It's more of an unimaginative riff on Sartre's "Hell is other people." Syllogism: "New York is hell." "Hell is other people." Ergo, "New York is hellish other people." Nonsense. This is as ignoble an argument as any of the Randian austerity bullshit promulgated in DC and London. It assumes, a priori, that the people moving here can't join your team. It assumes that New York is permanently broken. It assumes that New York is a stagnant dead end, when its history has shown that anything here can happen. It assumes that excitement doesn't exist in New York's limitless quotidian discoveries. This is a city that contains multiple cities and multiple peoples and multiple possibilities, and you need to be fluid enough to change and dance and adapt and fight and laugh and cry when you need to. The sooner you accept that and embrace that, the more happier you'll be. And then you can call yourself a New Yorker and help other people who are on the fence about that magical affirming identity to do the same.
posted by ed at 6:21 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


I'm a Jew. If I move to Miami before age 60 without first purchasing a night club, I have to pay a premium.
posted by griphus at 6:21 AM on January 10 [27 favorites]


Fuck everything I am learning to drive and moving to Louisville.

If you are going to go Lou, make it St. Louis. That the state name hasn't been part of a derogatory portmanteau is only one of many favorable aspects. Also: distance from the ignorance showcase.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:24 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Queens is gentrifying pretty fast, no one seems to notice though. When I lived in Sunnyside, Queens three years ago it didn't have any of the trappings of gentrification. Now it has most of them: a gastropub, a Momofuku-ish restaurant, wine bars, grass-fed burger restaurant, a hipster coffee shop, etc.

A lot of my friends who lived there have now moved away because of increasing rent. I loved it there. I had lived in Brooklyn before, but if you are really serious about international food and culture, Queens was the place to be. But it got to be too expensive for me too and there is only so far out you can move when you have to commute to Manhattan. I think Woodside and Jackson Heights will gentrify, but it will stop there just because of commute times, though maybe I'm wrong. Ditmas Park and Kensington have massive commute times to Manhattan and they are pretty gentrified now.
posted by melissam at 6:24 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I got priced out of NYC when we had kids. After almost 20 years. NYC wasn't cheap when I got there, but if you had the temerity to be there you could stay. You'd still get mugged approx. once a year, but in exchange you got to hang out at the Knitting Factory when it was still on Houston and you got to meet famous personX at that bar on Spring St and if you had enough Chutzpah you could talk your job as a copier-temp in the Brill building into a permanent gig working for Lorne Michaels. Or turn your mildly-grungy yoga studio on 2nd Ave into a world wide brand... Or take the internship program at Lehman-Brothers, and etc.

Until you were making bank there was a lot of great food (except for tacos) to be had for cheap, all over the place. If you could bear living in Brooklyn, you could get a place for half what it cost in Manhattan. And again, you were generally two degrees of separation from everyone else. It was a fucking paradise (except for getting mugged/shot at).
posted by From Bklyn at 6:25 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


> I think Woodside and Jackson Heights will gentrify

That's what everyone was saying when I moved to Jackson Heights in the late 1990s. It didn't happen, or at least it didn't in the years I lived there. Proof: the only place to get coffee to go was Dunkin' Doughnuts. Has that changed?
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:30 AM on January 10


Heck, every week somebody posts on AskMe looking for a nice small city that has culture and not a horrible amount of sprawl, and it's always the same dozen college towns that ALSO are extremely expensive and have worse unemployment than New York.
I live in a college town (not sure whether it's one of the dozen college towns that you're talking about), and the unemployment rate here is under 5%. Compared to New York, it's nothing like extremely expensive to live here. According to the cost of living calculator I found, you would need to make $80,000 in New York to maintain the standard of living that you could have on $50,000 here. I think that's probably an understatement for many people, because all the schools here are good. You can officially maintain the same standard of living in New York on $80,000, but I don't think you could afford to live in an area with schools that were anywhere near as good as the ones here.

I just got back from visiting friends in Brooklyn, and I'm having one of my periodic urges to up and move to New York. (And in my moving-to-New-York fantasies, I probably would move to Queens. I spend a summer in Sunnyside about ten years ago and really liked it.) But my friends are house hunting in the 'burbs, because they can't figure out a way to make the school situation in New York work for them. Where I live now can't compete with New York for culture and food and all sorts of great stuff, but it makes a lot more sense to stay here and try to make this place better than to move to a place where I wouldn't be able to afford the culture and the food anyway.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:30 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


the unemployment rate here is under 5%

Having just moved away from one of the towns that's often recommended for its high urban quality of life, part of this is illusory - it's because people don't hang around that town when they get laid off hoping to find another job there - they just relocate. The industry that was there was small in scale and insular. If you got laid off the one tech/insurance/manufacturing/advertising or whatever firm, there was no competitor to try - so people had to just leave. I think this is part of the issue with these wonderful small towns - people move there for a specific job, they don't just live there and move from job to job very easily at all. It makes unemployment look low, but it doesn't mean there's a lot of employment available.
posted by Miko at 6:33 AM on January 10 [14 favorites]


... but I don't think you could afford to live in an area with schools that were anywhere near as good as the ones here.

Not that I'm trying to convince anyone to stay or go, but once kids are out of 5th grade (maybe even before, I'm not sure how it works now,) they can test into the magnet/specialized school system. The better part is that the earlier you get them into that system, the more each previous school trains them for the next. My JHS had classes devoted to taking the Specialized High School exams, for instance. And this was in working-class, immigrant neighborhoods, even.

That's basically what I'm going to be counting on (as kids are on the horizon.) Although, unfortunately, conversations with my former teachers and current teachers are painting a somewhat more ... terrifying picture of the NYS school system.
posted by griphus at 6:36 AM on January 10


unless it involves wizards, in which case carry on.

It is about time that someone acknowledged the real problems in this city have more to do with the great Wizarding Families than anyone wants to admit. Sure, everyone talks about the Malfoys and the Blacks' obnoxious personal habits, but no one understands that with their Galleon speculation, it's hard for ordinary Muggleborn witches and wizards without great reserves and vaults at Gringotts to make it in this city. The price of wands has been steadily going up, and the house-elves are all concentrated in key locations inaccessible by others...

...actually I now kind of want to write New York City HP fanfic. DAMN YOU.
posted by corb at 6:45 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


That's what everyone was saying when I moved to Jackson Heights in the late 1990s. It didn't happen, or at least it didn't in the years I lived there. Proof: the only place to get coffee to go was Dunkin' Doughnuts. Has that changed?

