Friday, June 29, 2007

The overdevelopment of Brooklyn

First, Williamsburg:

"I don't know how far Williamsburg can grow," he says. "The public schools here are abysmal."

And even with the increase in residences, boutiques, bars and people, there is still no major grocery store in the vicinity (FreshDirect is the mantra of the Williamsburg broker), and the L line is constantly packed shoulder to shoulder.


Next, Bushwick:

"This is the continuation of Williamsburg," insists the condo's frantic real estate agent, dashing about the sixth-floor sales office. "Look," he says, burbling the happy nonsense of a salesman, "people in the neighborhood are ready to take their lives to the next level."

Although no one's keeping score, there's a huge displacement going on here of working families who are otherwise entitled, under statutes, regulations, and common civic decency, to hold onto their homes. As old a story as gentrification has become, it's still a double-edged sword that can cut ruthlessly at the poor unless tempered by tough enforcement of housing codes and rent rules.

The Second Battle of Bushwick

Photo from NY Post


Anonymous said...

The yuppies who have moved in around Montrose Ave. are already complaining of being mugged by some of their "lower class" local neighbors !

Too bad.....I guess you shouldn't stick your "I-pod" in your ear and remain oblivious to the plight of your "other" neighborhood residents !

Oh, the high price of "pioneering".....the possibility of your stagecoach being attacked by the Indians !

You have my "sympathies" !!!

Anonymous said...

“Myth (as reported in the new$papaer$)”
Realty – as reported by someone who actually LIVES there!


Oh? And who are you, Moses the lawgiver with a mandate from heaven. Why don’t you encourage the people of Williamsburg to reclaim their community from the developers?

“If Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood were a person, it would be going through its awkward phase, transitioning from free-spirited adolescent into responsible adult and experiencing constant physical change.”

How about from a free and happy community to an investor’s paradise with the locals reduced to Appalachian tenant farmers with no control over their little corner of heaven.

“Williamsburg has come a long way. In the early 1990s, the area was industrial warehouses. It was desolate. It was dangerous to walk around alone at night.”

Oh, and what about the citizens that lived there? You know, the ones that raised their families, worked hard all day, paid their taxes to support the politicians salaries? Are any politicians going to take insulting their constituents laying down? Of course! Developers money can do wonders in defining friends (them) and sidewalks (your constituents). BTW, I walked around Williamsburg for decades and never felt the least bit afraid.

“But for the unfortunate loss of every scrappy performance space, Williamsburg is also seeing much-needed positive development. "They're taking the weird nail salons and boarded-up buildings and turning them into something interesting," says Moshan. "Every week it seems that something else that's interesting or delicious or fun is opening up around us.”

Who defines what is “much-needed?” How about peace and quiet and affordable space? How about class rooms, space on the train, and a supermarket? How about a strong sense of community and a vocal and active citizenry?

“The true behemoths can be found along the water where the city has promised to build a riverfront park.”

Nothing like taking advantage of the working class people in the community, eh? After all , they are a bunch of dumb Polloks and stupid Ginneys. They don’t need a waterfront like your paper trumpets for the better off in Manhattan (where it will be appreciated by a more worthy class)

“The two main markets are creative professionals, not the artists that got Williamsburg to this point, but people in design, fashion, music," says Maundrell, "and financial professionals, attorneys, bankers.”

Oh, speculators. That will make for a really solid neighborhood base.

Anonymous said...

A North Williamsburg Brooklyn Bubble ? Fuggetaboutit !