NYDN: Brooklyn Split by Wealth, Poverty


Anyone with a Google alert on Brooklyn will have noticed the news mostly concerns artisanal pickles, murder and the Nets. The New York Daily News has picked up on this seeming contradiction and reported on the statistics behind it. “When you read about Brooklyn, it’s either artisanal cheese or murder and mayhem,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber. “Both things are true.” The article noted there are more poor people in Brooklyn than the entire population of Detroit, but there are more wealthy people here than in Greenwich, Conn. Other contrasts: 69 people have been shot so far this year in Brownsville, while 70 Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights sold for $12.5 million. The explanation: “Waves of gentrification that started in the 1980s have brought an influx of mega-bucks and turned once-grimy neighborhoods like Williamsburg into magnets for the rich and trendy.” Another big driver: crime reduction in the 1990s, according to Director of the Center for an Urban Future Jonathan Bowles. Several years ago, Brooklyn ceased to be a bargain-priced alternative to Manhattan — but people kept moving here anyway. “It’s an increasingly difficult borough to be middle class,” said Bowles. He cited Kensington and Windsor Terrace as examples of areas where rising real estate prices have displaced moderate-income residents. Meanwhile, rents in Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo and Fort Greene are higher than those on the upper East Side, said the Daily News. What do you think of the borough’s direction? And do you agree it’s getting harder to be middle class here?
Statistics Paint Picture of Extremes of Wealth, Poverty [NY Daily News]
Photo by aprm718

102 Comment

  • so -Isn’t this the direction of the whole country? why should here be any different? Hollowing out of middle class….more poverty/struggling as rich get
    richer.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Earlier in the Summer I was sitting at an outdoor cafe on the corner of 8th Ave and 49th and this whole trend was even more pronounced in Hell’s Kitchen with the haves and have nots all there at the same time.

    • HK

      I’m sorry: what cafe? You mean the Starbucks or the classy Food Emporium dining area? Or that pub? ( that used to be a Brazilian joint)

      8th Ave is not indicative of HK, as being a resident there until recently for almost a decade. It’s where tourists gather and other people walk around around them to get where they are going.

  • minard

    it is getting harder to be middle class everywhere. Brooklyn is just off the charts. I have always found it a little astonishing that people are willing to overpay tremendously for old houses knowing they will be surrounded by poverty. That issue kept housing prices in Brooklyn at reasonable, even bargain, levels for a long time. But now, the situation is nuts. The tony suburbs are bargains today by comparison.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Even cheaper than the suburbs is rural property. If Obama’s class warfare really rears its ugly head in the worst way, that’s where you are going to want to be.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Even cheaper than the suburbs is rural property. If Obama’s class warfare really rears its ugly head in the worst way, that’s where you are going to want to be.

  • Havemeyer

    I never thought I’d want to live anywhere other than Brooklyn, but this isn’t a Brooklyn I like. Don’t get me wrong, my immediate neighborhood, school, apartment, are all fantastic–but I hate seeing the people that first welcomed me so warmly to this neighborhood being forced out of it one-by-one, or forced to live increasingly marginalized lifestyles among the artisanal pickles.

    Look, here’s what I want in a neighborhood: community. Really rich people are not that healthy for communities. They tend to be busy, demanding, frightened, and away all summer. A neighborhood full of them is not fun.

  • minard

    Property values upstate have taken a huge hit. Upstate is the new Brooklyn.

  • there have always been — and always will be — the haves and the have nots. It is since the beginning of time and exists in every single culture. It’s nothing new. Just because there are poor that needs our community support, does not mean there should not be an avenue for people to acheive great success — and yes, buy a $11 million brownstone and eat $90 steaks.

  • Oh yeah — and rent should be highter in Brooklyn Heights than it is on the Upper East Side. Most of the UES is a post-college hell. BH is one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city.

  • Oh yeah — and rent should be highter in Brooklyn Heights than it is on the Upper East Side. Most of the UES is a post-college hell. BH is one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city.

