"A fetishized nostalgia for the 1970s and early '80s"
January 17, 2015 8:59 PM   Subscribe

​​​​They Say Art Is Dead in New York. They're Wrong. – Alan Feuer, NYT ​(December 2014):
Somehow, in the last few years, it has become an article of faith that New York has lost its artistic spirit, that the city's long run as a capital of culture is over. After all (or so the argument goes), foreign oligarchs and hedge-fund traders have bought up all the real estate, chased away the artists and turned the bohemia that once ran east from Chumley's clear across the Williamsburg Bridge into a soulless playground of money.

Last year, the foremost proponent of this doomsday theory was the rock star David Byrne, who complained in The Guardian that artists, as a species, had been priced out of New York. This year, others joined him. The novelist Zadie Smith lamented in October, in The New York Review of Books, that the city's avant-garde had all but disappeared. The musician Moby wrote a comparable essay in February, describing how creative types are fleeing New York and referring to his former home, accurately but narrowly, as "the city of money." Just a couple of weeks ago, Robert Elmes, the founder of the Galápagos Art Space in Brooklyn, declared the indigenous "creative ecosystem" was in crisis — so, naturally, he was moving to Detroit.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (64 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
so, naturally, he was moving to Detroit.

NO!! NO, PLEASE, ANYTHING BUT THAT! NOOOOOO!!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:09 PM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've never been impressed by the time I spent in NYC, not so easy to pay the rent while doing interesting things.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:17 PM on January 17, 2015


It just moved out to the outer edges of Brooklyn
posted by destro at 9:25 PM on January 17, 2015


I was priced out of Bushwick nine years ago. Used to get harrassed by the locals: "Rock that shit in Manhattan -- Not here!" ...Now it's part of fucking Manhattan.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 9:34 PM on January 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


art isn't dead in New York, it's just for the really wealthy, think court patronage, not markets.

I mean, I'm commissioning 30 portraits done in 30 minutes for my 30th birthday and I'm barely a Viscount.
posted by The Whelk at 9:45 PM on January 17, 2015 [21 favorites]


Do you get a Viscount discount?
sorry, couldn't resist
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:48 PM on January 17, 2015 [25 favorites]


So let me get this straight . . . Art's not dead in New York because an NYT columnist got invited to an exclusive party with a curated guest list and a bartender in a trilby. But wait! The party was at a construction site! Ooh, how cute! Ooh, how transgressive! Good thing everybody in the pictures is white, so the police know this is the good kind of transgression and the pictures can run in the Times.

EEEUUURRRGGGH.

I mean, I have nothing against trespassing because you're interested to see something that happens to be off-limits. But especially in New York, one of the birthplaces of the current practice of policing and policing and policing people of color, it's a little gross for white people to be showing off their charming little victimless crimes because they need something to add a deliciously piquant frisson to their parties now that alcohol isn't illegal anymore.
posted by ostro at 10:14 PM on January 17, 2015 [52 favorites]


Also . . . I mean, yeah, sure, immersive theater is art, and can be great. But on a reread, this article seems less like "What are the new versions of the great art of yesteryear?" and more like "What are the new versions of the awesome parties of yesteryear?"
posted by ostro at 10:22 PM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Look, I know it's annoying, but we really have to ask what costume shall you wear to all tomorrow's parties. Like there's gonna be cameras there. Chop chop.
posted by The Whelk at 10:27 PM on January 17, 2015 [9 favorites]


actually if there are NYC artists out there who want to do a 30 min portrait, let me know I'm trying to get up to 30 and I don't have that many friends.
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 PM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: it's a little gross for white people to be showing off their charming little victimless crimes because they need something to add a deliciously piquant frisson to their parties now that alcohol isn't illegal anymore.
posted by provocateur at 11:40 PM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Obviously you have never been to Detroit.
posted by clavdivs at 12:06 AM on January 18, 2015


The top comment was most telling:
W. Freen New York City
1) Art is not dead in New York

