So you fancy yourself a member of the media now? That’s a laugh. Sit around copying and pasting links all day from actual newspapers and you feel you deserve to be included amongst reputable publications that actually put in work and report the news? Your site offers absolutely nothing of value in terms of news and only exists to help your boyhood UES Manhattan pals sell overpriced real estate.
Go to school, work hard, and get a real job if it’s respect and recognition you crave. Or at least hire writers who know how to formulate sentences. Posting links to other people’s work does not make you part of the media. You write a blog and you run a dirty flea market. You’re no different than the other 100,000 yuppies who’ve moved to Brooklyn in the past decade. You’re quite far from being part of the media elite in this town.
Benson, I do think it is a reason to kick the tires harder. Some developments sailed through to completion during this rough patch, others did not. Some develoeprs are on sound financial footing, and some leverage to the hilt and keep leveraging to squeeze through. I don’t think it is wrong to suspect that some of the longer-stalled project stalled because lenders balked, and if those developers did not have the resources to carry on, chances are they have been tight from the beginning, or at least once construction resumed, and have cut corners along the way. I also wouldn’t assume all of the most heavily squeezed developers whose projects stalled left tehm in states where only the most impervious structural components were left open to the elements. I’ve seen in both new construction and in a number of renovations, including my own, the kinds of corners that can get cut when money runs short. If a project was stalled for 9-15 months, you can be sure no one was coming out to check the tarps every day, and you can’t be sure that there was nothing installed that is susceptible to water or wind damage. Not everyone builds the right way or stopped at a convenient pahse. Mine is not a “don’t buy” recommendation, just a be wary and vigilant recomendation, but I think with good reason.
Dear Readers of the Brownstoner, I have never read any of your blogs before I saw this article. However, I have been exposed to your opinions and ideas since the day I was born. Most of those ideas have been around long before all of you were born and have lead to the establishment of, among many other things, Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany and ultimately the eradication of more than half the Jewish race. I bring these examples to show the power of your ideas and their ultimate manifestation.
I’m sorry, but a house like this is not 100 shares of some under performing stock. It’s an historic piece of Brooklyn, built for the daughter of one of Bklyn’s big shots, and a fine example of eclectic turn of the century architecture. There are no other houses like this in CHN. The interior is full of first quality period detailing, and the entire property could be someone’s dream home, a wonderful place to raise a family, or grow old sitting on the porch. I really hate it when a place like this is reduced to a calculation of percentages, and formulas for tossing it around like a bean bag. The amount of time, money, research and heartache the guys who lost it put in shows that a house is more than just the price, or the comps. It’s also an emotional, physical reaction to a potential home. That is so often totally forgotten here.
The final dots that need to be connected are left unconnected by Ourossoff. Bait-and-switchers don’t just bait-and-switch once, it is a pattern. And if Ratner’s Gehry bait-and-switch is stunning, so is the bait-and-switch on “affordable” housing, “publicly accessible open space,” job creation, commercial space, reneging on a contract with the MTA, and changing the project timeline from 10 years to, unofficially “decades” and officially 6 years to build just the arena according to state financing documents. Atlantic Yards itself is a monument to bait-and-switch.
As has been pointed out, there is little reason to focus on a boundary unless your focus is on being in PS 29 (which has explicit boundaries), wanting to live in/avoid a LPC district (also explicit boundaries) or else being able to walk relatively more quickly to the Borough Hall subways (in which case you want to be in Cobble Hill). I was told by someone who grew up on Kane in the 1970′s (and then later in Brooklyn Heights) that the mental boundary for him (an ethnic wasp) was Union — once you crossed Union, the neighborhood went from something like 40-50% Italian to 80-100% Italian. (I wouldn’t count on those numbers to be accurate, but more that it was his perception.) That kind of jibes with the current zoning for PS 29, which goes to at least the north side of Union as far east as Court (but excludes everything north of Congress). (also, as 99 luftballons pointed out, there are 4 or 5 blocks east of Court also in PS 29). I don’t know whether the zone was the same when my friend was growing up.
This is why developers build eyesore POS’s all over the place – because whoever objects is termed elitist and these concerns are dismissed. Demanding higher standards from developers altering our neighbor- hoods with the shittiest, cheapest condo buildings they can build is not snobbery. And I’m not suggesting city regulation – if more people spoke up then developers would maybe, maybe, give aesthetics 10 extra minutes of thought.
Ok here is one part of this that was ignored. The police usually don’t respond or do anything about drug dealing unless someone has a gun. They have to actually catch someone in the act of dealing to really arrest them. They are business people and have figured out how to do their business. They get sloppy now and then, but they are fully aware of how to play the law. If you call 911 about drug dealing, they will ask you if anyone has a gun. The gun part will seal the deal for them and they will make a move. Here is my theory. Everyone’s gotta eat. There are people that have jobs and get paid and people that hustle and get paid. The cops know this. The city knows this. My experience in Brooklyn shows me that in any given neighborhood the MAJORITY rules. If the majority is Hasidic Jews, they dictate the behaviors and rules, In white neighborhoods, people sip wine on their stoops. In the Lower East Side the cops have been told not to respond to noise complaints because Bloomberg has declared it a “party zone” and it would be bad for business to tell the bars to keep the noise down. In poor and working class black neighborhoods there is a percentage of people that have to hustle to make a living. As long as that hustling is not hurting anyone, causing other crimes or drawing large numbers of complaints, then its business as usual. It keeps things status quo, people eat and no one gets hurt. Clampdown and well, what will folks do? Especially with high unemployment levels. The cops know its happening, but unless its really causing a problem to surrounding businesses and threatening people’s lives they do nothing really. They can’t, its majority rule basically. So until the majority swings the other way and people keep complaining, the 77th probably can’t do much.
The Cusacks were here a few years before me, so a tip of the hat to them. But I rememeber the protestors against The House Tours because of their gentrification and aim to bring in middle class white folk. It made me feel like I was a settler in the West bank. I was so impressed with the cost of these houses in the seventies also how nice the neighbourhood felt, except at night. There were gang wars on Wyckoff Street, every corner had a bodega with domino players outside, the corner streets were embedded with Micheloeb caps that clacked when you walked on and attracted lighting. There were sawd off bodies found in back yards, wild dogs ran free in the early morn and there was fighting on the streets from little lads to seniors. Those were the days. There were no bars or restaurants for yuppies like us, there were a couple of places on Atlantic or else it was a hike to Montague or Juniors. If I found myself on Smith Street at night I would walk down the center of the street, there were few cars. It was damm scarey with tough guy social clubs, ‘ethnic’ bars and Reagge’record stores’with bullet proof glass.It was easier to buy dope than a Big Youth LP.
You have the effects of the MAB [Mutant Asset Bubble] implosion wrong. The MAB has hurt poor people greatly. If you go to subprime areas, you see that it is poor, working class people who were swindled by subprime brokers and are now losing their credit scores, their houses, and in many cases down payments and closing costs. This is very serious. In addition, all the empty, boarded up houses just encourage crime and destroy the property values of their neighbors’ houses. In sum, poor people were screwed on the way up and they’re being screwed on the way down. The rich are not going to suffer as much.
We have to stop fetishing home ownership. If you can’t afford your home/your mortgage — a liability – you need to sell. I don’t care why. Job loss, medical, dumb moves. It doesn’t matter. If you can’t afford it today, you won’t be able to afford it next year either. This economy isn’t going to turn around that quickly. Sell. Pay off your credit cards. Move on. The question, “How can we help them keep their home?” is not the right question. How can we get them back on their feet? That’s the real question and the answer is to sell their home. Sellers need buyers and that’s why we need a mortgage plan for credit-worthy people. The best possible solution would be to get back to the olden days when people might own a home and own one rental property as a nest egg. And other people rent until they can afford a home. Really afford a home.