A story in the New York Times today makes a big deal about the difference between north and south Williamsburg: To the north, gentrification, an extension of Manhattan, Brooklyn’s new Meatpacking District. To the south, gritty, real, the old Brooklyn.
Grand Street is more than just the dividing line between streets that are numbered north and those numbered south. The border has become Williamsburg’s equivalent of the Mason-Dixon line, cleaving the neighborhood into two: a sleek, moneyed “North Williamsburg” and a gritty, hyper-authentic “South Williamsburg.”
Our take: Anyone who’s lived in either place for more than 20 years knows the south side has gentrified too, although not as extremely as the north end post Edge and Wythe Hotel. The article correctly notes that more gentrification is heading to the south, in the form of hotels and other development projects, such as Two Trees’ redevelopment of the Domino Sugar factory complex. The Times also says, puzzlingly, that “East Williamsburg” is a coinage of recent arrivals that applies to the area between the BQE and into Bushwick. In fact, it’s the official city name for the Bushwick loft area east of Bushwick Avenue.
The Williamsburg Divide [NY Times]