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]
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