  • East New York

    “The article noted there are more poor people in Brooklyn than the entire population of Detroit, but there are more wealthy people here than in Greenwich, Conn.”

    You don’t need a Daily News article to recognize that these are trends playing out not just in Brooklyn but all over the country. The wealthiest Americans are growing wealthier, the ranks of the poor are expanding, and the middle class is increasingly challenged to keep afloat. These trends were in motion long before President Obama came into office. Fortunately the president recognizes and is attempting to address these issues.

  • @eastnewyork, please dont make this a political conversation. These ebbs and flows have been in existance since the beginning of time and have NOTHING to do with conservatives or liberals. Obama can do NOTHING to change this. You are believeing the ultra-liberal media spin.

  • East New York

    “@eastnewyork, please dont make this a political conversation.”

    Why not? Because you don’t want to hear it? You accuse me of “believeing the ultra-liberal media spin” and in the same breath ask me not to make this “a political conversation?” Are you some kind of idiot (rhetorical question)?

    If you don’t think the president can do anything about this situation, fine. You’re as entitled to your beliefs as I am to mine. The only difference is I’m not telling you what to believe or how to think. I stand by everything I posted, whether you like it or not.

  • East New York

    “@eastnewyork, please dont make this a political conversation.”

    Why not? Because you don’t want to hear it? You accuse me of “believeing the ultra-liberal media spin” and in the same breath ask me not to make this “a political conversation?” Are you some kind of idiot (rhetorical question)?

    If you don’t think the president can do anything about this situation, fine. You’re as entitled to your beliefs as I am to mine. The only difference is I’m not telling you what to believe or how to think. I stand by everything I posted, whether you like it or not.

  • “These trends were in motion long before President Obama came into office.”
    Too bad HIllary lost, BO is a deer in headlights.
    His only answer is to rename the San Andreas to “Bush’s Fault”.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Although I have political views diametrically opposed to eastnewyork, he is correct. the trend is disconcerting but it rerally doesn’t have much to do with politics or who is president.

    Besides, a good political bruhaha is always fun here, or at least it used to be

  • East New York

    “BO is a deer in headlights.”

    Maybe you’re right. I’m going to vote and wait to see what happens.

  • minard

    The trend over my lifetime has been the inclusion of more and more Americans in the middle class. That trend stopped and since 2008 has been in reverse, probably for the first time since the Dust Bowl years. So it may be correct to state that everything is a cycle and that these trends are ever present, but it is nonetheless disconcerting as the trend has not gone in this direction for a long, long time.
    I believe the power of the President is incredibly important in dealing with these issues. Obama acted courageously and dramatically to stem the crisis in the banking and auto industries from spinning out of control. I believe we would be back in the dust bowl had he not acted. I cannot understand the criticism that he is frozen in headlights or that he is ineffective. You can say you disagree with his philosophy and approach but ineffective? frozen in the headlights? That’s just contrary to facts.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Romney is being held back by the overall burden of the Republican party. I think he’d be better for the long run. Obama is a socialist, pure and simple. This is not a socialist country. he’s bad for business and his class warfare tirades are Despicable.

    That said, Obama will probably win. he’s playing a very sleazy game of Chicago style politics and unfortunately it resonates with most people now.

    Something does have to be done regarding a restructuring of SS and medicare. mathematiucally, they cannot last in their current form and it will be better in the long run for those who will actually depend upon them in 20+ years

  • daveinbedstuy

    Romney is being held back by the overall burden of the Republican party. I think he’d be better for the long run. Obama is a socialist, pure and simple. This is not a socialist country. he’s bad for business and his class warfare tirades are Despicable.

    That said, Obama will probably win. he’s playing a very sleazy game of Chicago style politics and unfortunately it resonates with most people now.

    Something does have to be done regarding a restructuring of SS and medicare. mathematiucally, they cannot last in their current form and it will be better in the long run for those who will actually depend upon them in 20+ years

  • daveinbedstuy

    Come on pretzel, 8th ave was THE PITS intil about 10-12 years ago.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Minard:

    The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is a program of the United States government to purchase assets and equity from financial institutions to strengthen its financial sector that was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008.