There is at least one espresso bar there now- Espresso 77. There has been a Starbucks there for awhile.
posted by melissam at 6:46 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


actually I now kind of want to write New York City HP fanfic. DAMN YOU.

Isn't that Lev Grossman's books?
posted by The Whelk at 6:49 AM on January 10 [19 favorites]


I don't know that I can say this without coming off as horribly snobbish. I just had a really hard time living in the suburbs. I don't think New York would be having these kinds of problems if that wasn't true of a lot of people.

There's a reflexive defensiveness of suburbs because for 50 years moving out there has been the American ideal and you're considered some kind of deviant if you don't want an enormous house, SUV, etc., but there a ton of us that really do like living in urbanized areas and once you start adding in amenities and cultural things and climate and so forth there are a relative handful of those. Call me a snob but there's like 5 cities I'd consider living in because I'm pretty picky about where I live.

However, I think the reason people move to particular cities is, when you break it down, concentration of a particular kind of business there. Writers, actors, etc., move to New York because that's where you have to go if you want to make it. It'd be certainly much easier to pay the bills in Dubuque but the infrastructure just isn't there to support it.

I briefly worked for a tech startup that was trying to get going in Alabama and while the cost of living was significantly lower, we had several problems. For one thing, the pool of talent was much smaller, because if you were a hotshot enough programmer to get hired at a tech startup, you were probably already in San Francisco and working for Google. For another thing, trying to convince people to move back to the farm once they'd seen Paris wasn't happening. And there just wasn't the infrastructure you have in San Francisco where there are also a ton of companies, meetups, mixers, all the contacts you make when you work there, etc. It took them a year just to find someone to replace me when I left and my skills aren't that hard to find in SF/NY/Seattle/Austin/LA, but if you have my skills and live in those cities, you probably aren't going to move to Alabama.

Likewise, if the entire publishing industry decamped for the Midwest, I suspect writers would still move to New York for the glamour, but I suspect a lot more of them would suddenly become extremely interested in Chicago or wherever the publishing industry wound up. It becomes a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing where you can't get the companies if you don't have the people but the people don't want to move if the companies aren't there.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:50 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Look on the bright side; climate change will make this moot in a couple decades. Once the winter storms start regularly flooding Manhattan, not that many people will want to live there.
posted by happyroach at 6:57 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I have it on good authority that one of them is Philadelphia.

a million cheesesteaks just cried out in great pain, as if someone had tried to put brie on them
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:57 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


Her friend is right, most of Queens (the biggest borough!) really IS the boondocks!
(hi from Maspeth)
posted by Drab_Parts at 6:59 AM on January 10


I am starting to think that debate over "gentrification" is a distraction from the real story, which is about extremity of inequality and the concentration of intense wealth in just a few areas.

This, times a million. That is the key story within New York, and also within the US regionally. The combination of social and geographic concentrations of wealth is working great for the people in the top X% (I'd argue top 10 or 15 percent, but maybe really it's just the top five percent, I'm not sure), but not so great for everyone else.

It makes unemployment look low, but it doesn't mean there's a lot of employment available.

Especially if we are talking about the classic university towns, which do indeed genuinely provide fantastic quality of life, part of why jobs are so hard to find is that a fraction of the people who arrive every year to begin college or grad school fall in love (with a person or the place) and decide to stay come hell or high water, so most of the baristas have PhDs, as do half of the people in low level university admin jobs.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:01 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I'm losing my cred for living in Bushwick. Five years ago, people thought it was slightly sketchy.

Imagine how I feel: I have been living in the West 100s East of Broadway for around 25 years. My first years there it was normal to hear gunfire at night, Morningside Park was considered extremely dangerous, several of my friends were held up at gunpoint, people used to line up on my street corner in plain view to buy crack, and a week after I moved in I witnessed a murder directly in front of my building. Today there is a swanky bakery, a jazz club, plenty of good middlebrow restaurants (even a pretty good Neapolitan pizzeria), a Whole Foods, and plenty of young breeders with strollers.
posted by slkinsey at 7:16 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Ditmas Park and Kensington have massive commute times to Manhattan and they are pretty gentrified now.

The funny part is that my friends and I -- we are from Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gravesend, Gerritsen -- are all moving there because it is cutting way the hell down on commute times. It's all relative.

Although mother of fuck the prices have doubled in ~5 years. I'll be lucky to find a place under $325K under 18th Ave at this rate.
posted by griphus at 7:17 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Having just moved away from one of the towns that's often recommended for its high urban quality of life, part of this is illusory - it's because people don't hang around that town when they get laid off hoping to find another job there - they just relocate.
That hasn't been my experience at all. I can actually only think of one person I've known in the four years I've been here who has been laid off, and he stayed and found another job. Our population is growing, so if people are leaving when they get laid off, then new people are immediately arriving and finding jobs.
Especially if we are talking about the classic university towns, which do indeed genuinely provide fantastic quality of life, part of why jobs are so hard to find is that a fraction of the people who arrive every year to begin college or grad school fall in love (with a person or the place) and decide to stay come hell or high water, so most of the baristas have PhDs, as do half of the people in low level university admin jobs.
There's definitely something to that: people in my town like to brag, sort of, that we outrank any other American city in the percentage of our bus drivers who have PhDs. But this is a great place for creative people to live: you can actually fund your creative endeavors and have a decent standard of living by driving a bus or having a low-level university admin job. Good luck doing that in New York.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:18 AM on January 10


I was just thinking about the Bronx, because I was watching Becker a while ago, and a leitmotif seems to be the general scumminess of the place - crime-infested, down at heel, dangerous. This was in the late 90s - has this changed too?

Brixton here used to be seen as an 'ethnic neighbourhood' - I think first Irish, then Afro-Carribean. There were riots there in the 80s, the Clash wrote about it, there was a nailbombing in 1999, there are long-running issues with Yardies and drugs; it was the London home of reggae, then grime, then hip-hop.

Then they redeveloped an old shopping arcade, some nice cafes moved in that got written up in Time Out and the like, and now it costs squillions to live there. However, when estate agent symbol of gentrification Foxtons moved in, someone spraypainted 'YUPPIES OUT' on the glass, and the opening of a champagne and cheese bar was protested against with people handing out cider and Dairylea outside. And there's still old black guys standing outside Iceland to tell us all about Jesus.
posted by mippy at 7:26 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


According to the cost of living calculator I found, you would need to make $80,000 in New York to maintain the standard of living that you could have on $50,000 here.

