Not All Brooklyn Nabes Benefiting from Boom


    Given the soaring housing prices and thriving restaurant scene in Brownstone and North Brooklyn that receive so much attention from local and national press, it’s easy to forget that Brooklyn’s recent boom has been a rising tide that has not lifted all boats. The Times reports this morning on what the past two decades have been like in some of the lower-profile and less economically strong nabes. Take Brownsville, for example, which did not see a rise in income levels between 1990 and 2010 while areas like Park Slope saw the percentage of people earning $100,000 or more go from 28 percent to 43 percent. (Though it’s hard know how impressive that rise is without any citywide or national numbers to compare it to.) Similarly, while the number of people with graduate degrees in Williamsburg and Greenpoint quadrupled to 12 percent, the percentage in East New York and Starrett City held flat at 4 percent. “I’m glad Brooklyn is making a name for itself and it’s coming up, but if it’s coming up, it should be spread out,” said Joycelyn Maynard, who runs the almost 100-year-old Stone Avenue Library in Brownsville. Similar sentiments from Assemblyman and presumed Congressman Hakeem Jeffries: ““The sidewalk cafes are great but we need a blueprint for employment and housing opportunities that are desperately needed in parts of Brownsville and East New York.” A barbershop owner in Brownsville goes on record complaining about the lack of development dollars going into his neighborhood: “They’re putting money in those neighborhoods, but not in this one.” Meanwhile, not everybody wants their neighborhood overrun with organic food and New York Magazine cover stories. Some of the middle-class areas along Brooklyn’s southern shore like peace and quiet of the status quo. “I enjoy happening places and I would enjoy the restaurants, and I’m glad it’s getting to be on the map,” said Jennifer Avena, whose family has been in Gerritsen Beach for decades, of the Brownstone Brooklyn renaissance. “But keep it there.”
    As Brooklyn Gentrifies, Some Nabes Being Left Behind [NY Times]
    Photo by Katianna Tallarico

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