2) If having a party in an elevator room is considered art then yes, art is dead in New York.
Dec. 27, 2014 at 6:28 a.m.
posted by gen at 12:29 AM on January 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


Something definitely has gone south in NYC. The last 20 years have not been kind. NYC has turned into an asshole like some old friends always do. It makes too much money, talks too loud and the interesting people are leaving the party.
posted by n9 at 12:59 AM on January 18, 2015 [14 favorites]


The urge to say a place is over, really seems more like a personal declaration than an objective statement. Living as and amongst artists, I actually didn't find it so expensive. Not so many years back, I payed $330/month for rent in Bed Stuy. Since then the rents gone up about $100. We may have lived on the cheap, dumpstering food, sneaking flasks into parties, and biking - but we went to loads of interesting and free events on the regular. The museums were free, the libraries were amazing, you could just walk down the street and find yourself in something amazing and new.

Maybe it's just that some of the artists who are lamented the demise of the city have just decided that lifestyle isn't for them anymore. And they want to have a garden and a house, and they can't afford that in NYC. But it would be weird for anyone to say anything is DEAD in NYC. It's just too big/diverse/mad of a place.
posted by iamck at 1:04 AM on January 18, 2015 [12 favorites]


Also, every year somebody at the NYT discovers the Nonsense list and writes this piece.
posted by iamck at 1:08 AM on January 18, 2015 [8 favorites]




So let me get this straight . . . Art's not dead in New York because an NYT columnist got invited to an exclusive party with a curated guest list and a bartender in a trilby. But wait! The party was at a construction site! Ooh, how cute! Ooh, how transgressive! Good thing everybody in the pictures is white, so the police know this is the good kind of transgression and the pictures can run in the Times.

Yea, it really reminds me of this water tower thing.

It's like, "artsy" and "edgy" in a really bowling-lane-bumpers performative theme park ride sort of way. They extract just enough of the feeling of some actual underground event, and eliminate all the risk and add in the luxuries anyone attending would expect at any nice restaurant or venue or whatever.

I'm not even making some sort of "at a real underground event/renegade the guy at the soundboard would be drinking a 40 out of a paper bag" point here. But more that this is like...a theatrical performance from someone who vaguely understands the elements of what's supposed to be there, but more understands what that type of upper middle class+ white person who doesn't really know what to look for expects to see. And then deletes all the inconvenient realities.

This is a lot more insidious than just lol rich people parties. It's erasing what used to be somewhere and replacing it with a palatable vague approximation of it and pretending nothing changed. See, we made a specific spot for it! "Culture"!.

It's not even a lazy fat caged tiger. It's a horse painted up as a zebra.


I'm intimately familiar with this sort of thing too, pretty much everything in my town is being replaced by that sort of pantomime approximation. And anything that existed previously is being aggressively bought out or shut down.

Really doing something like this is rapidly becoming impossible. But if you have the money, throwing a fake version of it is apparently a-ok. Art for the community is becoming an actual transgressive act, and art for wealthy culture tourists that pretends to be the former is becoming incredibly mainstream. Sometimes this even occurs in the exact same spaces that were "too unsafe" for whatever the local community was doing, but are a-ok to get a permit and throw an event like this catered to exclusively wealthy white people.

I have no idea what to do about it, and my thoughts are hard to articulate, but it's pretty much a primary topic of conversation among my friends almost non stop now.
posted by emptythought at 3:04 AM on January 18, 2015 [23 favorites]


I have no idea if art is dead or not in NYC. I'm too busy working 10 hours a day and commuting 2 hours to and from where I can afford to live to go to Brooklyn, where I do not live to see/hear the art. Perhaps it is still great. But most of my friends who are artists in NY are desperately trying to turn their temp jobs permanent, and I don't hear much about their art making prospects anymore.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:42 AM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


For me that guy said it in that song:
"New York I love you, but you're breaking my heart."
I have fantasies that when my kids are grown I'll move back. Until then there's no room for me - I don't make enough money and I'm too old not to care.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:58 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


So here's the message for eager young painters, photographers, and sculptors: if you move to New York, and if you're hip, white, and network with all the right people, you can make it big in the New York Art Scene... which apparently means being a costumed bartender at a Gatsby-themed rooftop party for Robert de Niro and those Brazilian graffiti twins. Jesus wept.