I often find these kinds of comparisons misleading. A relevant question is: what kinds of jobs can you get in the two cities making that kind of money? For example, I have several friends here in NYC who pull down $80K a year in secretary/assistant type jobs. And yet, when you look at what secretary/assistant type jobs pay in most of these comparison cities, it's more like $35K. So it's not like these friends of mine could move to Asheville or whatever and still maintain the same standard of living they had in NYC.
posted by slkinsey at 7:32 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I was already not moving to New York before it was the cool thing to not do.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:32 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I urge everyone to move to Tokyo. It's more civilized. More places to hear live music, too!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:35 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I was already not moving to New York before it was the cool thing to not do.

Soon not moving to NYC will be so mainstream you'll see TV shows like Two Doing Pretty Okay For The Circumstances Girls and Apartment 23 Has Been Empty For Years.
posted by griphus at 7:38 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


If people stop moving to New York then I can grab that empty studio next to me and finally have a completely self-contained existence.
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 AM on January 10


There's a reflexive defensiveness of suburbs because for 50 years moving out there has been the American ideal and you're considered some kind of deviant if you don't want an enormous house, SUV, etc., but there a ton of us that really do like living in urbanized areas and once you start adding in amenities and cultural things and climate and so forth there are a relative handful of those.

There is definitely a reflexive defensiveness of suburbs, but at the same time, there's also a reflexive defensiveness of urban environments as a kind of counter-ideal. I don't think that there aren't any people who really love both - of course there are - but the loudest voices on both sides sometimes sound like they protest too much.
posted by corb at 7:41 AM on January 10


explosion: "Someone else was displaced at some point by her family moving in, but she doesn't want to acknowledge that, does she?"

Unless you're talking about the original Native American residents, in Queens itself this is somewhat doubtful even with the most recent gentrification. Moving patterns trend against it.

For the last 60 years or more there has been a very specific pattern to the way people have moved into Queens initially and subsequently. Especially in Northern Queens, . You can see it demographically, as clearly defined ethnic groups have moved in, established themselves and moved on.

People who emigrate to Queens tend to do so in one of two ways:

1) if they are not Americans, they move into neighborhoods which are culturally friendly. So at the moment, this means that first: some Latinos move into the Jackson Heights area; Greeks move into Whitestone (or perhaps Astoria, still) although this is tapering off; Asians and Indians tend to still move into the Flushing area. In the past, certain neighborhoods were known to be areas for a specific ethnic group. Bayside, for example, used to be solidly Irish and Italian immigrants. Then, as those groups raised families, the area became Irish-American and Italian-American. Maspeth and Glendale used to be solidly German (in the 40's-70's) and then became German-American. Today, both Maspeth and Glendale are far more diverse than they used to be. areas Because groups of people who 20 years ago might have lived closer to the city or in other areas have moved in.

But newly arrived immigrants tend to settle in Queens in waves. They move into specific areas, then spread east over time towards somewhat more prosperous areas in Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Or North. Or Westward. There's often a visible progression, as each family tries to achieve their modern version of the American Dream, move out of an apartment, start a family and perhaps buy a house.

2) The other types of people are those who come to Queens from other areas of the country. If they are single, they tend to go where living space is affordable. Families may have other priorities. But for this group, historically that has meant being close to NYC in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, etc.

As each generation of New Yorkers (immigrant or non) settles in and moves on, they tend to move out of the area under their own steam, not be displaced. Sometimes, they leave the tristate area. Other times, they move to more suburban areas on Long Island, in North Jersey or in areas of NY above the Bronx, like Westchester or Rockland counties.

Queens (especially some areas of Western Queens) is in some ways a stopover for people who will eventually move East, West or North. Not for everyone, of course. But enough that it's not so simple or accurate to say, "well, when people move in, they're displacing another group."
posted by zarq at 7:41 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Good, all the people who moved there to live the hip lifestyle will move on and those of us who were born there can maybe afford to move back.
posted by mareli at 7:42 AM on January 10


/off-topic

We stayed in a really nice flat in Brixton for two weeks in September. (Well, I think it was more Herne Hill but the owner really emphasized the Brixton neighbourhood a lot.) We loved it, all of it. It was nice because it wasn't as scrubbed as other bits of London we'd stayed in. Exploring Brixton Market and Brixton Village was genuinely interesting.
posted by Kitteh at 7:42 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


As each generation of New Yorkers (immigrant or non) settles in and moves on, they tend to move out of the area under their own steam, not be displaced.

Yeah, absolutely. My family moved to Brooklyn in 1990 and we moved around maybe once a year for the next six years or so. We were only ever displaced once or possibly twice, and even then it was because the landlady's relatives needed a place to live and we didn't have a lease. The rest of the time, we had an opportunity to improve our lot and we did, and I can only assume we moved into the home of someone who did likewise. Quite a lot of the changing of hands of real estate in NYC involves upward mobility for everyone involved, not a zero-sum-game displacement.
posted by griphus at 7:47 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I wonder how long it will be before anyone will admit they live in Brentford, or before we're all Just Kew North Bank or some such.

You've got to check out this great place in Dowisetrepla.
posted by The Bellman at 7:47 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I often find these kinds of comparisons misleading. A relevant question is: what kinds of jobs can you get in the two cities making that kind of money? For example, I have several friends here in NYC who pull down $80K a year in secretary/assistant type jobs. And yet, when you look at what secretary/assistant type jobs pay in most of these comparison cities, it's more like $35K. So it's not like these friends of mine could move to Asheville or whatever and still maintain the same standard of living they had in NYC.

THIS. My income stream would drop alongside my rent if I moved.

Unless I moved somewhere along the Metro-North commuter lines and continued to work in New York but that would put me in the suburbs and I am also one of those people who really really didn't do well in the suburbs so....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:48 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


9/20/12: Get the facts: The demographics of Queens, and what’s changing.

1/23/11: Then as now: New York's Shifting Ethnic Mosaic
posted by zarq at 7:48 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Queens would have gentrified faster if the 7 train hadn't started having such serious problems between Manhattan and Queens the past couple of years.
posted by melissam at 7:51 AM on January 10


One of the things I find really interesting about Sunset Park is how it's definitely gotten more hip since I moved here three years ago, but not in the "filling with young rich white people" way I'm familiar with from Park Slope and Flatbush. From what I can tell, Sunset Park experienced a major uptick in immigration from the Fujian province of China over the past couple decades -- people who settled in, opened businesses and had babies. Now all those babies are teenagers and twenty-somethings, and there's been an explosion in new restaurants and clothing boutiques and bubble tea places that cater to those hip young people already living in the neighborhood. I assume this is similar to what happened up in Flushing ten years ago or so?

In any case, it's been delicious and I obviously have zero complaints.