    All Obama has done so far is put forth his Obamacare in the face of a very bad housing market and RISING unemployment.

  • daveinbedstuy

    It was some Italian restaurant, not sure what corner and it may have been 9th Ave. that said, my previous comment about 8th still stands.

  • minard

    The trend among civilized industrial countries has been towards greater and greater societal responsibility towards the old, infirm and poor. If this is Socialism then it’s the ticket to the future. We cannot go back to the days when the poor and elderly were allowed to die on the streets and the middle class would just step over their bodies until the morgue workers came by to haul it away.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Minard: As much as you care not to believe, we are a far cry from the 1800s where that was the case.

    In fact, Obamacare is a massive tax on those who cannot afford the insurance premiums. There should have been a program put in place for reimbursing hospitals who care for those unable to pay….much simpler

  • daveinbedstuy

    An across the board early retirement of 10% of the federal workforce, 200% of whom are redundant!!!!!

  • daveinbedstuy

    They’d be retired and on pensions, dummy.

  • daveinbedstuy

    They’d be retired and on pensions, dummy.

  • daveinbedstuy

    The pensions will be paid no matter what, eventually. Overall expenses would be down a lot. You’re not thinking.

    Let me clue you in. there’s no “lock box” (remember that??) where the money is put away for Federal pensions or SS. Only corporations have to account for that.

    • Magic! All our healthcare problems suddenly gone by essentially laying off 10% of the fed workforce.

      Now, I’m not arguing that the government can’t be run much more efficiently, but the issues with the healthcare should not be oversimplified just so that your average teabagger can wrap his/her tiny brain around it.

    • Magic! All our healthcare problems suddenly gone by essentially laying off 10% of the fed workforce.

      Now, I’m not arguing that the government can’t be run much more efficiently, but the issues with the healthcare should not be oversimplified just so that your average teabagger can wrap his/her tiny brain around it.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Whatever, brownie. If you learn to argue intelligently, I’ll respond.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Whatever, brownie. If you learn to argue intelligently, I’ll respond.

  • That picture is very provocative but not an accurate depiction of poor vs rich in Brooklyn. While I know that guy is poor, he is also mentally ill and very much a drunk. I feel sorry for him. I doubt the hard working people of Brooklyn with low incomes want him as their posterboy. Oh well, whatever it takes to sell a paper.

  • I’m not going to waste my time with a political argument with DIBS, as it is pointless. Needless to say, I disagree with everything he said.

    As far as Brooklyn goes, the middle class is hanging on by a thread, only because we are putting much more of a percentage of our earnings into room and board. The old mantra of “one third of your income for housing” is not true for too many people I know. It’s half and maybe even more.

    That means less in purchasing power, less to support the corner coffee shop, or the neighborhood hardware store, or your favorite restaurant. Meanwhile, the rich, who are indeed moving in all neighborhoods, aren’t going to shop in those places anyway, and more people are going out of business, further increasing the gap. It’s a vicious cycle. And I don’t think it’s going to get any better, no matter who is president.

    • Townie

      I have noticed that many (four) of the recent 2 family home sale on my block in the South Slope have been converted to single family use. Don’t know if this is exactly a trend but it looks like my new neighbors don’t need the extra income from a rental…

  • daveinbedstuy

    ralphus999, I think this is one of the predominant issues in our country today…that the media distorts virtually everything, on both sides

  • daveinbedstuy

    MM, “middle class” is a very broad range. If you want to define subsectors of it I’m open to listening but your brush is far too broad.

  • minard

    whatever your thoughts on Obamacare, it is here to stay. I do not believe a Romney administration will turn back the clock and rescind laws that allow college-age dependents to stay on family health accounts or that prevent individuals with pre-existing conditions from getting insurance at any price.
    I will say this, the Republicans are tapping into pronounced selfish and racist veins in American society. -which are very potent politically, they may win the election that way. I’m not saying they are stupid. Evil, yes. Stupid, no.

  • daveinbedstuy

    And yes, of course I understand that many people have it very hard. And no single president can turn that around very fast. Job creation and rising incomes won’t happen if corporations are afraid to hire because taxes and exenses are rising and regulations have run way beyond where they should be.

  • My brush is broad? You just called 200% of the fed work force redundant, not to mention the President is not a socialist.

  • daveinbedstuy

    I called 200% of the top 10% redundant, which is 20% of the entire workforce. I truly believe that they are. there’s so much waste throughout the government (fed, state & local) that it’s ridiculous,.

    And yes, Obama is basically a socialist.

  • Oh please with the “socialist” bs. Tenants of socialism are built into the fiber of this country’s contract with its people. We would be a feudal society with out them. Aside from Medicare and the social security, we have:

    Public schools – socialist
    Public highway system – socialist
    Public water system – socialist
    Public parks – socialist

    The list goes on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a country providing for the good of all the people. Without it you don’t have some kind of perfect Randian capitalist utopia. You have North Korea and the Congo.

  • minard

    The traditional definition of middle class or ‘bourgeoisie’ is that group who have more than one source of income. They do not rely just on their wages for their wealth. In other words, they own property, securities, have money in the bank. People who have a job but own no property and have no other source of income are usually defined as working class or “Proletariat.” The upper class are those who own the means of production. The big business owners, the owenrs of banks, etc.
    I read Marx a long time ago, but that’s what I recall.
    -and I don’t mean Groucho.

  • daveinbedstuy

    I think someone needs to read a definition of socialism. I’m talking about the Elizabeth Warren and now, Obama, rants about the government being responsible for everyone’s success, ie. the means of production

  • daveinbedstuy

    As usual, I’m in somewhat agreement with Minard. :)

  • you say socialist like it’s a bad thing….

  • daveinbedstuy

    There’s always France for you, skillman.

  • OK, off to other things. Arguing with DIBS is like drawing a line in the ocean, it keeps on moving around. He keeps changing the definition and the terms when people’s answers are better than his positions. That’s not debating the points, it’s obfuscation. Very Republican of you.

  • I’ve always been of the belief that you measure the success of a country by how it treats their worst off. I’d probably benefit personally from a Romney presidency, but most people wouldn’t. And that’s not even addressing social issues.

  • “Arguing with DIBS is like drawing a line in the ocean, it keeps on moving around. He keeps changing the definition and the terms when people’s answers are better than his positions.”

    I’m sorry montrose but you have just described yourself to a t.

    Your favorite two favorite refrains are “that’s not what I meant” and “that’s not what I said”.

  • “Arguing with DIBS is like drawing a line in the ocean, it keeps on moving around. He keeps changing the definition and the terms when people’s answers are better than his positions.”

    I’m sorry montrose but you have just described yourself to a t.

    Your favorite two favorite refrains are “that’s not what I meant” and “that’s not what I said”.

  • minard

    “As usual, I’m in somewhat agreement with Minard”

    Dave, thank you for the “somewhat”

    • Sadly, both candidates represent corporate America, which has been in sync with the worldwide neo liberal wave – privatization, cutting public workers, public programs, pensions, health care, education, programs for the poor etc., etc., while lining the pockets of the corporations and super rich. “Obamacare” is one big boondoggle for the private insurance companies. And on the local front, the 16th wealthiest man in the world has succeeded in turning NYC in to a home base for the wealthiest of the world. And our “democratic” governor continues the attacks on unions, the middle and the poor. Nobody mentions the billions in drones and the military

  • If you want to save the middle class in Brooklyn, build more housing. I agree with Montrose that housing costs are eating a huge percentage of our disposable income, and that’s unproductive for the local economy. Worse, it empowers the already way-too-powerful real estate landlords, who leverage their power politically to extract even more taxpayer subsidies, etc.