Oh, and to all the people profiled in the article, Allan Kaprow called. He says you're stealing his bit.
posted by informavore at 4:24 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Look, I know it's annoying, but we really have to ask what costume shall you wear to all tomorrow's parties.


Shiny, shiny, shiny boots of pleather.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:58 AM on January 18, 2015 [11 favorites]


it would be weird for anyone to say anything is DEAD in NYC. It's just too big/diverse/mad of a place.

Yep, painting NYC with a broad brush is silly. You don't have to be rich or white or put on secret parties to be an artist in NYC. People who are not those things are doing it right now. The city has more than 8 million people in it and less than half live in Manhattan or Brooklyn, the places that people are usually referring to when they say "New York."
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 5:14 AM on January 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


And really when people say "Brooklyn" they mean a small sliver of Brooklyn when the borough by itself would be one of the largest cities in the country.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 5:16 AM on January 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


it would be weird for anyone to say anything is DEAD in NYC.

The median income in NYC has always been surprisingly low, but up until quite recently people with less income but lots of cultural capital (ie artists) could afford to live in close-in neighborhoods with tight connections to the cultural centers. The median income is still low, so obviously that same artist can afford to live in the city just like before, but now without access to those neighborhoods; the experience of being an artist in the city has measurably changed.

Personally I enjoy my life in pretty much the opposite of NYC -- I live and work in the rural west and my quality of life would plummet if I moved to New York -- but the phenomenon being described is happening in quite a few US cities. While change is normal and there should be a certain expected churn given artists' role in both creating and benefiting from gentrification, it's also part and parcel of the increased inequality in the US, of which control over and access to desirable neighborhoods and cultural amenities is a key component.

And yet (as the article describes) the lingering aura of the former era when artists were able to afford to live there, and maintaining that patina is critical for those high real estate values. It's an odd situation and if I was a developer I'd be looking for ways to control the pace of change in order to exploit those connections over the longest possible timeframe.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:13 AM on January 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


The idea of an artistic avant-grade is dead everywhere, and making art has been greatly democratized by technology, albeit not making a living from it. The fine arts of the last few western centuries -- separate discipliness for painting, music composition, sculpture, dance, creative writing, etc. -- are in their mannerist last days, mostly propped up by universities and other institutions that sell status via patronage. It's only a bit more foregrouned when you have lots of museums, galleries, and concert halls and a city mythology still caught up in glory days thinking and a new class of rich folks seeking status.

New York Bohemia will come back when lower Manhattan is underwater.
posted by spitbull at 6:36 AM on January 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also gonna call bullshit on"indigenous creative ecosystem." The real "indigenous" creative ecosystem was pretty much exterminated by 1700 or so in New York.
posted by spitbull at 6:43 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


> The real "indigenous" creative ecosystem was pretty much exterminated by 1700 or so in New York.

I am reminded of the part of Gangs of New York where they were calling themselves Native Americans.
posted by wires at 7:08 AM on January 18, 2015


Well, since I'm here... I was talking to a co-worker who lives in New York and was thinking about moving out to the suburbs somewhere. To her, living in New York is like being in a relationship that's just not working out very well any more.
posted by freakazoid at 7:09 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yep, painting NYC with a broad brush is silly. You don't have to be rich or white or put on secret parties to be an artist in NYC. People who are not those things are doing it right now. The city has more than 8 million people in it and less than half live in Manhattan or Brooklyn, the places that people are usually referring to when they say "New York."