(It's also been interesting to me how few white people are ever in any of those establishments. There are TONS of young white couples buying up all the coops in Sunset Park -- we apparently arrived right before things got insane -- but you NEVER see more than one or two of those people or their young children in any of the businesses near me. It's weird. Walking down 8th Ave, you'd never think that waves of refugees from Park Slope and Williamsburg who can't afford to buy in their old neighborhoods were fighting each other to snap a 3BR in and old Finnish coop before the prices go above $500,000.)
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:57 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


After all, maybe she's a Queens "native," but it's likely her parents or her grandparents moved to NYC from somewhere else.

There are cycles too. I'm not a New York native, but moved here from Virginia. On the other hand, my father was born in Queens about a 20 minute drive from where I live in Queens. On the other hand, my paternal grandparents moved to New York City from upstate and from Germany. After my father was born they moved upstate.

Some of my mother's relatives are buried in a cemetary that's within walking distance of my apartment, though her family had left New York by the time my maternal grandparents were born.
posted by Jahaza at 8:05 AM on January 10


One of the things I find really interesting about Sunset Park is how it's definitely gotten more hip since I moved here three years ago...It's also been interesting to me how few white people are ever in any of those establishments.

It's truly bizarre to me too. I used to eat at them occasionally when I lived in Park Slope and I rarely if ever saw anyone non-Asian in those restaurants. A lot of them are really good too. If some of those restaurants were in Chinatown or Queens they'd be packed with all kinds of people.
posted by melissam at 8:09 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Well I don't know about gentrification, but I can tell you that me and all my buddies were forced out of Manhattan in 1984, when applied parapsychology took off in a big way.

Sure, we had some respite after Gozer the Gozerian was defeated, but in 1989 a second wave of ghost-displacement again ravaged our community.

My point is that most New Yorkers are completely blind to their "living privilege" and the discrimination against us ghostly residents is shameful and endemic.

I don't know "who I'm gonna call" about all this, but I am tempted to contact either a large and moving Torg or a giant Slor, I can tell you.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:09 AM on January 10 [31 favorites]


People have been penning "don't move here" articles on gentrification since the 90s.

They are silly, and ultimately a form of selfish NIMBYism. "I got here first, I got comfortable and found a place for myself here, but you should go away because you don't deserve the same chance."

If I had a nickel for every time I saw an Oakland blogger write something in this vein, I could buy another foreclosed home to rent out to hipsters.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 8:09 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I live in Brixton. It used to be the big estate agents' joke. Notting Hill had gentrified in the mid eighties and one of the next places people looked was Brixton because... it was another heavily Jamaican area.

But the pace of gentrification couldn't and didn't come fast enough for some. In the meantime, living in Brixton could be pretty challenging for the unprepared. Muggings outside the tube and home breakins were par for the course. That part of the story, the nearly twenty years that Brixton didn't really gentrify at any great pace, gets missed when people point to Starbucks and Foxtons and hip young white kids with silly haircuts. Although prices in Brixton rose with the tide like everywhere in London the place didn't really gentrify until the surrounding areas - notably Herne Hill to the east, Clapham to the west and Kennington to the north became too expensive.

But once gentrification started.. it's done so at a phenomenal pace, partly due to the revamp of Granville Arcade (Brixton Village) and suddenly it's obvious that a part of town that sits at the end of one of the fastest and most reliable tube lines, has its own department store and amenities, parks and good housing stock would be a desirable place to live.

I had a pint this week with a mate who hadn't been to Brixton for ten years and he couldn't believe the change. The whole feel of the centre of Brixton is different. But a little bit of the old place was still there. As we stood chatting outside the tube, just down from Iceland, for a while, the incense sellers still doing there thing at 11pm, a bloke popped up to ask us for a smoke. He got a smoke, rolled for him because it was belting with rain and his hands were wet. And then he opened up his bag and offered us a small bag of frozen chips by way of thanks.

The funny thing is that gentrification is that it's futile to point to a single area and decry the change. The gentrification of Brooklyn or Astoria or Brixton or Stoke Newington has generally only happened because somewhere nicer or more convenient got too expensive. It's easy to demonise hipsters or yuppies snapping up places, but vendors have no sentimentality. My neighbour is an eighty-something Jamaican lady whose sister once owned my house. One of her sons might end up living in her house soon, but I doubt it.

Since buying my place every single house on my street has been bought by young, well off young families who probably would have bought in more established areas but cannot afford them. One of my neighbours is in the process of selling their house for more than three times what they paid for it ten years ago. The catalyst is more than just people with big ideas moving into places they weren't supposed to move to.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:12 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


This neighborhood has a strong sense of community that borders on siege mentality.
posted by griphus at 8:13 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


So it's not like these friends of mine could move to Asheville or whatever and still maintain the same standard of living they had in NYC

Yes, please don't move to Asheville ( . . . at least not until after I decide for sure whether I'm moving back there and find a house in my price range).
posted by thivaia at 8:17 AM on January 10


Great place, thivaia. But if it were me, I'd live someplace like Black Mountain and drive in when I needed to be in Asheville. :-)
posted by slkinsey at 8:24 AM on January 10


You know she's not even trying when she relies on a generic list of "what's great about New York" to make her point, ignoring the fact that the claim I was rarely able to afford that stuff is nonsense.

Word. People who complain that the cool stuff in New York is too expensive don't know what the cool stuff in New York actually is.

Heck, every week somebody posts on AskMe looking for a nice small city that has culture and not a horrible amount of sprawl, and it's always the same dozen college towns that ALSO are extremely expensive and have worse unemployment than New York.

I know some people who have moved to those towns - they are way, way cheaper than New York. They might be more expensive than, say, suburban Nashville, but they are far cheaper than New York. (Nothing against suburban Nashville, BTW.)
posted by breakin' the law at 8:26 AM on January 10


I recently watched The Warriors for the first time. The Riffs must have been LOADED to have a warehouse in Grammercy as their hangout!

Remaking the movie with today's sensibilities will make for a wholely different film

gang member nods to lawyer, who whips a cease and desist letter from his sachel

See what happens when you mess with the Orphans??!?
posted by dr_dank at 8:26 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Of course she's from Queens. This whole article can be summed up thusly.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:32 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I recently watched The Warriors for the first time. The Riffs must have been LOADED to have a warehouse in Grammercy as their hangout!

