Friday, April 6, 2007

More on the middle class squeeze

This one blog post collected all the links about the topic and summed up the problem nicely:

watch, read or listen to coverage of the NYC middle class squeeze

Of particular interest was this article from the appropriately-titled NY Observer:

The Crisis of the Upper-Middle Class: Big Pay Is Piddling in New York

Oh no! Where will they go?

“They could live in Astoria! Astoria is wonderful, and underappreciated,” former New York Governor Mario Cuomo told The Observer.

Mario pushing for gentrification of his former borough. Maybe he's a friend of Pistilli.

The Crapper's sitting here in my neighborhood that no Manhattanite wants to live in because of the lack of decent public transportation and waiting for the entire city economy to collapse at Bloomberg's feet. This guy's predicting it too:

...I am a late-40’s lifetime New Yorker, who moved into Manhattan in early 1980 (you do the math) and “walked” to Studio 54 the first night I moved in (55th & First). I have been crisscrossing Manhattan, the boroughs and the suburbs since then. I have been very successful at sales over the years, so I am not a member of the angry “have-not” club. My point is that the overdevelopment of this city is astonishing. I truly believe that the “very high-end,” “upscale clientele” that are scooping up these luxury condos like heavily discounted wedding dresses will one day abandon this city and its rows of luxury housing.

It’s all fun in the beginning, but when the city is full of luxury housing and little else, where will they dine out, shop for enticing doodads and generally amuse themselves? In my neighborhood (Sutton Place) alone, we have lost all of the restaurants on First Avenue to developers of these stackable palaces of the rich and their excesses. Each new building serves to remove a chunk of the neighborhood for those that do not live there. It’s like walking a full city block without any access to what you are walking by. Kind of like “forced window-shopping.”

The best part of N.Y.C. has always been that we do juxtaposition better than anyone else in the world! This all strikes me as shortsightedness of a magnitude never before seen. Everyone thinks that the building of all of these buildings will keep N.Y.C. fully populated, but at what cost?

Lloyd N. Greenspan

Above letter from the NY Observer


Anonymous said...

Careful juxtaposition of building styles , sizes and income levels has always been the key to NYC's success......a sort of 3D urban collage.....without the total abundance of high rise boxes (ultra-income habitation warrens) dominating the landscape.

Look at the ratio in Nature.....the balance of tall trees to meadow or grassland. A thicket of trees chokes out the sunlight to the forest floor and the flowers that depended on bright light soon vanish. And so exits the middle class?

What we've got now is total obliteration of the skyline by brick or glass Behemoths. Most lack any true style and look more like towering rows of concrete construction blocks piled up high in the canyons of masonry supply yards.

The cost effective factor in the retail sector rules out any of the needed mom or pop businesses flourishing.....unless you want to pay $20 for a corned beef sandwich. Either you open up a high end franchise, antique gallery etc. or sell designer clothes or drugs out of your store to make ends meet, or you have to close your business down.

Hey you folks (you owners who paid, on average, 1.5 million dollars for a one bedroom condo in Manhattan).....where are all your service people (the ones who wipe your asses) going to live?

I guess in Queens for one! For the moment, that's the way City Planning has got it figured!

This ultra rich building trend is about to topple like the Biblical Tower of Babel and I don't want to be beneath it when the economic bricks start falling.

Take heed you over-invested. Nobody thought anything bad was going to haoppen on Wall St. in 1929 either!!!!

Anonymous said...

In my neighborhood of Hells Kitchen we are fighting the developers and their buddies the politicians. Need I say more? Read on good people and check out:

Anonymous said...

Glad to see people in other boroughs are starting to post on this blog. I have been following it since you opened.

What you are going through in one shape or another is going on throughout this city (although Queens, I am sorry, you are in a category by yourself.)

In Yorkville they are tearing down the great buildings that house all those little shops that we go to - the ones that make our community special.

In their place are bland empty streetscapes with banks, pharmacies, shoe stores, did I say banks?

We need a city wide conference to discuss this ugly overdevelopment.

Anonymous said...

Once again, if the machine wants the middle class in NYC they will bend over backwards pandering to it the same way they pander to seniors and immigrants.

They do not want the middle class. Remember that people when you go into the voting booth.