Yeah, but when people are saying that they were able to survive on a artist's income because they were eating trash, something's screwed up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:18 AM on January 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Who's they? Being in NYC is art.
posted by sfts2 at 7:29 AM on January 18, 2015


Didn't we have this exact same thread last week but /NYC/London/ ? Shall I set the twenty-year alarm for Berlin?


I think the conditions where a 'golden age' of artistic, communal creativity kicks off - and by no means can I defend any of those terms - require an educated. literate class of young people in an urban environment lacking strong political conformism. that's seen better days but is clawing its way back. Ideally, an industrialised economy that's been mucked about with by war or other chaos in the past fifty years, but one where the enemy never overran the environment. If you consider the Cold War as meeting that condition, then (West) Berlin certainly counts.
posted by Devonian at 7:29 AM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Even the trash better in NYC.
posted by sfts2 at 7:30 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


One thing I've noticed as a regular visitor to the city for nine years, and now two years as a resident, it's that things are moving farther and farther out from Lower Manhattan. There used to be great little concert spaces in the city, then they were in Williamsburg, just across the river. Then Bushwick. And they just keep moving further out. They get harder to get to, harder to find, and increasingly obscurely named. (There's a bar/concert space called Shea Stadium now, for pete's sake.)

I live in Queens, specifically, a part of Queens so remote that I'm a handful of stops from the end of the line. In fact, coming home from a show at Baby's All Right, it was easier for me to get home by taking the J out to JFK Airport and doubling back on the E, then to go into Manhattan and back out. I've heard rumors there's a small indie music club that's opened up in the borough, I think in Astoria. Don't hold me to that, as I can't recall the name of the place. Eventually I'll be able to go see an up and coming band without leaving my borough, which is kinda wild.

Frankly, what worries me is the lack of longevity. It's hard to get a sustained scene going if a venue is going to open and close in the space of three to five years. CBGB's was open for 36 years. Trash Bar in Brooklyn is closing after 10 years, and was open under another name for a while before that. Other newer venues have opened, gained praise, and closed in half that time span. (Glasslands, for example opened in 2006 and is already closed to make way for Vice Magazine's office space. I thought Grasslands was quite nice, way nicer than 285 Kent, it's shithole neighbor, but I'm more pissed that fucking Vice is taking that space over then both merely closing.)

Admittedly, most endeavors like this don't last long. Max's Kansas City, in its most famous iteration, was only around for six years. Bars, nightclubs and small music venues are notoriously low-margin, subject to the whims of landlords and neighborhood groups, and economic decline. I still have to wonder if there will ever be another venue with a multi-decade history, but maybe the time for those has passed, anyway. It would still be nice if Manhattan wasn't just a playground for the rich, and a place the rest of us trudge to in the mornings to work five days a week. Then again, I've seen how the rich have fun, and I don't want to be a part of it.
posted by SansPoint at 8:00 AM on January 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's always the Bronx.

No seriously, I hear space is cheap up there.
posted by fungible at 8:05 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


fungible: There's always the Bronx.

Give it another ten years.
posted by SansPoint at 8:11 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah it's not the churn, places close all the time, it's that they're not being replaced with anything. Every venue I performed in in the 00s is GONE and nothing new has taken their place.

I guess we need another ten thousand Chase Bankfronts.
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 AM on January 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


None of the "on the contrary" examples are from Manhattan, are they, which I thought was the principal target of this complaint...

It's always seemed to me that part of the mythology of New York in the '70s and '80s has to do with secret or subterranean spaces and doings, potentially sinister or profound, but anyway beyond ordinary epistemic horizons in some crucial way. After Hours and Fear Of Music are artifacts of the era mining that myth (e.g.). So, some of this has read to me as just pure nostalgia for the lens of that myth, which is just as a brute fact less available in a period of "always already" curated-ness and whatnot. Independent of quite right grievances about the financial industry and inequality and so on, NYC's age of exploration is just over in some significant ways.
posted by batfish at 8:46 AM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, aren't the best parties private? i can point out a few private clubs masqurading as townhouses in lower Manhattan.
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah it's not the churn, places close all the time, it's that they're not being replaced with anything. Every venue I performed in in the 00s is GONE and nothing new has taken their place.