Okay, this is a total tangent, but this conversation has been largely about London and NYC and you mentioned The Warriors and that reminded me of this awesome conversation I had with a London cabbie once; he was one of those happy chatty guys, and we talked a little about London traffic vs. New York traffic, yadda yadda yadda, and then he suddenly said that The Warriors was pretty much his favorite NYC movie ever, and it's one of mine too, so we bonded over that - he asked me a couple questions about the city layout that weren't clear from the movie, I told him another couple bits of trivia I'd learned. And by the end of the cab ride we were both quoting that famous line at the end - "Waaaaariorrrrs, come out to PLAY-ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" And you know something, that line sounds awesome in a Cockney accent.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:33 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


Um, and that can be tied into the conversation by pointing out how sometimes the things that draw far-off people to a city are actually kind of out of date and may be working with a particular weird filter.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:40 AM on January 10


> the proliferation of car culture and the destruction of public transit, and white flight and the hollowing-out of the economic base of city centers

Yup. I'm living in west-downtown Toronto right now, and not making the best of it by any stretch. I'm not going out to shows, not eating at fancy restaurants, not working at a bank, or doing much of what "living in a big city" is supposed to be all about. So why do I stay?

Really, what keeps me here (besides that goddamn PhD) is that my lady and I can get around by bike quickly, effectively, and without (too much) fear of death. And that's worth a lot.

I really would welcome moving to a smaller city, but only one where I didn't have to drive everywhere. But Canadian towns with walkable, bikeable urban form seemingly just don't exist.
posted by anthill at 8:44 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


That the state name hasn't been part of a derogatory portmanteau is only one of many favorable aspects. Also: distance from the ignorance showcase.

Look, I'm not defending Kentucky here, I just came to pass on some advice from an Alabamian (and thus has to take this advice to heart); be careful in throwing stones when you live in a "glass house" of a state that is home to Branson and Todd Akin and prides itself on having to be actually show something to believe it.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:06 AM on January 10


I agree with Jeanne. I currently live in a moderately sized southern city. I like it in many ways, except that I live in a gormless suburb. It's ten minutes' drive to the grocery store. A few miles to a coffee shop. There was no option, really: there are denser neighborhoods, but they're high crime, and have no amenities because they're poor and the city, like most, has no meaningful transit options.

Want an urban city with amenities and transit? New York. Boston. Washington. Philadelphia. Chicago. San Francisco. Portland.

There are a few other places, but they're mostly in development (Charlotte's uptown and south end corridor) or recovery (Los Angeles).


you don't get to claim a city as your own (even if you were born there) and tell people not to move there because they want a more exciting life. it's just a bit priviledge-y. a huge reason to move to a place like that is to have the chance to meet people who are from somewhere other than where you're from.

i grew up in suburban chicago. midwestern suburbia is a dreadful existence. but we always had chicago. we always had the food and the culture and the 'life' of the city. and if you can tolerate the cold weather, it's an amazingly good place to exist/work.

a lot of the things about NYC life, including the gentrification issues and income inequality, also apply to chicago I think, or any other big city life. if you move there from anything other than a big city, the pace of things, the way the little daily things will constantly hammer at you: parking, walking, crime, your shit will always get stolen. city life is aggressive and fast and you have to fight for every single thing you want because so is everyone else and 'you' are no-one's priority but your own. and the quickest way to go mad in a place like this is to blame everyone else for annoying you in some way.

i am privileged. i had access to a great city growing up. not everyone does, so i can respect someone growing up in some small town in Nebraska needing to experience city life. i'm now in suburban charlotte, and yes the south end is sort of getting there. still almost nothing to do on a random late night that isn't clubbing. the weather is good, but the infrastructure is way way too small-town for the expansion happening here. traffic in the south end can be quite terrible. it's definitely not an urban city, though.

i miss being able to walk to a place like Intelligentsia. or even to have it not 1,000 miles away. i miss the world-class restaurants. and i genuinely miss the way a city feels even if i also hate it very very deeply. i was the one who said it would never get to me, and it did. it drove me out.

and i'm fine with that. i like having a garage where i can pull the car in and spend a lazy saturday checking my valve clearances (an acquired taste, I know). i like leaving it unlocked in the driveway and knowing it will still be there with all my stuff in it tomorrow. i like my space and my quiet. and when i eventually move to a house on the lake and am still spending roughly the same as what i spent on a 657sqft condo, i will not mind so much that i have to make my own good coffee and dinner and listen to music in the house instead of Empty Bottle.
posted by ninjew at 9:14 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


My wife's sister lives in NYC, and every time we visit I wonder why in god's name anyone would want to live there. Different strokes for different folks I guess. My ideal living situation is the middle of nowhere with a massive garden and some type of bovids to produce fertilizer.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:24 AM on January 10


the upside for me is that I never have to touch another creature's shit unless I really want to.
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


the upside for me is that I never have to touch another creature's shit unless I really want to.

That's pretty much moot once you have kids no matter where you live.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:29 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Please start moving to Detroit
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 9:29 AM on January 10


poor people can't price you out of your neighborhood
You quoted "pushing up rents and down wages", but I'm not convinced you read it.

It's admittedly not the first direct concern most people have about an influx of poorer residents. I'm guessing your own rent budget has never left you looking up apartment complexes on a crime rate map, trying to decide how many fewer incidents per 100,000 per year is worth how many dollars per month?
posted by roystgnr at 9:32 AM on January 10


The Whelk: "the upside for me is that I never have to touch another creature's shit unless I really want to."

There are rats, pigeons and dogs in this city that pee and poop damned near everywhere. I guarantee that at some point you've come in contact with some sort of excrement. Especially if you've ever sat on the grass in a park.
posted by zarq at 9:34 AM on January 10


this is why we don't touch anything outside.
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 AM on January 10


Or walk on the sidewalks? :)
posted by zarq at 9:36 AM on January 10


the liter bearers do the walking.
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


There's only one district of London now where they predict you'll still be able to buy a flat for under £200,000 in 2018.

Mippy, for the love of god, please tell me where. I feel completely priced out of London because I don't want to spend more than 250k, which still feels mental for a flat.
posted by wingless_angel at 9:41 AM on January 10


So, yeah. Living in a Rust-Belt city that's lost 54% of it's population since its peak, I don't see having people wanting to move to your city as a problem.

Yeah, I think a lot of the "anti-gentrification class warriors" would do themselves well to spend a year in a declining rust-belt city like my hometown of St. Louis. Lost half its population since 1950. Hasn't been cursed with economic prosperity in at least that long. And no end in sight, really.

Class war. Pffft. To have a class war, more than one class needs to actually be involved. If you make 160K a year and live in New York, what does that say about you? It means you have bills to pay. It means you have to work for a living. The people who control the real wealth in this country don't have to work for a living. If we want to have an actual class war, perhaps we should set our sites on the people with the actual wealth. How much wealth do you think the average "techbro" really has? Maybe, maybe they're fortunate enough to have a mortgage instead of a landlord. To paraphrase Chris Rock, that's nothing 6 months and a bad coke habit couldn't fix. Real wealth, you can be a fuckup all your life and still leave your fuckup kids enough money to fuck themselves up with.

Way I see it, white flight and suburbanization were a fluke. An aberration in a centuries-long trend towards urbanization. America, as a country, made some suicidal urban planning decisions in the second half of the 20th century, and now we're living with the aftermath. As a result, "the good stuff", and by that I mean the stuff everybody wants, is in short supply. And what do people want? Safe, walkable cities with strong economies and lots of fun stuff to do. Sadly, there are only a few places in the US where you can find all those things, and SURPRISE! people want to live there.

I've been living in SF for the last 4 years. Before that, I lived in NYC for 7. The last few months, I've seen SF blogs overcome with this zero-sum argument of what kind of people should be "allowed" to live here. I've heard people on both sides of the debate say a lot of hateful things. Makes me sick.

How about this : instead of involving ourselves in this reductio ad absurdum of American liberalism, how about we concentrate on making more of "the good stuff"? Surrounding all these gentrifying urban cores are areas that kinda suck for one reason or another. So how about we make them suck less? Infill development, better public transportation, community programs to help the disadvantaged and make neighborhoods safer, that kind of thing. In the meantime, yes, there are things we can do to help longtime residents -- making it harder for landlords to evict them would be a good start -- but that won't change the basic situation, which is that people just don't want to live in the suburbs like they used to. But we shouldn't blame people for that. Suburbs fucking suck!

Ultimately, this is a subject that isn't going to disappear, and if we wish to engage with the conversation, each one of us must ask ourselves this question : are we socialists, or merely populists? Because socialists present solutions, whereas populists only know from pitchforks and torches.
posted by evil otto at 10:08 AM on January 10 [16 favorites]


...and some type of bovids to produce fertilizer.

Well look no further than New York City, my friend! We have many cud-chewing, blank-eyed meat cubes everywhere you look: the lefthand side of all our escalators and subway staircases, the entrances to almost every packed train, taking unhurried side-by-side strolls down Broadway at 5:30 PM, and even in our local favorite lunchtime restaurants, staring blankly at the menu they didn't realize existed until they came to the front of a 20-person line.
posted by griphus at 10:10 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


They're all tourists. Every last one.
posted by zarq at 10:14 AM on January 10


I thought all of the bohemian types had moved up the Hudson to little abandoned milltowns already?

Hee, probably my favorite article about my area is this one. Especially the part at the end about the grocery store being replaced by a hipster restaurant (which I love, but is really like something out of portlandia) and how it confuses the locals.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:20 AM on January 10


I think there are so many variables to gentrification, and most people tend to look at it in a black-and-white terms. I get the writer's frustration with transplants acting like they know what NYC is and isn't. Transplants to SF frequently seem to be highly invested in slagging off other California towns they've barely experienced, if at all (L.A., Oakland), so I hear where she's coming from. I've also seen and been part of various forms of gentrification and who they've been perpetrated by, and why, and that can have a huge difference in how various groups react. The Mission was gentrifying in the 90's, to some extent, but the people moving there were not hugely more wealthy than the people they were moving in with. They frequently wanted to live in urban areas because of the diversity, walkability, and opportunity to have a less conventional lifestyle. More gentrification happened during the dot-com boom, but at the time the internet was still new, and lots of the people in the tech world didn't really have expectations of being rich and having cafes on every corner. That influx of gentrification was really short lived, and was only beginning to be development driven when the crash happened.

Right now, the issue in SF is that gentrification is happening at a much faster and more sustained pace; many people moving here have expressed discontent that the city is full of urban types (read not wealthy, not white); fewer people are moving to SF for art, or music, or general weirdness; and a lot of this is developer driven, which mean housing built for well-off singles who are not shopping at ethnic stores or sending kids to public schools. People who move their families into homes that they renovate while shopping at the local bodega and meeting their neighbors at block parties have a different impact on neighborhoods than people that move into a new block of luxury live-work spaces and eat all their meals in their catered work space. It's one thing to contribute directly to the economy and culture of a place, and another thing to impose a new one on top and just hope that thing things you don't like or can't relate to will go away on their own somehow. There is more to cities than transportation and co-working spaces and seltzer delivered to your door.

In no way do I think that cities should remain totally static, or that poor neighborhoods should remain poor, or that crime should exist to keep wealthy white people from populating minority neighborhoods. I just see change happening at a much greater and less thoughtful pace than it could be. There seem to be a much larger proportion of people moving to San Francisco thinking it should be an extension of their college experience, and that's a bit lame. I do think pop culture representations of cities may drive this a bit, as the article points out. That's not a bad thing necessarily, but it means that people moving to affluent cities have less understanding of history, culture, and place of the city they're moving to, and there is more opportunity to dismiss or ignore it when you have a new secure building, ride a special bus to your workplace (along with your dirty laundry), and sit in a cafe on your machine with your headphones on. I'm not knocking those things, but they do promulgate greater separation between between affluent singles and working-class families in the neighborhood. It's understandable that there is friction between previous residents and newer ones. There aren't a lot of plumbers, car mechanics, teachers, artists, sanitation workers, gardeners, or librarians buying places in San Francisco these days. Naturally that's going to mean big change to a formerly very blue-collar city like San Francisco.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:33 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Well look no further than New York City, my friend! We have many cud-chewing, blank-eyed meat cubes everywhere you look: the lefthand side of all our escalators and subway staircases, the entrances to almost every packed train, taking unhurried side-by-side strolls down Broadway at 5:30 PM, and even in our local favorite lunchtime restaurants, staring blankly at the menu they didn't realize existed until they came to the front of a 20-person line.

What are you trying to say? That I can use tourist shit to power my compost heap and help my garden grow?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:49 AM on January 10


Oh god no, you have no idea what they eat, you don't want to return that to the soil.

The answer, as always, is cleansing fire.
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


One day a real rain will come.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:01 AM on January 10


How much wealth do you think the average "techbro" really has?

Meanwhile Nick Denton is worth multi millions. Remember who the enemy is.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 11:02 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I recommend watching the 2012 documentary "My Brooklyn," which is apparently playing on TV on Jan 14. I saw it shortly after moving to Brooklyn, and it really helped me understand the history and recent gentrification of my neighbourhood (Downtown) (It also helped me learn to love and appreciate Fulton Mall). The main take-away: it's easy to get angry at the wealthy interlopers "ruining" a neighbourhood, but it's government policy -- rezoning, subsidies, not requiring developers to build affordable housing, etc -- that really dictates a lot of how neighbourhoods grow and change. If you're going to get angry, get angry at the fat cats, not the hipsters.
posted by retrograde at 11:04 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "Oh god no, you have no idea what they eat, you don't want to return that to the soil."

