Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bloomberg's Williamsburg legacy

From NY Magazine:

Construction began at a phenomenal pace. In 2005 alone, there were 130 new projects in the works; since then, over a thousand proposals have been filed with the local community board—including a handful of buildings with more than 200 units apiece. As the frenzy ensued, few developers seemed to entertain the critical question of whether a neighborhood with mediocre schools and a median income of $25,892 (less than that of decidedly ungentrified Crown Heights) was fully prepared to lure hordes of young professionals willing to pay Manhattan prices. “Basically, dreams were being built upon dreams,” says Matthew Haines, the chairman of PropertyShark .com, a website founded in the neighborhood that aggregates real-estate data. “The first developers out the gate thought they might—might—be able to ask around $500 or $600 a square foot. Soon they had bid each other up to $1,000 a square foot. It was ridiculous, considering that in Manhattan you could still buy for $800, but the buyers were there, so no one was really worried about what that meant.”

And from the Daily News:

Heroin-addict hobos from around the country are overrunning hipster haven Williamsburg - living in stalled luxury condo projects in the trendy Brooklyn neighborhood.

The newcomers, who call themselves "gutter punks," are stirring outrage among residents and shopkeepers who charge the bums brawl on the sidewalk, shoplift and shoot heroin in trendy cafe bathrooms.

"It's like St. Marks in the '70s," said Williamsburg activist Philip DePaolo, referring to the notorious East Village hangout. "It's the bad old days all over again. There's crack and heroin all over the neighborhood."

The squatters, from middle-class families, hop freight trains to the city, where they can earn up to $150 a day panhandling in Manhattan. At night, like plenty of other borough commuters, they return to their homes: grubby hideaways inside boarded-up lots that pock the once-booming neighborhood.

"I've got to sleep somewhere, and I might as well do it in Williamsburg," said Stuart, 22, a Florida college dropout.

The admitted alcoholic and heroin user makes $15 an hour panhandling in Union Square, holding a sign that reads "Traveling Broke and Sexy."

"The girls here like it that I'm dirty and I ride trains," he added.


Also from the Daily News:

Gutter punk Johnny has traveled hobo-style all over the country, but he has never had it as good as he does in Wlliamsburg.

He's just a short train ride from Manhattan, where he panhandles on Wall St. to pay for a hefty drug habit, his friends said.

Since November, Johnny and his galpal have been living rent-free with their pit bull.

They crashed in an abandoned building and in makeshift sheds on empty lots after coming to Williamsburg.

When they were house-hunting, they chose stalled construction projects like one at 205 North Ninth St. near Driggs Ave., which was going to be a seven-story residential building but is now an empty lot circled by plywood.


15 comments:

-Joe said...

Oh boy wait till winter --ever see "Escape From New York" or been to south and east skids of Hollywood ?

I lost both mt tenants in Ridgewood, they were scaired for their kids and car radios.

-Joe

Anonymous said...

This isn't about overdevelopment.
It's about bums, squatters, and drug addicts.
Get the issues straight.

PizzaBagel said...

The admitted alcoholic and heroin user makes $15 an hour panhandling in Union Square, holding a sign that reads "Traveling Broke and Sexy."

Who the eff is giving their hard-earned money to this bum? What?! No trust fund from Daddy? Cue the violins.

"The girls here like it that I'm dirty and I ride trains," he added.

Ah, yes -- the Bad Boy. Such a turn-on. He's quite a catch, girls. The line forms near the subway entrance at the southwest corner of the plaza. Let the catfight commence.

Since November, Johnny and his galpal have been living rent-free with their pit bull.

They crashed in an abandoned building and in makeshift sheds on empty lots after coming to Williamsburg.

When they were house-hunting, they chose stalled construction projects like one at 205 North Ninth St. near Driggs Ave., which was going to be a seven-story residential building but is now an empty lot circled by plywood.


How romantic! Oh how it brings a tear to my eye. I must seek him out in Union Square to make a hefty contribution to him and the Missus and Max.

cmdrkynes said...

Surprise, the scene of gang violence and heroin addicts only a few years before the boom became the scene of gang violence and heroin addicts.

Anonymous said...

Someone should do us a favor and set him on fire while he is sleeping.

Taxpayer said...

Thank the Commissar for this.

He wants all the overdevelopment for these scum and the illegal aliens.

By the way, you will be competing with these maggots for medical services in the very near future.

You can thank the Messiah for that!

Missing Foundation said...

This isn't about overdevelopment.
It's about bums, squatters, and drug addicts.
Get the issues straight.

--------------

Overdevelopment takes many forms but the bottom line is that it destroys the underpinings of a community: the owner occupied buildings with families that have a long term commitment to their neighborhood.

It might be the soul crushing megatowers in Manhattan, self contained, self absorbed, a blank wall to the street advertising the 'Opportunites For You At Bank of America' for half a block.

It might be absentee landlords cramming 2 or 3 family homes with a revolving door of faceless nonpeople who are just passing through to something better.

It might be a poorly thought out urban policy that brings in a million people living in hundreds of poorly-built out-of-scale barricks in your back yard.

Your services are falling because your taxes are paid to sustain this new development.

Your local officials have their own agendas (development, world hunger, development, Bengladeshi cyclones, development, renaming things), all with little benefit to you.

They are breezily untroubled by your concerns.

Anonymous said...

You see, crap like this is happening all over NY with everyone caught with thier pants down in a midboom.

Only bits and pieces are getting out. If the public knew there would a lynching (Gerry where is that noose that got them apesh*t)

This is why they want the mayor in office. We vote him out it would be a body blow to this development abuse.

Anonymous said...

Hard cheese old man!

The western pioneers had to deal with the Indians forever shooting arrows at them and taking scalps.

So these yupsters on the fringes of the new frontier have to deal with heroin shooting street punks.

Fuck 'em! Caevet emptor!

Not exactly what Bloomberg & Co. promised you eh?

better take some martial arts lessons along with your pilates classes. Better yet...get a gun!

There's some irony in all this. Those street punks are paying far less than you boobs are for living in the same nabe.

Anonymous said...

Over pimping real estate values and over development is the root cause of all this.

If this were a stable family (or La Famiglia...ha, ha) nabe this kind of shit wouldn't be happening.

You can always sell a transient mid-western aspiring hipster a pig in a poke with a New York address!

Tsk, tsk, tsk...now what are these witless new "luxury" condo owners supposed to do?

Snake Plisskin is too old to help.

Find your own means of escape from New York.

georgetheatheist said...

www.nra.org

Evil Condo Dweller said...

georgetheatheist said...
www.nra.org
*****************

Amen to that! I'm telling you Crappers, these filthy hipsters are bringing us together. Its a beautiful thing.

Out of work & out of luck... where the hell to they get money for those stylish haircuts, hair dye, gel, and a precise shave??? These are sick filthy posers. The epitome of laziness and stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think they are a vibrant! Colorful! Diverse! addition to the goegeous moaic that is Williamsburg. Isn't what these yuppies and hipsters wanted?

Anonymous said...

I bet this panhandler's take-home amount plunges after his contributors get a look at this article, and realize how this guy has played them like a cheap violin.

Sam said...

I've seen alot more of these guys and girls down by wall street on my way to and from work.
the ones with animals always get a sympathetic hand out from people.