    If we had more supply with consistent demand prices and rents would fall, enabling more spending on local business, less debt, etc. I personally think the city should partner with MTA to rehab express tracks and invest in express service, extensions of subway lines and upzoning along those routes to create not only the additional housing we desperately need but the infrastructure needed to support it. Satellite office locations like downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, LIC, etc. will be ever more important to reduce overwhelming Manhattan’s infrastructure though (can’t fit anymore 4 or 5 trains than now), so the more holistic the approach the better the results, but increasing housing supply has to be a huge priority.

    Or, prices will crush people enough and they will leave, and there’s a finite supply of rich people to fill the voids – sooner or later we’ll find the equilibrium; it’s a matter of at what cost?

  • If you want to save the middle class in Brooklyn, build more housing. I agree with Montrose that housing costs are eating a huge percentage of our disposable income, and that’s unproductive for the local economy. Worse, it empowers the already way-too-powerful real estate landlords, who leverage their power politically to extract even more taxpayer subsidies, etc.

    If we had more supply with consistent demand prices and rents would fall, enabling more spending on local business, less debt, etc. I personally think the city should partner with MTA to rehab express tracks and invest in express service, extensions of subway lines and upzoning along those routes to create not only the additional housing we desperately need but the infrastructure needed to support it. Satellite office locations like downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, LIC, etc. will be ever more important to reduce overwhelming Manhattan’s infrastructure though (can’t fit anymore 4 or 5 trains than now), so the more holistic the approach the better the results, but increasing housing supply has to be a huge priority.

    Or, prices will crush people enough and they will leave, and there’s a finite supply of rich people to fill the voids – sooner or later we’ll find the equilibrium; it’s a matter of at what cost?

  • daveinbedstuy

    The bike lanes will serve to correct a lot of the inequalities.

  • daveinbedstuy

    The bike lanes will serve to correct a lot of the inequalities.

  • Oh really, eh? What an imagination you’ve developed.

  • minard

    I do believe that the sale of an aircraft carrier or two, and the cutting back on the endless wars could do a lot to balance the budget even if the government decides to spend more of its resources to help the elderly afford medical care or children to eat nutritious meals or the unemployed to get benefits to support their families and other frivolities like that.

  • minard

    I do believe that the sale of an aircraft carrier or two, and the cutting back on the endless wars could do a lot to balance the budget even if the government decides to spend more of its resources to help the elderly afford medical care or children to eat nutritious meals or the unemployed to get benefits to support their families and other frivolities like that.

  • I’m all for cutting wasteful spending. Why don’t we start with one of the biggest financial burdens, the military. I keep hearing conservatives nickel and diming teachers unions, services to the poor, etc, but rarely-nay, NEVER do I hear anything about cutting defense spending.

    Whatever. Obama can’t save us, Romney can’t ruin us, this country was bought by corporations a long time ago. And I still won’t be able to afford a brownstone.

  • I’m all for cutting wasteful spending. Why don’t we start with one of the biggest financial burdens, the military. I keep hearing conservatives nickel and diming teachers unions, services to the poor, etc, but rarely-nay, NEVER do I hear anything about cutting defense spending.

    Whatever. Obama can’t save us, Romney can’t ruin us, this country was bought by corporations a long time ago. And I still won’t be able to afford a brownstone.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Pew Survey results out TODAY on the middle class….I’m busy painting so maybe one of you can link it but there is one headline ..

    Of the 10% that are no longer in the “middle class” 4% dropped to lowere BUT 6% MOVED UP!!!!!!!

  • fractalogical

    I agree with Heather, MM and others here that a sense of community is key to a neighborhood’s viability. However, I would point out that the narrative of warm friendly long time residents being displaced in favor of cold uncaring rich people is not always accurate, at least in my experience. When I first moved to the south slope 15 years ago, my immediate neighbors had kids who were drug dealing graffiti tagging gang members who would harass and intimidate the other residents of the block. It was a good thing for the community when they were bought out. Likewise, when I moved a few blocks over, my new block had an open air drug market (mostly heroin), with junkies hanging out in doorways, etc. It was a good thing for the community when those dealers and junkies came under increased scrutiny by the police, or were displaced because of gentrification. Many of my neighbors who have lived in the area for decades would agree that the changes taking place are not entirely for the worse.

  • fractalogical

    I agree with Heather, MM and others here that a sense of community is key to a neighborhood’s viability. However, I would point out that the narrative of warm friendly long time residents being displaced in favor of cold uncaring rich people is not always accurate, at least in my experience. When I first moved to the south slope 15 years ago, my immediate neighbors had kids who were drug dealing graffiti tagging gang members who would harass and intimidate the other residents of the block. It was a good thing for the community when they were bought out. Likewise, when I moved a few blocks over, my new block had an open air drug market (mostly heroin), with junkies hanging out in doorways, etc. It was a good thing for the community when those dealers and junkies came under increased scrutiny by the police, or were displaced because of gentrification. Many of my neighbors who have lived in the area for decades would agree that the changes taking place are not entirely for the worse.

  • Here Dibs: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/08/22/the-lost-decade-of-the-middle-class/

    You’re cherry-picking the data – overall middleclass wages, wealth, and mobility are down.

  • more4less

    politicians are in it as a long term career – that’s why everything is about positioning for good re-election odds. serving the public is lip svc. if obama cared about us why not do something now vs waiting till AFTER the election. same can be said of all those clowns in congress too – why not now??? bi-partisan crap is at despicable levels now. makes one crave for a 1-party system and 1-term limits

  • Very simple math. If you are running the city, do you want more people that pay taxes but use little government resource to move in or you preferred more people that don’t pay or pay very little taxes but consume a lot of resources to move in? You cannot have both ways. Certain polices are needed to attract high earners but the down side is it will displace some of the people at the bottom, becuase there only so much land and the planet is not getting any bigger.
    It is the same as running a household as running a government. It takes money and there is a balance sheet. If the Brooklyn people love 20 years ago is so great why it was one of the poorest city in the US?

  • megazoid

    I lived in Germany, France, UK and Eastern Europe. I’m an economics major, I was against the social policies in Europe and a big believer in free markets and Milton Friedman.

    I moved to the US, and I was taken aback by the levels of urban poverty and the insurmountable wealth gap between the different classes. The majority of people have definitely a better life in the “socialist” Europe than in Brooklyn.

    And I do pay exactly the same level of taxes here as I did in the “socialist” Germany and France. I paid much less (percentage-wise) in the UK. I also worked in Singapore which has a large government and paid below 10% in taxes.

    Instead of name-calling (socialist vs capitalist) the time would be better spent implementing some common sense policies that have nothing to do with political parties or political beliefs.

  • megazoid

    I think Romney and Obama should live full-time for 6-12 months in Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, Detroit etc., hang out with the community and try to understand the normal people in these neighborhoods. Perhaps get a bike and go to Brooklyn Flea on weekends :)

    I’m sure such an experience would result in much more sensible policies than the current proposals.

  • minard

    mega, I appreciate your posts. I agree that we do not get the level of services back from our government that we deserve based on our taxation.
    Only the really really rich pay lower taxes in the US than in Europe, the rest of us pay about the same or more. And we don’t get the benefits. Even Social Security which we pay through the nose for all our working lives is described by some as an “entitlement” as if we were getting something for nothing. It’s ridiculous.
    The thing is that all our taxes are going to missiles, stealth bombers, aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons. Naturally when you are armed to the teeth you are just looking to start wars, how else to test all the hi-tech war toys? That is our country now. All our money for war machinery little left for the actual benefit of our fellow Americans..
    No wonder Republicans have to drum up fear of Hispanics and gays and poor people -prejudices that are all too present already in many American’s heads.
    Republican platform: You can”t afford health care? Don’t worry about that, we promise that we will kick all those dirty Mexicans out of the country and tell them to take their American children with them. Vote for me.
    It works too.

  • minard

    mega, I appreciate your posts. I agree that we do not get the level of services back from our government that we deserve based on our taxation.
    Only the really really rich pay lower taxes in the US than in Europe, the rest of us pay about the same or more. And we don’t get the benefits. Even Social Security which we pay through the nose for all our working lives is described by some as an “entitlement” as if we were getting something for nothing. It’s ridiculous.
    The thing is that all our taxes are going to missiles, stealth bombers, aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons. Naturally when you are armed to the teeth you are just looking to start wars, how else to test all the hi-tech war toys? That is our country now. All our money for war machinery little left for the actual benefit of our fellow Americans..
    No wonder Republicans have to drum up fear of Hispanics and gays and poor people -prejudices that are all too present already in many American’s heads.
    Republican platform: You can”t afford health care? Don’t worry about that, we promise that we will kick all those dirty Mexicans out of the country and tell them to take their American children with them. Vote for me.
    It works too.

  • expert_textpert

    I don’t want to read or think about poverty and poor people in Brooklyn.
    I want to read about $4M townhouses.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Here’s a perfect example of wrong thinking…there’s a moron on CNBC right now saying that Americans should pay more taxes because there’s not enough revenue to cover federal spending.

  • expert_textpert

    dibs, you just need to stop after the first 7 words and then sign it.

    “Here’s a perfect example of wrong thinking…”

  • @Megazoid: Obama was a community organizer on the south side of Chicago back in the days; he has literally been there and done that.

    ” In 1985, he moved to Chicago to work with local churches organizing job training and other programs for poor and working-class residents of Altgeld Gardens, a public housing project where 5,300 African-Americans tried to survive amid shuttered steel mills, a nearby landfill, a putrid sewage treatment plant, and a pervasive feeling that the white establishment of Chicago would never give them a fair shake” http://bit.ly/13dWEw

  • daveinbedstuy

    Yes, and that’s where he learned his personal attack politics that he’s now pursuing against Romney…. with the best of them, Chicago politicians.

  • I’m not sure either Romney or Obama would be all the comfortable in Detroit or Brownsville. (Ryan would probably wet his pants.) As for the Brooklyn Flea, do you think they would be terrified of all the hipsters???

  • I’m not sure either Romney or Obama would be all the comfortable in Detroit or Brownsville. (Ryan would probably wet his pants.) As for the Brooklyn Flea, do you think they would be terrified of all the hipsters???

  • Back to the article, though: If I were in the market for a rental apartment, I would definitely prefer the upper east side to anywhere in Brooklyn. I’m an unabashed lover of classical music and Brooklyn is a wasteland in that regard. (Bargemusic is nice, but I tend to get seasick.) It would be great to be no more than a quick taxi ride from a concert with no long commute home afterward. And Manhattan has much better shopping, Still, since I have a great, fully paid brownstone in Crown Heights South, I guess I’ll stay here and remain amazed at the prices that are being paid in some Brooklyn neighborhoods that I wouldn’t touch. (I moved to CHS 36 years ago, when it was definitely considered undesirable.) I’ll continue to trek to Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, etc. and get some musician friends to play piano recitals at my house.

  • daveinbedstuy

    morralkan, you’re right. brooklyn doesn’t compare to manhattan in any respect with the exception of one…many area, but certainly not all, are quiet and uncrowded; no throngs of people on sidewalks, etc; not a lot of sirens and buses. It’s nice that way.

    • If you notice, Dave, I specifically referred to the classical music scene and shopping. I admit that Manhattan is very crowded, but lots of Brooklyn (e.g. 7th Ave in Park Slope, Montague St) are not bereft of people on the sidewalk. And you don’t hear many sirens in Brooklyn??? I’ve lived in Brooklyn more than 50 years and the really nice, quiet parts, in my opinion are not located in the popular brownstone Brooklyn nabes.

  • You can remove the Open Thread, but it keeps popping up again, despite all of Jonathan Butler’s resolve!

  • Working class and middle class New Yorkers are the center of Brooklyn, and cover most of the ‘land area’ and live in most of the homes.

    “silent majority’ if i may so say myself

    Rich and poor get more ink, but most of our fair boro are in the middle.

    Tough place to be, but not at any extreme.

  • minard

    “shady” Chicago politics?
    You mean because he’s Black?
    Not “north” like you?

  • minard

    “shady” Chicago politics?
    You mean because he’s Black?
    Not “north” like you?

  • daveinbedstuy

    You could compare any scene. it’d be the same outcome.

  • Havemeyer

    Did you guys see this?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/23/texas-judge-warns-civil-unrest-un-troop-presence-if-obama-re-elected/

    (I don’t normally link to fox news, but if one is going to read an article about the crazy, I think going for full crazy is the way to go.)

    • I’d say that there are a lot of crazy people in Texas … and there are … but, unfortunately, I know a lot of people up here in the northeast who are rabidly anti-Obama. (birthers, but he’s a muslim, etc etc) Personally, I don’t much care for him and his wife, even though I voted for him. I don’t even think he’s been an especially good president. Still, given the alternative of Romney/Ryan, I guess it’s back to holding my nose again and voting for Obama/Biden. Perhaps I should buy a gun just in case there’s a new civil war. :-)

      (That last line IS sarcasm!!!)

  • so, no doubt it’s getting harder to be middle class, but like everyone said this is really just a consequence of being a vibrant city rather than a dying one or an isolated gated community. but i think it’s important to be honest about what is, and is not, happening before we can have a useful conversation about whether it’s bad or good. it seems like the “rich people” who move in do want local restaurants and local amenities (generally, that’s why they’re in Brooklyn and not, say, Greenwich), and just because the restaurants and amenities are different doesn’t make the people any less or any more “legitimate” members of the community than people they may or may not have displaced. second, areas that are still gentrifying (e.g., clinton hill) compared to those that are basically gentrified (e.g., boerum hill) don’t really seem to attract the hyper-rich who spend all their weekends in the hamptons. the “rich people” in those neighborhoods may have more wealth and may not make instant bonds with the old-timers, but i’ve met plenty of nice folks on my street who plainly have no interest in hanging out with “newcomers,” and that doesn’t make them ruinous to the neighborhood.

    that said, it is obviously difficult for a community to build its institutions if new people arrive expecting everything to be fully developed to their tastes and reject them if they are not. (i am thinking mainly of schools here, but there may be other examples.) it’s an interesting conundrum. in my neighborhood, there are families who’ve lived here for years and refuse(d) to send their kids to the local school, and seem taken aback when they learn that “newcomers” are doing so; even more so they question the sometimes hard work that the newcomers are doing associated with the schools. i don’t question the motivations and choices of these veteran families, but that dynamic also makes it hard to question the motivations and choices of “rich people” who move in and do, essentially, the same thing.

  • so, no doubt it’s getting harder to be middle class, but like everyone said this is really just a consequence of being a vibrant city rather than a dying one or an isolated gated community. but i think it’s important to be honest about what is, and is not, happening before we can have a useful conversation about whether it’s bad or good. it seems like the “rich people” who move in do want local restaurants and local amenities (generally, that’s why they’re in Brooklyn and not, say, Greenwich), and just because the restaurants and amenities are different doesn’t make the people any less or any more “legitimate” members of the community than people they may or may not have displaced. second, areas that are still gentrifying (e.g., clinton hill) compared to those that are basically gentrified (e.g., boerum hill) don’t really seem to attract the hyper-rich who spend all their weekends in the hamptons. the “rich people” in those neighborhoods may have more wealth and may not make instant bonds with the old-timers, but i’ve met plenty of nice folks on my street who plainly have no interest in hanging out with “newcomers,” and that doesn’t make them ruinous to the neighborhood.

    that said, it is obviously difficult for a community to build its institutions if new people arrive expecting everything to be fully developed to their tastes and reject them if they are not. (i am thinking mainly of schools here, but there may be other examples.) it’s an interesting conundrum. in my neighborhood, there are families who’ve lived here for years and refuse(d) to send their kids to the local school, and seem taken aback when they learn that “newcomers” are doing so; even more so they question the sometimes hard work that the newcomers are doing associated with the schools. i don’t question the motivations and choices of these veteran families, but that dynamic also makes it hard to question the motivations and choices of “rich people” who move in and do, essentially, the same thing.