Judging by the neighborhood around my office, they're mostly eating at Pret, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks.

Seriously, who comes to New York City from out of town and eats at Dunkin Donuts? I'm like the king of "Are you SURE the food is safe at this place I've never tried before? Maybe I'll just have bottled water" and even I wouldn't do that.
posted by zarq at 11:07 AM on January 10


Articles like this make my brain hurt. Everybody who moved somewhere after I did are carpetbaggers! Everybody who moved somewhere at the same time I did are adopted natives! I belong here, you do not. Ugh.

Feel free to keep moving to Los Angeles, people. The more the merrier and we won't tell you you're the wrong sort of person to move here. Also; it averaged around 72 degrees this week. Suckas.
posted by Justinian at 11:08 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Well look no further than New York City, my friend! We have many cud-chewing, blank-eyed meat cubes everywhere you look

Hey now, I've seen plenty of born-and-raised New Yorkers in tank-tops glistening in the summer heat that could be farmed out for the fine angora growing on their chests and backs!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:35 AM on January 10


oneirodynia, it seems you're going out of your way to point out how the influx of wealthy techies is somehow more insidious than regular gentrification.

people that move into a new block of luxury live-work spaces and eat all their meals in their catered work space

have a new secure building, ride a special bus to your workplace (along with your dirty laundry)

How many people does this actually describe? There is new housing being built, but not a crazy amount. Most transplants would be renting existing houses and apartments. Catered meals and private buses are only available to people working for a handful of huge companies (and not every huge company).
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:37 AM on January 10


Queens is so big and varied, it has its own Queens, if you will. And Richmond Hill really is a good candidate for the Staten Island of Queens, so that's the author's own (weird) angle.

If by "gentrification" you mean "nicer housing and retail" selected portions of Queens are gentrifying furiously and will continue to do so. With the exception of Forest Hills (which has always been gentrified), pretty much no neighborhood which has air rights, subway access, and no housing projects will look in 2020 remotely like it looked in 1995.

But if you mean "young white people and the stuff they like," not so much. Nice as the hipster joints in Sunnyside under the 7 Train Queens are (and they are nice), Queens gentrification in real-estate-value-added has been far more about the tastes and interests of Asians and Russians.
posted by MattD at 11:48 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Queens gentrification in real-estate-value-added has been far more about the tastes and interests of ... Russians.

Please to be enjoying your new furniture stores where you can buy red leather section couches with car-seat headrests and tables, chairs, entertainment centers, bookshelves, beds and refrigerators all made entirely of chrome and glass.

Also may I interest you in this collection of ceiling lamps we stole from Liberace's storage unit?
posted by griphus at 11:58 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


they really illuminate these huge deep-pile carpets placed on every available surface.
posted by The Whelk at 12:17 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


MattD: "Queens gentrification in real-estate-value-added has been far more about the tastes and interests of Asians and Russians."

Depends on the area.
posted by zarq at 1:03 PM on January 10


metafilter: cud-chewing, blank-eyed meat cubes
posted by moonmilk at 1:29 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Please stop moving to New York

Ha ha ha! Okay!
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:03 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Good news, guys, de Blasio just ate pizza with a fork, extra housing shortly available in Gracie mansion and Park Slope.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 2:27 PM on January 10


save alive nothing that breatheth: "de Blasio just ate pizza with a fork"

Gothamist: Honeymoon's over.
You know who else likes to defile the sanctity of New York pizza with a fork and knife? Hitler. Sarah Palin. And Donald Trump. What have we gotten ourselves into with this guy, many wonder at this hour. Condemnation has been swift.... Will the real Bill de Blasio please stand up and eat his pizza like a real New Yorker? Where is this guy from anyway, BOSTON?

posted by zarq at 2:47 PM on January 10


Queens gentrification in real-estate-value-added has been far more about the tastes and interests of Asians and Russians.

I think that's exactly right, though the places where that's happening don't tend to get written about. Here's a worthwhile exception -- Letter From Flushing: On Gentrification in an Unhip Place
posted by neroli at 3:54 PM on January 10


Neapolitans have always eaten pizza with fork and knife.

As to NYC, it's heading on a down-cycle. Manufacturing left decades ago, shipping moved to New Jersey back in the late 1950's and 1960's, Wall Street's great 1980-2009 hurrah* is unlikely to be repeated, and tourism/entertainment is a pretty thin reed on which to balance a city as large as NY. (It's kind of ironic that the current mayor's first act in office was to strike a blow, rightly or wrongly, against one part of the tourist trade.) Add to this the explosion of public pension obligations and we're looking at a city with some pretty unhappy prospects. I could be wrong, of course, but me personally, I see NYC as a place to short. Which personally saddens me, but whaddaya gonna?

Not too sure about the greater metropolitan area, either.

(*which underwrote a good deal of what made NYC attractive after the godawful seventies and early eighties.)
posted by IndigoJones at 4:17 PM on January 10


Haha, funny article. Seriously, though -- don't move to Austin.
posted by headless at 4:30 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


hey don't forget that time the ocean tried to reclaim the city
posted by ninjew at 4:36 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]



oneirodynia, it seems you're going out of your way to point out how the influx of wealthy techies is somehow more insidious than regular gentrification.

people that move into a new block of luxury live-work spaces and eat all their meals in their catered work space

have a new secure building, ride a special bus to your workplace (along with your dirty laundry)

How many people does this actually describe? There is new housing being built, but not a crazy amount. Most transplants would be renting existing houses and apartments. Catered meals and private buses are only available to people working for a handful of huge companies (and not every huge company).


I'm talking about how different types of gentrification exist, and a lot of what we're seeing recently in the City is more prone to be difficult for the existing neighborhoods to assimilate. It's up to you to decide if that kind of gentrification is more insidious than other types.

45,000 people ride tech buses from San Francisco to parts south. That's like 5% of the population. If you don't think that has a significant effect on how people interact, I don't know what to tell you. You don't have to be a bad person to be part of a movement of people that are displacing other people, or changing the historic ways of neighborhood interaction. And there are certainly ways that neighborhoods gentrify that are more beneficial to the existing populations of that neighborhood, bringing jobs, taxes, PTA volunteers, energy, &c. My point is that the rate this is happening in San Francisco and the wide cultural differences between populations cause more friction than otherwise.

75% of my friends work in tech and have done for the last 10 years. I don't have a bone to pick with anyone who takes advantage of the perks their job offers, but it's ludicrous to ignore the fact that San Francisco's culture has changed significantly over the last few years, and that the expectations and amount of disposable income of a large portion of people moving to the City now are different than the expectations of many of those of the late 90's.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:34 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


As to NYC, it's heading on a down-cycle. Manufacturing left decades ago...

Oh, who cares about all that. It's the center of finance, and that's all that really matters for it.
posted by Miko at 6:11 PM on January 10


Well, also fashion, as far as the US is concerned.
posted by Miko at 6:11 PM on January 10


And 100 other industries including tech. NY's economic dominance isn't going anywhere. But will it have a middle class? That's still up in the air.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:30 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I think the problem there is that it really, profoundly, doesn't need a middle class.
posted by Miko at 8:08 PM on January 10


In what world are tech workers not middle class?
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:35 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Where is this guy from anyway, BOSTON?

Them's fighting words and we will send our finest emissaries from the North End down to cut you AND your pizza forthwith.
posted by sonika at 8:41 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Many of the workers in my company live in NJ is what I'm saying. They commute 3 hours a day.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:42 PM on January 10


(Really, I'll never move to New York because it's just too damn huge. It's taken me a long time to adjust to the size of Boston and anything bigger? NO THANK YOU IT WILL EAT ME ALIVE. So, NYC is safe from me.

And move to Boston if you feel like it, but don't come crying to me with "... But I thought it would be *cheaper* than New York!" Oh, you poor beautiful fools.)
posted by sonika at 8:44 PM on January 10


Sarah Kendzior: Expensive cities are killing creativity. Move to St. Louis, like Greg Nog.
posted by limeonaire at 8:48 PM on January 10



Also may I interest you in this collection of ceiling lamps we stole from Liberace's storage unit?


BATHROOM CHANDELIERS IN EVERY HOME
posted by elizardbits at 10:38 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


"gentrification" is a word you shouldn t use If you don t use it carefully.

generally, everyone likes renovation. everyone hates displacement.

a lot of people talk about "gentrification" as if it s a natural force, rather than a political decision.
posted by eustatic at 1:43 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Gentrification is not inevitable?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:05 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Potomac Avenue: "Many of the workers in my company live in NJ is what I'm saying. They commute 3 hours a day."

See that's just crazy. Swap that for a 30 minute commute in a smaller centre and you gain 625 hours a year (2.5*5*50) doing something you want instead of riding a bus.
posted by Mitheral at 8:07 PM on January 11


I think the problem there is that it really, profoundly, doesn't need a middle class.

I dunno. Yesterday I tried some fancy Japanese style hot dogs, which kinda disappointed me at least in the varieties I tried. A new Papaya offshoot opened up recently that's doing an unlimited broad selection of toppings thing, and that's pretty good. Crif Dogs is an old standby, gutbuster bad-for-you hot dogs, and there's a Papaya on 14th street that's kind of backstopping the area with excellent basic dogs. Crif Dogs (punkish) & the Japanese dogs (Japanese-American / Japanese-speaking American employees) kinda count as low-income middle class. The Williamsburg Plan: build a broad middle class on the engine of artisanal hipster shit. Unemployed too long? You will be apprenticed to a cheesemaker or such, and in a few years the gov't will set you up with a storefront up in the Hudson Valley or somewheres in Jersey, in the process spreading civilization. I was with friends coming back from Montreal and we got hungry and pulled into this tiny lonely building around a Taconic offramp and we figure it'll have some food for our guts, but when we go in it turns out that the place is clearly a Restaurant that would be coming correct if it was right next to my Manhattan apartment or in maxed out Brooklyn, though unfortunately we were between lunch and dinner.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 3:54 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


You will be apprenticed to a cheesemaker or such, and in a few years the gov't will set you up with a storefront up in the Hudson Valley or somewheres in Jersey, in the process spreading civilization. I was with friends coming back from Montreal and we got hungry and pulled into this tiny lonely building around a Taconic offramp and we figure it'll have some food for our guts, but when we go in it turns out that the place is clearly a Restaurant that would be coming correct if it was right next to my Manhattan apartment or in maxed out Brooklyn, though unfortunately we were between lunch and dinner.

Hudson Valley schmancy Brooklyn-style restaurants are a thing, and not an equivalent thing in most parts of New Jersey at all (unless you're in certain places--Montclair or Morristown maybe). That's because it's the home of the Culinary Institute of America (the CIA) and also has a significant local and natural food movement (CSAs abound; there are whiskey distilleries and the like) and also old hippies. So it seems like you're in normal suburbia like you'd encounter in Jersey or Connecticut but you get off the MetroNorth train and can walk to get yourself gluten free gourmet hot dogs in a little hipster greasy spoon that gives you crayons where you can draw on place mats.

It really doesn't have anything to do with Brooklyn, mostly, except in a few places like Beacon perhaps. It's most CIA spill-off. Our food is really really good.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:07 PM on January 12


Pertinent. (On the disappearing artist class)
posted by From Bklyn at 4:15 AM on January 14


Another pertinent - As Shop Owner, Woman Sees Troubling Side of Herself: "“I was still middle class,” Ms. Paperno said, “but no one else seemed to be.”
posted by Miko at 6:43 AM on January 14


A new Papaya offshoot opened up recently that's doing an unlimited broad selection of toppings thing, and that's pretty good.

And yet Gray's on W 8th and 6th just closed this weekend. I have eaten more hot dogs there than any place in NYC.
posted by griphus at 7:03 AM on January 14


Remember in like 99 when they put that "RECESSION SPEICAL!" banner up and we all had a laugh cause the first tech bubble was failing around and then the sign never went away?
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the most telling part was that the price on it had slowly doubled between ~2001 and 2013. It was $2.50 for two dogs and a soda when I was in high school, and five bucks the last time I went there a few months back.
posted by griphus at 7:34 AM on January 14


NY's economic dominance isn't going anywhere.

I'm not so sanguine. It's not just about the making, it's also the taking, and NYC's unfunded liabilities are huge.(pdf) No reason why this couldn't happen again.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:04 PM on January 15


What are the equivalent rent areas of Queens to Manhattan?
posted by The Whelk at 1:20 PM on January 18


That map looks like Brooklyn, not Queens?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:30 AM on January 19


« Older Adam Gorightly's Historia Discordia: "Documenting ...  |  Chewbacca has released a set o... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments