The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Red Lines

A fantastic conversation is taking place on the Yahoo Lefferts Listserv about rising rents and stabilization laws. Seems like some verification on the facts and some statistics would help immensely. Barbara? Is there a great article out there that I could post on the subject? Actually at the bottom of the page I cut and pasted her comment from the listserv (hope that's okay BR!)

The bottom line - rents are rising so fast that recent transplants to the neighborhood can't afford to stay, to say nothing of long-term residents who are being pressured to leave. Many forces at play.

But let's not forget the pink elephant in the room...race. Landlords often take the position, illegal as it is, that renting to whites increases their chances of moving up and out of stabilization thresholds quickly - particularly youngish recent graduates. And who do you suppose has been the most conspicuous demographic of newcomer to the neighborhood? White looks green in a greedy landlord's eyes.

People call gentrification inevitable, and maybe that's so. But why the massive change in racial makeup, from Harlem to Bed-Stuy and Ft. Greene and Crown Heights? Is it really all just "desirability" and the fact of racial income disparity, or is it also a bit more sinister? I don't accuse anyone moving to a black neighborhood of racism. That certainly wasn't on my mind when I moved to Clarkson 10 years ago. The process itself ENCOURAGES racism though. I believe that's what's so troubling to many of us who've moved here and watched the average skin tone lighten. It's a creepy feeling, am I right?

This is big, big, big stuff. Heard recently from an interracial couple I know - "he always does the dealing with the landlords. It's just "easier" that way. Sad, but true." Speaks volumes to me. Btw, when we moved to our block we could count the white folks on both hands. It would be foolish now to guesstimate; almost every new face is, if not white, certainly post-collegiate and paying considerably more than one would have payed three or four years ago.

The argument about stabilization and market forces and warehousing and lack of affordable housing is an old one, and no one seems to be able to fix it. There's so little political will. But we at least ought to be able to stand together, as they did back in the last big REDLINING era, and throw the book at landlords practicing discrimination.

If we could find out authoritatively which landlords are the worst offenders, we could protest outside their buildings, and run stings in concert with the district attorney. It's easy. One person applies with an African-American sounding name, another with a probable white name. On the phone, one sounds "black," the other sounds white. Or better yet, go in person. Even make sure that the black applicant has a better credit rating. What happens next would be very telling indeed.

You may shake your head and wonder if it's happening. But I've gotten to know a few landlords a bit, and heard some stories that will scare you straight, and I can assure you that it is VERY much happening. There are some real scumbags around here. A forum on the subject is fine, but I suggest action. This is the sort of thing PLGNA was created for. I hope they take the lead.

If other neighborhoods in Brooklyn and upper Manhattan are any indication, our neighborhood will be majority white within 5 years or so, maybe less. Barring natural or unnatural catastrophes of course. To illustrate further just how quickly a neighborhood can change complexion, check out this fascinating document I found showing the census numbers from 1960 and 1970. Of course, Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens, having only been coined, was extrapolated from census tracts from the previous census.

Now I ask you this. If racism was so clearly involved in the previous change from white to black, why would one assume that similar yet opposite effects aren't being utilized now? Perhaps not as much, it is 50 years on after all. But aren't the same kinds of fear-mongering and profiling going on today?

From Barbara:

Buildings are not stabilized, apartments are.  A building can have a mix of stabilized, controlled, and market rate units.  Currently, the threshold to remove an apartment from stabilization is $2500/mo. (was $2000 up until 2011), so what many landlords try to do is to get that legal rent above the threshold as quickly as possible.

How do they do this? Through a combination of vacancy increases (currently between 18% - 20% of the rent amount, added every time the apartment turns over to a new tenant) and major capital improvements (MCI) increases - 1/40th of the total cost of MCI renovations to an individual apartment is added to the monthly rent.

Due to vacancy increases, younger peoples' typical mobility (job or relationship changes, etc.) thus becomes a factor encouraging gentrification  For example, if a $1200 apartment turns over every year for three years, the three 18% vacancy increase would have the rent up to $1971.64/mo. without any rent increases at all.

So you can see why many landlords like apartments to turn over frequently and also why there are so many over the top renovations being done to vacant apartments.  I know of one building in the neighborhood where the landlord totally renovates every vacant apartment, including adding stainless steel kitchen appliances, dishwashers, new hardwood floors, etc., all to get that MCI increase.  And he has gotten a good number of apartments off stabilization that way; I have heard from the tenants in those apartments that the increases they've gotten since then have been pretty shocking.

Sometimes landlords will illegally remove an apartment from stabilization (they simply tell the new tenant that it's not a stabilized apartment and have them sign a standard non-stabilized lease). If you suspect this is the case for your apartment, you should get its rent history from the City's DHCR (Division of Housing and Community Renewal) to see.  Here's a link for more info:

And don't think that just because you live in a big building and your rent is under $2500 that it's stabilized.  Even though the legal rent may well be over that amount, nothing obliges the landlord to charge that legal rent. I know of one building in the area in which the landlord was able to get most of the apartments off of stabilization through MCI increases; he then rented them out at a lower rent (called a "preferred rent'), because there was no way the market would have supported the higher legal rent at the time.  However, now that the market is going up, he is free to revert to whatever market rent he wants to choose.

The DHCR's list of rent-regulated buildings specifically mentions that inclusion in the list is not a guarantee that there currently are rent-regulated units in it, but it shows a total of 497 buildings in the 11225 zip code (I only searched by the 11225 zip code, so those farther south may also be there), including, in PLG, buildings on Beekman Pl., Fenimore St., Flatbush Ave., Hawthorne St., Lefferts Ave., Lincoln Rd., Maple St., Midwood St., Ocean Ave., Rutland Rd., Sterling St. - just about every big building (over 6 units) in the neighborhood is on the DHCR's list - however, this only indicates the probable presence of rent regulated units, it doesn't mean that your individual apartment is regulated. So be aware before you sign that lease!


Anonymous said...

Really Q? Are you really this concerned? Don't you want to see your home investment prosper? And clearly you've been focused on eradicating the criminal element and hood vibe around here right?

So, isn't it a fact that when a NYC neighborhood shifts from predominantly black to predominantly white, or predominantly of the college educated class, the major crime and quality of life issues seem to shift away too. Look at Prospect Heights, Ft Greene, Dumbo, Clinton Hill, and Crown Heights North and Bed Sty aren't far behind.

I for one will not be protesting any landlord around here who is looking for market rate rents and college educated tenants, white, black or red!

Anonymous said...

I really think a lot of neighbors are blowing this whole gentrification thing out of proportion. It is not moving at light speed it's moving at a snail's pace if you consider how quickly white flight occurred. White flight began in 1950 and was essentially complete by 1965. Whereas gentrification began in 1980 and we still see very little change here. I don't think people have anything to worry about it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the discussion so often seems to focus on keeping the neighborhood "non-white" as opposed to just "affordable". Because of course all white people are rich and all brown people are poor and uneducated. Sheesh.

Perhaps someone would care to suggest a neighborhood where poor (but educated) recent college grads (of any color) can consider moving without fear that everyone there will heap all the blame of large societal changes on their heads?

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am oblivious but this impending change I just don't see it. Even in the Manor there is maybe 50 out of 600 homes that have changed hands to white folk. It is still predominately a black enclave. If somebody can please give me real world examples of this so called change I would be really awe struck. But again I don't see us turning into a Park Slope anytime soon. So I think people are overreacting here on this listserve.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon at 8:19. You sound defensive. I wasn't blaming recent college grads in the slightest. You inferred that, which suggests it has occurred to you and that you worry about it. But I said nothing of the sort. I was a recent college grad once myself, helping to gentrify (not necessarily in a racial way) South Park Slope, Williamsburg, Gowanus Gardens (my name)...I never wanted anything more than a cheap apartment with plenty of space. Nothing sinister in that. It's the criminal activity of landlords that I find appalling.

Let me ask you this ethical question: if you knew that a landlord was renting to whites to the exclusion of blacks, but the price was right and the apartment sweet...what would you do? I mean REALLY. What would you do?

To anon at 10:55. Yes, you are oblivious. The census proved large scale change to 2010, but my comment was based on what's happen since. Whole buildings are changing demographic. And I ask you to consider that regardless of their color, people who buy million dollar plus homes are going to represent the demographic of people with that kind of resources. Agreed? Same with coops, and $2,500/months apartments. Am I blaming the buyer/renters? Not on your life.

By the way, I've tried hard to make a distinction between "class" and "color." I don't think most gentrification proponents would resist renting to Barack Obama's girls. In the broad move to change a neighborhood to a different "class" however, a lot of good people get thrown under the train.

My racist troll has been espousing just the sort of sick rhetoric that makes this conversation get toxic, and I haven't posted his comments as a result. I'm moderating, which I hate doing, but only his stuff so far. One of his misinformed statements was that whites left the City and created suburbs, when suburbs were created and THEN block-busting was used to sell the homes. People didn't necessarily WANT to leave the Flatbush which they loved dearly. They were scared by a system that told them their house prices were in jeopardy. It was mass panic; it wasn't rationale. It was very a much a real estate conspiracy. Sound familiar? Damn right. The process has been reversed. Need to do your reading, dude. And guess what sort of people they DIDN'T sell houses to out in those suburbs? Give me a break...

And anon at 10:45, who I suspect MIGHT be troll using less overt language, I do believe that a landlord using screening criteria like you suggested WOULD in fact be breaking the law, or at least its intent. "Class" and "education" should not trump ability to pay.

Of course I'm looking for improvements in quality of life. However, I don't equate that with race in the slightest, and neither should you. I'm forever indebted to my experiences in this neighborhood, and I don't particularly care for homogenous neighborhoods. That's just me. Y'all are entitled to your opinions, and I appreciate the way people express them here. It's an important dialog, though sometimes I fear I'm only exacerbating things.

As we come up to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King's famous speech, I hope we can reflect a bit on what he had to say, if only wistfully, because clearly there's not a lot of fight left in Brooklyn.

The whole text is worth reading, not just the "I Have a Dream" part. If you haven't read it in awhile, it's worth it. I dare you not to get a little choked up.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see statistical evidence of the profound changes that are coming over our neighborhood, check out this zoomable map showing the change in ethnic composition by census tract between 2000 and 2010.

It is extremely granular data that paints a very stark picture of how PLG is changing.
e.g. In Q's census tract block (bounded by clarkson, parkside, flatbush and bedford) between 2000 and 2010, the white population went from 53 to 156. The black population went from 1225 to 749. That's a net increase of 103 white people, and a net decrease of 479 black people. The population of the block went from 1642 to 1203. So what we have is a situation of decreasing density, where nearly everyone moving out is black, and nearly everyone moving in is white. And the white population is living at a much lower density. Imagine, say, a 3-story townhouse that was broken up into three apartments. That might have held three families, maybe a dozen people. House is sold, families are evicted, and it's converted to a duplex with garden rental. Maybe four people live in it then. And the rents still rise. This demographic pattern is repeated in every census block in PLG. Look at the numbers. Now it's true that in 2010 the white population was still a minority, about 15% of the population. But that number had tripled in the previous decade, while the overall population of the neighborhood declined. The only neighborhoods in Brooklyn where the black population has increased in the last decade are East New York, Brownsville and Canarsie. And neighborhoods like Prospect Heights, for the first time in perhaps 50 years, have become white majority. And remember, this is data from the 2010 census. Anyone who has watched PLG over the last three years since those surveys were taken knows that this trend has only continued. Nearly every apartment rental and house sale on my block has gone to white people. If the trend continues at the current pace, PLG will become majority white by the next census. It's not going to be a pretty process for many of the people concerned, but the demographic math seems fairly inexorable.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Oh yes. The other neighborhood that I "helped" was Prospect Heights in the early '90s, living on first Lincoln Place near Washington and Vanderbilt. At the time, there were very, very few white faces. My landlady at Lincoln told my roomie and I that we were "exactly" the sort of tenants she was looking for. She apologized for some of the people in the building and assured us that she was doing everything in her power to get them out.

Bob Marvin said...

Anon. 7:02,

The unique thing about our neighborhood is that while white flight more or less ended c. 1965, it was NOT complete. A considerable number of white residents remained and our neighborhood didn't take the usual path of re-segregation but remained integrated.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

That was two places I lived if it weren't clear. Lincoln Place, then Vanderbilt. Off Vanderbilt, on I believe St. Marks, there was a funny store with only onions in the window and a bunch of older black men always inside shooting the breeze. A friendly crowd, but I couldn't figure out why they weren't selling anything but onions! Turned out it was a moonshine joint, and the guys were basically using the low rent shop as a little social club. The cops didn't bother them...and why should they have?

When recently the chess games along Woodruff were being broken up, at the request of some of us, I was reminded of that story. It wasn't the hanging out drinking beer and playing chess and checkers we had a problem with. It was the noise til all hours and the frequent violence and drug dealing. The guys who actually PLAY chess went down to the 70th precinct to plead their case. I got a call from Eric Rodriguez soon after, head of the 70th. He wanted to work out a compromise. Maybe they could set up somewhere else, not so close to all the "action" on Woodruff?

My opinion of Eric shot up that day. Now there's a cop using his noggin'

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with those saying the anti-gentrification voices in PLG are always exaggerating and fanning the flames. PLG will always be predominately black. There are some factors that make it a totally unique neighborhood very different from those other brownstone neighborhoods. We've lived here almost 7 years and half the newer arrivals in the Manor we know absolutely represent diversity, whether they're black families, mixed race, same-sex couples. We know several upper income black families who have moved here in recent years. On our block many homes are still owned by their older, longtime families who are black (plus a few white longtimers.) I don't know what's happening in the apartment buildings but that's what's happening in the Manor. It's all relative. We don't live in a vacuum - if rents go up everywhere in NYC and Brooklyn then rents go up here too. As for a "fix" to neighborhoods ever changing in NYC the only thing for a reasonable person to support is enforcement of current laws and regulations on apartments. When we hear from the anti-gentrification extremists it really seems in an ideal world they would like to see the city legalize reverse discrimination and not allow whites to rent or buy here, and allow the city to tell private property owners they're not allowed to sell or rent their apts or houses at a profit. Needless to say that's wackadoodle doo. It will never happen. You all need to come up with realistic goals not just rant and rave. Building housing that is created for specific income levels is the way to go, by giving developers incentive and tax breaks.

Anonymous said...

the thing is that the Manor only represents a small fraction of the neighborhood population. Most of the manor blocks have populations below 500 people, while the high-density apartment blocks around them contain probably 80% of PLG's population. That's where the major demographic shifts are starting to happen. And once the big planned majority market-rate projects on Lincoln, Flatbush, Clarkson and Parkside come online in the next five years, there is going to be a major acceleration of the current demographic trend.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

This blogger is not interested in blaming or ranting. The defensiveness is so intense around here. The point isn't whether gentrification is happening, or whether it can be stopped, or whether there should be quotas or any such nonsense. Facts are fact. And since we're talking facts...

The point is: are we prepared to abide racism as the process happens?

Look at Crown Heights, around Franklin, and the efforts of the MySpace real estate company, and be the judge. Check out their marketing. If you are convinced that wholesale neighborhood change is only about market forces, then I guess you've rested your case.

I welcome every new face to the neighborhood equally and will continue to do so, to the best of my ability.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and to those saying PLG will ALWAYS remain predominantly black, how can you be so sure? People back then said Williamsburg will ALWAYS be predominantly Puerto Rican, and look what happened.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:58 AM horse manure!! Your statistical evidence does not take into account all of the immigrant Caribbeans that do not fill out the census form for fear of deportation. When I walk down Flatbush Avenue every day I still see predominately 85% of the population being black. Your fears are getting the best of you. Just relax. This neighborhood will not change overnight. Actually based on the rate of change it will take another 30 years before it becomes 50% white. Why are we not coming together about real issues like gun violence!!

babs said...

New York City has more protected classes covered by Fair Housing laws than anywhere else in the country. They include race, color (as some brown people, including Indians and Arabs, are Caucasian), creed, age, national origin, citizenship status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, partnership status, lawful occupation, family status (cannot discriminate against families with children), and lawful source of income (such as Section 8 and other subsidized housing programs).

However, two non-protected items will always, unfortunately, sway the balance in favor of certain types of people (and this is true all over the country and in many domains, not just housing): income and credit. Most landlords require applicants to make 40x one month's rent in gross income (from all recognized sources - if it's not on your tax return or on a pay stub it doesn't count - so no off the books stuff), which effectively cuts out any subsidized housing programs.

Yes, the ads that say "No Programs" are illegal, but no-one able to meet the 40x one month's rent requirement is going to have any government assistance as part of that total anyway, so why even bother mentioning it?

Additionally, many, many people have poor credit - the rich ones can always have a guarantor (who has to make 80x one month's rent) or pay a year's rent upfront (not legal for rent stabilized properties - NYC does not allow landlords to collect more than one month's security deposit or to require multiple months' rent in advance. I'm not saying that there aren't stabilized landlords who are doing this, but it is illegal). Those without rich friends or relatives? SOL as usual.

Interestingly enough, the only landlords I've come across who were blatant in their preference for white tenants were non-white themselves. On several occasions I had landlords tell me that they wanted me to find them "nice tenants," who looked like me. Of course I explained to them the importance of fair housing laws in this country, and told them I couldn't take their listing. Ditto for those who tell me they don't want children (and that I've encountered a lot).

Clarkson FlatBed said...

What I've taken from much of the comments thus far...

Lefferts is not going to become majority white anytime soon.

If you mention college grads they might think you're blaming them for something.

Pointing out that racism exists is tantamount to hating gentrification and gentrifiers.

Lefferts Manor is predominantly black, and those moving in are a very diverse lot.

Anonymous said...

It's very noble to suggest enforcing existing laws to protect rent stabilized residents and the poor in our neighborhood (which we should do) but don't kid yourself into thinking that will do much to stop the flood of new folks coming in and prices rising. We may save a few hundred families from getting the boot and thus preserve some diversity, but that's about the best to be hoped for.

Anyone who thinks any area in NYC can be frozen in time to stay the way they like it is ignoring a few hundred years of our fair city's history. We're all (owners, renters, tourists, transients, pigeons) just occupying our little spot for a brief while before its passed on to someone else. The best we can do is try to make the playing field more level, knowing it probably won't work.

-Paul G.

Anonymous said...

Q your summary of the comments is spot on. I think people on the listserve are a tad sensitive. If the landlord wants to rent out to somebody he or she chooses, so be it. It is their property!! They own it.

Now if you told me that there are landlords are giving out a free handgun to tenants that would be a different story and something that should be fought against. But they are not. Maybe the original email poster on the listserve could do something a little more constructive like fight the rising level of gun violence we have seen in PLG over the last few years. Do people have short term memory loss? Less than one year ago an innocent mother was shot dead right outside of your home. This is the real issue our nabe needs to tackle. Not a landlord that is actually and most likely driving out the criminal element from their units by renting to more affluent tenants (their color being white, black, yellow, purple, whatever).

Bob Marvin said...

Saving a few hundred families from getting the [illegal] boot is actually a pretty big thing. I suspect the number might actually be a lot higher. IMO enforcing the existing housing laws would go a long way towards mitigating the possible ill effects of what are probably inexorable demographic changes here, and throughout the city. I think the end result may well be that our demographic mix may end up mirroring that of NYC as a whole, which is NOT majority white anymore and that this neighborhood will remain ipeacefully ntegrated for generations to come.e

Anonymous said...


About doing your reading, if you -- as someone who came to NY City from the midwest -- want to catch up and get the story straight, then try reading

Jim Sleeper -- The Closest of Strangers.

Well known book

I think he's a professor at Yale. Anyway, he spells it out about as well as anyone ever has.

Leon said...

The city should enforce the laws on housing discrimination and punish landlords who violate those laws.

Tennis on Ocean said...

I'm white, 30-something, and moved into a large prewar apartment building in Flatbush six months ago, after being priced out of my former neighborhood of 12 years and neighboring areas too.

When I signed my current lease the building had just recently changed hands and become managed by a young ambitious guy.

I don't have credit history. When I was at the broker's office they explicitly said:
"If the landlord looks at your application he'll reject it, he needs to meet you in person."

As it turned out I did not get the apartment I originally made the deposit on. However, after my former landlord vouched for me I was able to sign a lease on another apartment in the building.

When I moved in I only saw one or two white people. It seems to me in the short times since A LOT of apartments have been vacated and rented to young white recent grads.

Obviously I am glad I was able to sign a lease despite my lack of credit history--I also do not have a guarantor--but I am fairly convinced it would not have happened had I been Black.

And while I do love the neighborhood it's a bit nausea-inducing to see the demographics of the building changing so quickly and knowing I am part of that process.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Thanks for your candor, Tennis. And for the screen name.

To the naysayers...that's what I'm talking about.

Stay blind to it if you want. It's happening all around you. Sometimes, the truth hurts.

Anonymous said...

Nobody's being blind, Q. They're saying a)tell the truth but without hysteria and exaggeration, please, and b) present reasonable and constitutional solutions along with bringing up these problems instead of just ranting. Asking for that does not make people in denial or uncaring. I'm not seeing that in any of the comments.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Point out the part of my post that could reasonably consider a "rant" and I'll be happy to tone it down.

Describing a problem does not require the writer to provide solutions. If you have one, I would love to hear it.

Anonymous said...

Here's an experiment. Let me quote one of the "pro diversity" posters verbatim:

"PLG will always be predominately black. There are some factors that make it a totally unique neighborhood very different from those other brownstone neighborhoods. .... We know several upper income black families who have moved here in recent years. "

Now substitute "white" for "black" --wow sounds pretty racist.

How about: its a free country. Move where you want, and buy what you can afford. Rents, as any price, do go up when something becomes more desirable. Its called a "market" --and they only alternative is using State force to set prices, or tell people where they can and can't live.

Rent control is simply a more attenuated form of state restriction of selling what used to be called, quaintly, "property."

And, by the way, much of the "housing shortage" in NYC is the direct result of trying to control prices. Who is going to build/invest in all that "new housing" if you mandate that they can't sell it for what people are willing to pay?

Anonymous said...

The rant doesn't have to be on this page for us to know what it sounds like. To me it's a given that one doesn't wage campaigns against so many white people moving into a neighborhood, which we see many groups and figures do, without always also talking about reasonable and legal things to do about it because otherwise it totally suggests the solution is harassment of said white people. When we moved into our house our neighbor felt entitled to yell hateful things at us and he felt completely justified in doing this ridiculous, immature, borderline criminal thing because of all the anti-gentrification chatter in Brooklyn. And please, talk about who is in denial. A neighborhood that never changes in NYC? Since when, in its hundreds of years of existence? Enforce the laws absolutely, bust the landlords and brokers who are redlining, but don't enable the kind of thing we experienced. Because that was pretty awful and I would hate to see other newcomers to this great neighborhood treated that way.

pam said...

if you or someone you know thinks they have been discrimiinated against in renting or buying a home, they can contact the city's fair housing office at

ceelledee said...

Gimme a break. An Anon is lecturing CF about the need to come up with "reasonable and constitutional solutions"? Look, just please keep doing what you're doing Tim! You speak for a whole lot of residents of this nabe who may never ever read this blog, much less submit a post to these pages. Trust that a good many of us welcome the searching, provocative posts you write and we thank you, both publicly and silently, for your honesty, courage and patience in doing so. We're also grateful for the way you roll up your sleeves and wade into actual problem solving efforts on behalf of this community -- whether it's in our streets and parks, on CB9 or elsewhere. As much as PLG rocks, I can only imagine how much more positive and dynamic our community could be if more of us would adopt your style! Meanwhile, let the naysayers take a hike.

Lefferts Carlos said...

To the guy who said

"To me it's a given that one doesn't wage campaigns against so many white people moving into a neighborhood, which we see many groups and figures do, without always also talking about reasonable and legal things to do about it because otherwise it totally suggests the solution is harassment of said white people."

All I can to you is you need a shrink, quick. No one is harrassing you. No one is waging a campaign against you. Can't people talk about a problem without you getting paranoid that someone's got you personally in mind?

You've missed the point entirely. No one is against you for buying a house or renting in a black neighborhood. That's in your head. That some people are suffering during a time of change, that's true. Can't both things happen at the same time? You need to be less self-obsessed.

Anonymous said...

A frank conversation like this is exactly what we need. I've enjoyed reading all the comments, just to get a sense of what my neighbors think.

But I also agree that most of the people who need to be part of the discussion are not. It would be good to hear from more voices of people adversely effected by the changes.

Anonymous said...

Prospect Lefferts Gardens was first Dutch, then Italian and Jewish and Irish, then Caribbean, now Caribbean and youngish non-native NYers. No one owns this neighborhood for God's sake. No one is entitled to anything, be they black or white. Enough.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:50, people are entitled to not be discriminated against based solely on race. Two people walk in at the same time with the same credit and job history, and one is prefered simply because he or she is white, that's fishy to say the least. This is not about entitlements in your understanding of the term.


djejnyc said...

We moved down here from Boerum Hill after living there for 10 years and I fear for the renters here. We bought here because our rent went from $2400 (2bd w/yard) to $4800! Happily would could buy a nice place here for our little family so rent is no longer a problem but I agree with some commenters that being white doesn't save you from crazy rent hikes.