I guess we need another ten thousand Chase Bankfronts.


And it's not just NYC- here in Bloomington we've had in the last year one of the few 24/7 restaurants, one that used to draw a huge bar crowd, torn down and replaced with a luxury apartment building and a local bookstore right on the square replaced with a bank. May not seem like much, but if we spend the next decade losing two reasons to go downtown and spend money every year, we're going to be economically hurting and far less interesting.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:49 AM on January 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


Great point batfish - see also Midnight Cowboy.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:56 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: Yeah it's not the churn, places close all the time, it's that they're not being replaced with anything. Every venue I performed in in the 00s is GONE and nothing new has taken their place.

Are you sure of that? I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse of the local music scene, but I regularly hear about bands playing venues I never knew about before. Always, of course, in out of the way parts of Brooklyn.

batfish: None of the "on the contrary" examples are from Manhattan, are they, which I thought was the principal target of this complaint...

Let's not forget that Manhattan is a much more limited resource than the other boroughs. There's less real estate, less non-built up real estate, and (what seems to be) high demand to build condos there. It's the inevitability of geography in Manhattan's case, though I'm surprised I'm not hearing about venues popping up in Harlem yet.

(I have a going theory that we're building to another real estate bubble in Manhattan, from what I learned about real estate investing during a short stint with a FinTech startup in the Fashion District. I suspect a lot of the new construction isn't for being lived in, but "invested" in, and as prices rise, so do the portfolios. This will burst, eventually, but when? Don't ask me.)
posted by SansPoint at 9:12 AM on January 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have a going theory that we're building to another real estate bubble in Manhattan, from what I learned about real estate investing during a short stint with a FinTech startup in the Fashion District. I suspect a lot of the new construction isn't for being lived in, but "invested" in, and as prices rise, so do the portfolios.

....That's a "theory" the way GRAVITY or EVOLUTION is a "theory". This kind of "the artists are getting shoved out" effect is BECAUSE of the real estate bubble that you're DEFINITELY seeing.

And I'm not sure why you categorize it as "suspecting" that the new construction is just for being invested in, when it's pretty bleeding obvious.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:22 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: And I'm not sure why you categorize it as "suspecting" that the new construction is just for being invested in, when it's pretty bleeding obvious.

Because one year of reading investment news as a job, with no other experience in finance, economics, or investment, even in terms of education, isn't enough knowledge to speak with certainty.
posted by SansPoint at 9:26 AM on January 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


It is the fine art scene that has gone under, reduced to contemporary silliness, fad creation, high end money laundering, and high finance. New York has lost the mandate to be the world's fine art center. The citadel's visionery compass is broken, lost under the weight of every sort of commerce attendant to profiting from the scene, rather than the creative act and its offerings.
posted by Oyéah at 9:45 AM on January 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


The fine art world has been all downhill ever since it deemed to depict the fallen human world and not the divine unchanging truths.
posted by The Whelk at 9:57 AM on January 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Still lots of stuff going on in New York City that is not run by rich people.

I'm a "chef" (== "on the board of directors") at Silent Barn, mentioned in the article, and they're very active, and really, most of them barely have $0.02 to rub together.

I don't believe that we've really seen Great Work yet come out of the Bushwick scene, but there's time, and I could have easily missed the next Jimi Hendrix(*) or Marcel Duchamp there.

That said, I think people miss a key point - which is that the creative world, the "art" world, is basically mature. We simply aren't going to see very much more radically new work, work that really changes your perception of the world - and that's true of everywhere, not just New York City.

Consider music - my home base. The shock when you hear a raga, Cage's prepared piano works, noise music, the gamelan, drone music, hardcore, musique concrete, a deep dub - well, there are only a finite number of those shocks and at some point we're basically done. I believe that point was about twenty years ago for music and we've been simply working out the details ever since; I think that time was about 40 years ago for painting.

Oh, it's not like there aren't great or even Great and original musicians and works to come. There is still plenty of good music to be written in C major. But the field is mature.

It's something like what happened to geography. Mankind is now continuously photographing every square kilometer of the Earth's surface. Now, there are still tons of things to be discovered on our Earth, but we know that there aren't any Shangri-Las out there, because we have a complete photographic record of the entire planet.

There's one last thing to be worked out, and that's "the computer" - the ability to plan and create structures that couldn't ever have been created by hand.

I've been fortunate to have seen this happen in music from "close to the start" to "close to the end". I remember listening to academic computer music in the early 1970s, writing my own computer music programs in 1979, making albums on computers in the late 80s and early 90s, and today every bit of sound I make goes through digital - even my mic goes through my computer.

We're getting to the end of this in music - hip-hop was the first "post-digital" music and it's thirty years old now!

We still have a long way to go in the 3D world. Anish Kapoor is perhaps the most showy example of what can be done - you could barely conceive of such pieces without a computer, but you could never realize them - but we're just starting to get 3D printed work of real complexity and depth.

There's also a lot of play left in the movie world. There will be a point when anyone will be able to afford the software and hardware to make a Lord of the Rings from scratch - given enough devotion and time on the part of the auteur.

But these are all seriously technical disciplines - seriously numeric too. The days where you can paint your bedspread and be famous are long, long gone. We live in a mature art world, we have for decades, and we should acknowledge that, move on and stop looking for "the next" anything.


(* - well, I still think of myself as the next Jimi Hendrix...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:11 AM on January 18, 2015 [21 favorites]


Really? Most of the people I work with claim to be artists of some sort.

/works in used bookstore
posted by jonmc at 10:29 AM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy

I was just at Silent Barn recently for the first time. (It was the Queer Punk New Year's Eve party on the 3rd.) It's a neat venue, and I'll have to come back some time. Sadly, I wasn't getting much out of the music that night, so ended up leaving to hit up Pyramid Club in the city instead.

Also if anyone that night found one of these gizmos, they can keep it. I replaced it.
posted by SansPoint at 10:29 AM on January 18, 2015


> Most of the people I work with claim to be artists of some sort.

Maybe some of then actually are. Maybe a lot of them actually are. I honestly wonder if that's part of what's happening to the arts. If your interest is primarily in actually creating stuff and less in just hanging with Artistic People Wearing Black and being part of a scene, or in being picked up by critics, galleries, and media as the next Damien Hirst and becoming famous and rich, it's easier than ever to actually create stuff no matter where economics dictate that you have to live and how you have to earn a living. If you want to do ballet this would be harder to do in isolation but you don't have to have a rooftop studio with a big skylight window to be a painter or access professional recording engineers and an orchestra to write your symphony and turn it into sound. You and your laptop can do either in your basement efficiency if you've got the chops. All you have to give up is that need for validation by a big-league audience.

The coming era for the arts may be one of roses who are born to blush unseen. But they number in the billions.
posted by jfuller at 12:41 PM on January 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Slum goddess of the Lower East Si-i-i-i-de
Slum goddess, gonna make her my bri-i-i-i-ide

posted by Twang at 1:00 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Didn't we have this exact same thread last week but /NYC/London/ ? Shall I set the twenty-year alarm for Berlin?

Duh.

You have those regular threads because this is happening all over the world in cities like London or NYC or San Francisco or even Amsterdam. What used to be diverse cities with a mixed economy that could support more than just the upper crust have had three decades of gentrification and pushing out of anybody not able to affort five figure rents.

All those cities (with Berlin slightly behind because of its Cold War past) move on the same schedule.

First you had the collapse of industry and shipping in the sixties and seventies, which created that seventies hellscape in which a parasitic art scene could thrive thanks to low rents, cheap space and low cost of living, then once you got a liberalised finance industry looking around for ways to make money, as well as bankrupted cities thinking they'd rather be rich than arty, the next logical step was to buy up all that cheap space and make condos out of them.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:42 PM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


So what happens to cities?
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 2:12 PM on January 18, 2015


I was priced out of Bushwick nine years ago. Used to get harrassed by the locals: "Rock that shit in Manhattan -- Not here!" ...Now it's part of fucking Manhattan.

Relentless gentrification is a drag to me too. But it's an extreme exaggeration to say that Bushwick is part of Manhattan.
posted by the jam at 2:13 PM on January 18, 2015


So what happens to cities?

Huge domes.
posted by The Whelk at 2:34 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Because one year of reading investment news as a job, with no other experience in finance, economics, or investment, even in terms of education, isn't enough knowledge to speak with certainty.

Dude, I have no training in any of that - but I have Eyes. Which see a lot of new-looking buildings that stay empty, but furnished, for a long-ass time.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:40 PM on January 18, 2015


t pope guilty: The bloomington waffle house closing down really struck me in a weird way. I was long gone by then, but somehow that place had a great charm. It lives on in my dreams as the place where I saw a guy with a slicked back greaser haircut, white t shirt and a tattoo that said "SNAKE" on his upper arm one time in the middle of the night.

Truly a magic moment.
posted by Ferreous at 3:36 PM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but when people are saying that they were able to survive on a artist's income because they were eating trash, something's screwed up.

This is sort of what i was trying to get at. I saw someone touch on "but the median income is still low", yea, but what you get for your money is getting comically worse. And what people are willing to accept that's really unacceptable and no one should be ok with just to live there is fucking obscene.

A lot of my friends who moved out there lived in shithole places in seattle and didn't have princessy standards. The kinds of buildings where the unit nextdoor had a boarded shut door because the roof had caved in, and the landlord was apathetic to really deal with it. No one was expecting the ritz carlton. But they all ended up in super sketchy plywood rooms in commercial spaces with no heat, falling apart SRO type apartments, and other upsetting setups just to not be somewhere incredibly far out. Or both.

The standards for whats ok seem to go out the window because "hey, but i'm here, in the city!". And it's really fucked up and sad. The economic inequality is definitely more starkly displayed in the housing market there. The shitholes friends have lived in and dealt with blow my mind. Just pests, mold, falling apart bullshit spaces with sketchy criminal landlords.
posted by emptythought at 6:24 PM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm an artist and I live in NYC and many of my friends in New York are artists. Every time this topic comes up on metafilter - about 3 times a week? - I want to say something clever and apropos but I can't think of anything. Anyway, I guess we're doing ok.
posted by moonmilk at 6:27 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


The bloomington waffle house closing down really struck me in a weird way. I was long gone by then, but somehow that place had a great charm. It lives on in my dreams as the place where I saw a guy with a slicked back greaser haircut, white t shirt and a tattoo that said "SNAKE" on his upper arm one time in the middle of the night.

If memory serves, it was either the oldest or second oldest Waffle House (the Indiana chain, also known as Sunshine Cafe, not the Southern yellow sign chain) still remaining. Now there's nowhere to go at night but Denny's and Steak and Shake, both of which are too far from the bar district to walk.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:54 PM on January 18, 2015


Not that the rich are complaining, mind you... For that you have to be both rich and artsy.
posted by Fupped Duck at 11:37 PM on January 18, 2015


Here is an article on similar lines about London from yesterday's Observer (American chums: that's the Guardian on a Sunday). I can't remember a time when there weren't articles in the papers about London losing its character.
posted by biffa at 5:28 AM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth as a data point, my girlfriend's father is a professional artist, and he's doing okay. Lives out in Remote Queens like I do (same building, different apartment).
posted by SansPoint at 6:55 AM on January 19, 2015


Made it all this way with a "borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered 80s" quote? I'm surprised.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:26 AM on January 19, 2015


« Older goin' jukin' tonight   |   NEON GLITCHY PIXART MADNESS Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments