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.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thank You Lefferts

Thanks for coming out on a rainy night, neighbors. It was good to see you. All 400 or so of you. You can read about the night on Curbed, or Brownstoner, or my favorite, Brooklyn Paper. It's my favorite because I got quoted COMPLETELY IN CONTEXT. (I've always wanted to write that, and now I had my chance.) That reporter got my quote EXACTLY right and placed it EXACTLY how it should have been placed, with just the right punctuation and spelling.

My phone died so I'm relying on pictures from those other stories. And frankly, I don't have much to add. People came and said their piece. I said my piece. Eric Adams, Kevin Parker and our good councilman all said their pieces, and kept it short and sweet. And Diana Reyna, the deputy borough president spoke too long, but that was cool. She's definitely the right person for the job, if my first and second impressions are correct.

Here's the Prospect Park East Network's website, if you want to learn more about their organization and next steps.

Okay. I guess I do have something to add.

It's not just about the tower, folks. Never was just about the tower. Yes, I think it's ridiculous to build that tall right next to Prospect Park. For sentimental lovers of the Park, like the Q, this will always be a building I'll look at from some of my favorite spots and say wow, if I'd been more involved, if we'd all been more involved, if we'd had leadership around here, I wouldn't have to be looking at that thing right now. We let ourselves down on this one. (Oh, and I'm really sick of the argument that we must build up in this, the most dense neighborhood in all of Brooklyn. That and "building more units will bring down rents." What borough you been living in where that's been happening? We keep building and they keep on coming, and ain't nobody's rent doing anything but skyrocketing. Maybe property tax reform could help, a bit...but c'mon, ain't nothing stopping the rocket right now.)

But if you still think it's just about a tall building, you're not firing on all cylinders. The tower is a symbol, a stand-in for all that's happening all around us. We've decided (and I emphasize we, I'm not calling anyone out in particular) that we're into growth for growth's sake and we think it's good to grow up, even if it's butt ugly, and we've decided that in order to get affordable housing built we must give huge tax incentives to developers so that they'll build 20% of their units that are sort-of affordable. Our borough president says that building affordable housing is his number one priority. Our Mayor says he's going to build 200,000 units, come hook or crook. And we all know that "affordable housing" is an issue, so that's a laudable goal, right? One that should trump all other concerns, right?

But let me ask you one question, and then I'll call it a night. If you build the bulk of these 200,000 units of affordable housing using this same 80/20 model...doesn't that mean you're building 800,000 units of unaffordable housing? On top of the hundreds of thousands of units of unaffordable housing happening WITHOUT the 80/20 plan? Doesn't that add up to millions of new people? What EXACTLY are we saying here? And how much growth is acceptable? And how dense is dense enough? At some point maybe we should call it a day and cede the next growth spurt to Hartford...

For those of us who are counting on NYC to not only thrive but to be culturally and ethnically and racially and creatively diverse...what EXACTLY are we saying? Let's cut through the bull for a minute. If you're not building apartments that are 50/50, you're waging a losing battle that you'll never win because you loaded the dice against yourself. And the actual poor, as opposed to the lower middle class? Why not do what some social workers do, and just send 'em Upstate? We have no need for them anyway. Let it be some other city's problem.

What EXACTLY are we up to? Who the hell are we? Do we even know? Or are we just throwing more shit against the wall and hoping it sticks?

We used to develop policy to help the poor. Now we build luxury towers, hold a lottery, hold our noses, and hope for the best.



credit: Kizzy from Curbed
credit: cate, from Brownstoner

credit: cate, from brownstoner


37 comments:

Lef1 said...

Clarkson - I really enjoy reading this blog. Not sure I follow the logic of this latest post though. I agree with you that we need to think about what kind of development we want (e.g. I assume we'd rather non-butt ugly vs. butt ugly), but I don't think all units as 50/50 is really a viable solution. The problem is, with that kind of a split, way fewer developers are going to build new units. And, ultimately, not having new units will just make everything much less affordable because it restricts supply (classic econ 101). While it's true that 800,000 non-affordable units aren't going to be cheap for the people who live in them, they exert downward price pressure on the rest of the market because they make total supply greater. I think it's a common misconception that new construction somehow is what makes the city unaffordable when it's actually the reverse. New people moving into the city makes it unaffordable, but new construction makes things cheaper by giving those new people somewhere to go (other than renting out what's currently someone else's apartment for a higher price). That said, the type of development we get certainly impacts the market. For example, in Manhattan now, most developers are developing ultra-luxury units, which results in a smaller number of new units being built even though they take up the same amount of space (and developer capital) to build. This makes things more expensive for everyone. Also, the macro-effects of new construction aren't the same as the micro effects on neighborhoods. These new buildings are certainly going to make Lefferts more expensive even as they ease price pressure on the rest of the city. So, I agree with you that these new buildings are going to cause higher rents in Lefferts (in addition to said butt-ugliness). I just disagree that overall the creation of new units through building tall units like this increases rents throughout the city and makes it less affordable. Vs. the alternative of down-zoning this area, it actually makes overall rents in the city cheaper.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Oh, I'm well aware of that argument. I just don't buy it. I believe you actually CREATE demand when you make neighborhoods appealing to white folks. Those people moving to Brooklyn? They might move somewhere else. Williamsburg? Park Slope? People are lemmings. They go where the other birds go to party.

In an ecosystem that's close, maybe the "supply argument" works. But this mania is not closed...its hype. And when the hype dies down, or another 9/11 happens, the people who are "testing" NYC after college will leave, and we'll be stuck with ugly big buildings and a decimated population.

Just because people want to move here NOW doesn't mean we have to kick out everyone who made this City great.

Bob Marvin said...

"I think it's a common misconception that new construction somehow is what makes the city unaffordable when it's actually the reverse. New people moving into the city makes it unaffordable, but new construction makes things cheaper by giving those new people somewhere to go"

This argument seemingly makes perfect sense and intuitively seems correct. There's just one problem–empirically it doesn't seem to work that way any more. Tim's suggestion about creating demand probably is a partial answer to why "supply and demand" has stopped working, but it can't be THAT simple, can it? Any economists out there who want to give us an explanation?

leffertspapa said...

If population growth is a bad thing because it exacerbates housing problems, does that mean the solution is to make NY less appealing to migrants?

You may be forgetting that the larger portion of the new people coming to NYC are not white college grads from the US, but rather are international immigrants. Their arrivals place as much or more pressure on the system as does the handful of oligarchs buying bazillion dollar apartments on 57th street.

disco princess said...

re: " Those people moving to Brooklyn? They might move somewhere else. Williamsburg? Park Slope? People are lemmings. They go where the other birds go to party"

I'd like to believe that said "lemmings" are coming to PLG (and neighboring Crown Heights) because they've already been priced out of Park Slope and (North) Williamsburg.

Can they be redirected to Bay Ridge? :) [/devil's advocate]

Parkside_Guy said...

Maybe if we blow away a couple more single moms in front of your building "white folks" will just move back to the suburbs!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

You've got a lot of gaul to make light of that killing Parkside Guy. A lot of gaul.

I make light of my people's whiteness because I'm allowed, as a member of the clan. It's called black humor. There was nothing funny or self-deprecationg in your comment. Your mother would be ashamed.

If you're adding anything interesting or intelligent to the discussion, I fail to see it.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Lefferts Papa.

Wrong. Those immigrants are creating demand for luxury housing. Nor are they purchasing in said buildings.

Immigrants have always been welcome in this City. But they have a hard life, especially at first, and often cram into illegal apartments in large numbers, or shack up with family that can hardly accommodate them.

I'd love to hear someone make the case FOR bigger and more expensive apartment buildings in low income neighborhoods, rather than passing the blame onto some other population.

[] said...

I think one of the issues with the supply and demand argument that is always made about increasing housing is that it assumes that the majority of people moving into the city are the ones occupying these ultra expensive apartments. A lot of times new residents are young kids with low paying jobs trying to make it however they can (what ever that means anymore). The problem often becomes that sometimes new residents begin chipping away at existing "affordable" units or what's considered affordable to them.

3 single people can pitch in 1000 each for a 3br apt a lot easier that a family of four can a lot of the time, so for families it's becoming harder and harder to find 2 or 3 bedroom apartments. They're not being built and also because lots of the housing stock is taken up by more transient households, who can move more often which gives the landlord the freedom to raise the rent more regularly than say if a long-term resident was living there. This is not to discourage young people, neighborhoods are made up of lots of kinds of families and residents but what's clear is that we're not building a diversity of housing stock.

I was really pleased with how civil the meeting was on monday, I'm also very happy that there was mention of the aging population. I grew up in PLG still live there, my mom's two blocks away from me and can't see very well. But because of the scale of the neighborhood and how long she's been there, she can get around, she knows people in the neighborhood and I can see her regularly. More and more older residents are being relegated to the outskirts of the boroughs be it brownsville or the rockaways. Places that aren't nearly as walkable and dense in a way that makes it easy to get from point a to b if you're an older person without a car. That was a big issue during Sandy, older residents trapped in areas with high concentrations of nursing homes but not necessarily walkable or easy to get to without a car.

I was also very pleased that people were civil towards the dept of city planning. I'm an urban planner, I think growing up in PLG pushed me to be an urban planner and one of the frustrating things on a governmental level is how little funding agencies get to do work even when there's community interest. That's something I hope this new administration tackles making sure the city has the workforce to do the work of the city.

In terms of remedies for housing, one of the other frustrating things about being a planner is that when you go to planning school, you'll always learn about gentrification and housing crunches but few tangible solutions are ever really given. This could be because in the past the process was more organic and less driven by subsidies and speculation, who knows. What I do know is that in past, the city used to build affordable housing (Mitchell-Lama)through subsidies from state and federal funding, we used to also have a much better NYCHA program but during the 80's most of the funding for programs like that were slashed.

Probably the most interesting piece I've read about fighting long term resident displacement has been a Poverty & Race Research Action Council article on creating a subsidy program for long term residents to deal with the increasing gap between market rate rental and what long term residents have been paying and can afford to pay. Does that have it's own problems, of course but if the government was able to subsidize the surban lifestyle for so long,making cities shells in the process during the 60's and 70's interesting to think about if they could do it the other way. http://www.prrac.org/pdf/JanFeb2014PRRAC_Godsil.pdf

This probably should have been an email, not several paragraph long comment.




Clarkson FlatBed said...

Parkside Guy: Defending his actions? What, are you kidding? The Q who does his best to fight Quality of Life infractions? Get outa here.

I know that guy. He's a really sad case. Nelson, who has the barbershop on Parkside, tells me he used to be a boxer. He was punch drunk even before he became wet brained.

Please, call the cops. They'll take him to Kings County like they always do. And he'll get out like he always does. Check it out...sometimes he still has the bracelet from the hospital.

I'm not defending him. But he's your neighbor, and the cops know him well. Just keep calling them and telling them to have regular beat cops there and along the Flabenue. That would be much more constructive, in my view, than flippant mean comments.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Rectangle Symbol Person: Thanks for your comment. I agree that we used to have positive policy initiatives in the past, and they've all but disappeared. Mitchell Lama makes a lot of sense in our current environment.

Another program that works is one that tenants are fighting for at 265 Hawthorne. After a landlord screws his rent stabilized tenants for years, give them the tools and resources to buy their apartments and go coop. I was at a tenants meeting their the other day, and tenant president Evelyn Williams is fighting the good fight, even with obstacles being erected by the Pratt Area Community Council. More on that story when I get comment from PACC to get both sides of the story.

Ektorp said...

The fact is that there are a lot of young people in NY that have the incomes to pay the rents that buildings like 626 Flatbush want to charge. If you are a young couple earning $120,000/year (two $60k incomes - not at all unusual), you can afford $2,500-3,000/month in rent. These days that gets a no frills 1-BR in Park Slope in an older building. As long as the "prime" brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods are that expensive, the tenants (and homebuyers) that want to live there are going to look for less expensive alternatives, and there is going to be demand overflowing into PLG. I bet this is the same reason 90% of the folks who read this blog are living in PLG--better housing for half the price of "the other side of the park". You can't stop that demand by placing restrictions on new development. Instead what you get is landlords renovating existing units to tap into that demand and get higher rents, and I think that is much worse for existing tenants than the prospect of new luxury apartments being built in the neighborhood.

disco princess said...

Re: "Does that have it's own problems, of course but if the government was able to subsidize the surban lifestyle for so long,making cities shells in the process during the 60's and 70's interesting to think about if they could do it the other way. "

Preach!

A new generation of people who in decades past who probably would have moved to the suburbs are moving into the inner city and "discovering" the inner city. I liked it when one of the speakers Monday night mentioned those long-term residents who stayed even after many fled decades ago. It'd be a shame to see them pushed out because now this neighborhood is now the next big thing.

Thank you for whoever mentioned Mitchell-Lama. I'd like to think that if 626 Flatbush were a Mitchell-Lama development, people might be less pissed.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Ektorp: Thanks for noting the actual income requirements to move into 626 today. Very helpful.

Let's be honest though. For most of those folks, these studios and one-bedrooms are just a temporary home. The building is not being built for families, the typical longtime residents of a neighborhood, who tend to contribute the most to its quality of life. Sorry young singles...I don't see you at the meetings nearly as much. I get it...I was oblivious and unconcerned at that age myself. What will happen at 626 is the rents will continue to rise with each subsequent renter as the neighborhood becomes more and more popular to this population. It's a short term solution, but i don't see the longterm benefit of building more and more of this type of housing.

Still, myself included, NO ONE suggested not building at the site. Many of us were outraged by the audacity of the size and the ignoring of the community. That set off a whole other laundry list of concerns about the neighborhood. Only someone tone deaf would think it's about stopping this building entirely. Hell, it's not even about Hudson per se. Any of a number of developers might have done the same thing. And a lot would have recognized there's a right and a wrong way to change the complexion (pun intended) of a neighborhood.

Ektorp said...

"Let's be honest though. For most of those folks, these studios and one-bedrooms are just a temporary home. The building is not being built for families, the typical longtime residents of a neighborhood, who tend to contribute the most to its quality of life. Sorry young singles... .... i don't see the longterm benefit of building more and more of this type of housing."

How is that different than the excuses that people in other places give for not wanting low income housing in their communities? Change a few words in that statement and it sounds just like what people in Westchester or the Hamptons say about rental housing. I don't see the difference.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Right Ektorp. Keep believing that building for the wealthy and building for poor with government money are the same thing if you like. And that white racism against blacks and black racism against whites equals out in the end.

You're either the sort of person who believes in activist remedies or not. I'm not the least bit concerned that the private sector will figure out how to house people with means. The lower middle classes on down, however...that's another story.

disco princess said...

re:"Change a few words in that statement and it sounds just like what people in Westchester or the Hamptons say about rental housing. I don't see the difference."

Except for that those NIMBYs are more likely to be successful at blocking stuff they don't want.

Parkside_Guy said...

Q, i'm just taking the argument of yourself and many of your commenters "if only we can make it LESS APPEALING" to it's logical conclusion.

David said...

Unfortunately, I think the only thing that can stop rents from rising is CRIME.
When crime goes down, the white invasion begins. I believe the only thing that protects pockets like East New York from the rising rents is the level of crime in the neighborhood. If and when the crime will go down, the whites will invade. Same thing happened in bed-stuy. So what actually protects the poor living in those neighborhoods from been kicked out due to rising rents is CRIME.

Parkside_Guy said...

Case in point, maybe if we can get CRIME up you can keep the area from filling up with people who care about where they live! (I guess that means white people according to you)

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Nope. Never said it. You inferred it. Your defensiveness got the best of you.

disco princess said...

re:"If and when the crime will go down, the whites will invade. Same thing happened in bed-stuy."

Where are your stats that crime has gone down in Bed-Stuy? People still believe that it's a problem and they seem to be correct: Crime in Bed-Stuy: The Pink Elephant in the Room: http://bed-stuy.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/crime-in-bed-stuy-the-pink-elephant-in-the-room

The point is that Bed-Stuy is gentrifying whether or not crime has gone down.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

David: Here's why I disagree. People started moving to Lefferts en masse during a period of heavy shooting and rising felonies over the last couple years. Prices, David. That's what's bringing people here. Prices are rising, and as a joking neighbor put it on their fake magazine "Modern Gentrifier," we were too black til we weren't. Even the most recent developments happened here before any serious drop in crime.

You're not thinking creatively. I'm not saying that we need to find a way to make it less appealing SERIOUSLY. C'mon guys, that's a joke. It's meant to suggest that we haven't figured out any strong solutions.

I'm not looking to permanently house the very, very small percentage of our neighbors who are pathologically violent. Don't be absurd. I've spent much of the last three years interfacing with the 71st, and 70th, and the D.A., to try to get them to be more, not less proactive.

I'm seeking solutions for the VAST majority of neighbors who are loving, non-racist, decent and hard-working human beings. So much of what I read on my own blog is people who want to paint everyone with a single brush - more poor people equals more crime. Well guess what? Wealthy people commit crimes too. They sell drugs. They steal. They drink and drive. They beat their wives and girlfriends. What they don't do is get caught or targeted nearly as often.

If you're interested in correlating crime to race, you should dig deeper into the war on black men that has led to unprecedented levels of incarceration, and the lingering effects of decades of unemployment and lost jobs for black men, leading to the destruction of the family and sense of hopelessness. Read "The New Jim Crow." This is a deep, deep issue. Even the Vietnam War, and heroin then crack, have played a huge part. This is a much deeper discussion than I'm prepared to have in regards to a stupid building.

I do paint with a less nuanced brush about wealthy people because, hey, I'd like to think we would collectively make decisions that aren't based around their well-being. In my experience, they do pretty well taking care of themselves.

I don't begrudge white people. Hell, most of my good friends are white and I wouldn't discourage them from moving here. You're missing the point...we have NO real leadership on the issue of keeping people in their homes. And no one is even whispering about harsher enforcement on existing civil rights laws. No one. At least throw enforcement a few bucks and PRETEND you care.

Lef1 said...

Hey,

Thanks for the responses Clarkson and others. I think what I had to say about NYC is getting confused a bit with what I think about Lefferts specifically. I agree with you that these buildings are likely to make prices in Lefferts rise. They'll bring with them all the bougie stuff that residents in luxury buildings like to have, and that's going to drive prices up in Lefferts. You're right that if we don't get these buildings in Lefferts, maybe a lot of the gentrifiers will go somewhere else instead. So, I agree with you on the micro level. And, I think that people can have a legitimate gripe with these kinds of buildings for that reason.

But, what I was really responding to was your statements about the overall city in the article as they related to NYC's overall housing policy. I do think that overall having more housing in the city is going to make city-wide prices drop. And restricting housing supply will make prices rise. Just look at San Francisco -- they have a lot of rent control, but the restrictions on new construction have driven prices through the roof. Places like Houston on the other hand that let developers run wild are ugly as shit, but at least prices are low. Overall, if NYC lets more construction happen, then there will be more housing available and prices will go down (or, more likely, they'll still go up, but not as much as they otherwise would have). While maybe people choose a neighborhood based on the kinds of amenities and stuff they're getting, they don't choose a city for those reasons. People come to NYC for a huge number of reasons - the jobs, the excitement, the diversity, the art (and on and on). I don't think that blocking all of these new buildings borough-wide is a viable strategy at all. The new people will likely keep coming whether new luxury units are built or not (or at least, I think the number of new luxury building is unlikely to greatly affect new migration. Rents will keep going up without new buildings - even more so actually! People are coming to Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, Lefferts, etc. for the great housing stock (and because there's nowhere else to go since prices everywhere else are just crazy!)

Lef1 said...

I guess it sounds like you think the "hype" argument applies to NYC itself as well as Lefferts. Personally, I don't see it. Still, I agree that it's hard to tell if this trend of more people moving to NYC will continue and what may come next. And it certainly makes sense to build our communities in ways that we think will foster a good community. Also, if I haven't emphasized it enough - I think overall city policy and Lefferts-specific policy are somewhat separate questions and you don't have to think the same thing about both of them as a Lefferts resident. And, even for city-wide policy, there are certainly better ways of doing things (although putting too much on the wish list is dangerous because it can ultimately drive the cost of housing up if developers all start planning lawsuits and delay into their budgets). But I think it's definitely a valid argument to say you don't want luxury towers somewhere because it will kill the character of the neighborhood. And, there are ways to foster development that will do more to keep things affordable (e.g. non-luxury buildings).

Personally I'm ambivalent about the specific effects these buildings will have on Lefferts (e.g. I think the added density will do a lot to liven up Flatbush Ave (and maybe even Bedford), supporting new bars, restaurants, other new shops and businesses, etc., and a lot of college students walking around would at least ensure bustling streets at all times of night, which can be a good thing). So, I don't think they're all bad. But, I completely agree that a proactive approach by residents to guide the neighborhood to a better kind of development makes sense. Where I disagree with you is that I think that if too many neighborhoods all go with the "smaller is better" mantra, I think we're likely to end up with even higher prices.

disco princess said...

re: " (e.g. I think the added density will do a lot to liven up Flatbush Ave (and maybe even Bedford)"

Does Bedford Avenue really need to be livened up? The stretch between Empire and Parkside is almost completely residential (and it would be nice if it remained that way). Did you mean to include Rogers Avenue?

cheryl on parkside ave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lef1 said...

Yeah, meant to say Rogers Ave not Bedford.

cheryl on parkside ave said...

Hey Q, I know everyone has freedom of speech as per the first amendment of this country, but do we constantly have to be subjected to the racist and hateful comments, by folks like EZ? He is no longer living in PLG, yet he is so fixated on it. It seems as though he is stalking the neighborhood!

It is so aggravating for those of us who are working tirelessly to see this community progress positively, be constantly subjected to the ire of these malicious people, whose only intent is to focus on everything negative. "EZ, if you must contribute to the blog, why don't you just tell us about the positive attributes of your current community and how we can implement those attributes here in PLG and improve the community".

EZ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Clarkson FlatBed said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me be the first to congratulate commenter EZ on his excellent decision to move out of the neighborhood. As the great English poet Morrissey once said, "Viva Hate!"

diak said...

Lef1: well said throughout. Thanks.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Not sure if and when I said NYC was hype. NYC has always been hype, probably always will be.

The hype I'm referring to is right here - Central Brooklyn, more precisely Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy, Flatbush. The Williamsburg/Bushwick is a juggernaut unto itself. Hype. It's a zeitgeist thing. Austin. Seattle. Portland. SF.

The difference is that Brooklyn is but one "suburb" of Manhattan, where the ultimate hype is produced. As the years go by, I care less and less what happens real estate-wise there. Who can keep track? Maplewood. Orange. Montclair. Whatever. That's why I stick to what I know.

When the next bust hits, and trust me there will be a bust, we'll wonder what the hell we were thinking. And if we hit a true Depression, or a serious environmental or terrorist calamity, and the wealthy seek safer climes, these buildings will become tomorrow's slums.

So when politicians tell me they're planning for the future? I say, we've seen it all before. Greed, with its attendant white collar crime, may do us in yet. But low, sell high! Repeat!

no_slappz said...

Clarkson has a minor point when he ponders the effects of more housing in NY City. There is something in economics called Say's Law, which asserts that Supply Creates Demand.

When it comes to real estate in NY City, Say's Law holds true.

Why wouldn't it? NY City is the first stop in this country for a lot of people. It's the first stop for a lot of people after college. It's an important career stop for loads of people. Moreover, the population is growing the regular way -- baby booming.

Meanwhile, de Blasio has outlined a new program guaranteed to increase the population of illegal aliens: He proposes that every illegal alien (and every legal citizen) should enjoy the benefits of an Municipal ID card that will assist the possessor when it comes to obtaining all government services, support, assistance, benefits, freebies, and whatever else there is.

Talk about a population magnet! Wow. That'll do it.

As for strategies to minimize the human onslaught, well, the theory of increasing crime wouldn't do the trick. Every New Yorker with a bit of sense knows that a little crime keeps the door to a good deal open a little longer. Therefore, like a stock of a good company that seems to be trading a little cheap because something went south last quarter, people know when a place is fundamentally sound.

So it is with PLG.

As for how long people stay in NY City, well, half of my family (paternal) has been here over 160 years. The other half (maternal) was here for about 20 years.

disco princess said...

re: "Meanwhile, de Blasio has outlined a new program guaranteed to increase the population of illegal aliens"

no_slappz: Your own words seem to contract the above statement: "NY City is the first stop in this country for a lot of people." The possibility of issuing municipal ID cards for undocumented immigrants is also not really germane to the discussion of supply/demand for NYC housing. 1. They're here anyway, and they're living somewhere, like it or not. 2. They're probably not included the target audience for the new housing being built in the city. (Could many of them even afford it?)

I don't even know why anyone would even float the idea of increasing crime to drive away more prospective residents from moving into PLG. That's really an asinine idea not even worth discussing.

Parkside_Guy said...

It's too bad the EZ comments were removed. They were kind of hilarious, and in keeping with a lot of the negative things people actually experience in this neighborhood. I found it funny to finally laugh a bit at all the times i've sprayed human feces off my home. I tend to think uncritical online comment threads keep us from any real dialogue. People just seek out whatever information reinforces their worldview and don't want to be challenged by differing opinions. Just because it's presented obnoxiously doesn't mean it isn't true.

Whether anyone likes it or not, this neighborhood will be radically different in 10 years, just like other areas were revolutionized in the 15 years previous to that. Change has been the history of NYC. It just shows how desperately misguided the "progressive" movement has become.

Increased housing demand? = block construction, make it a race issue instead of an economic one, hope crime goes up, hope depressions/terrorist attacks happen, hope rents go back down, hope people just "go home" so you can go back to your Pollyanna version of how this area actually is/was? I'm sorry, that just sounds stupid to me. And of course the usual: no discussion of jobs, the dismal economy, personal responsibility, over-reliance on government dependence, etc etc.

I'm sure you mean well, but the next economic downturn will probably decimate the very people you desire to protect. Are you sure you really want to hope for that?? The last downturn actually ended up disproportionally benefiting the rich, who responded by buying physical assets, townhouses and income-producing properties in droves. It is also when poor college-students (or whoever) began to consider PLG en masse. Before the recession hit and they lost their jobs, they probably could have just stayed in their trendy East Williamsburg apartments.

Also, this entire "Millennial" generation was raised on Sesame Street and visions of urban living. They are not going to stop wanting to live in cities, period. They know the soullessness of suburbs and have no desire to go back.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

You know Parkside Guy, I've spoken here before of the Sesame Street generation, and I think you're right about that.

And of course the economy and jobs are super important. If I thought construction of luxury housing was the longterm way to make middle class jobs come to the City, I'd be likely to agree with you.

E/Z's out because of his constant complaining, wrapped in a suggestion he mad awhile ago that I took down about race that made it clear where he was coming from. If you find that stuff funny I'm sure there's places to find it.

We're not going to solve the jobs problem here, and that's why I'm not that interested in posting on it. You're welcome to, if you like. You seem to want it, so offer it up please.

My whole point is that we can work towards a more livable neighborhood without having to resort to widespread economic change. Though it's a moot point given the current climate. It's here, it's coming, blah blah blah.

If you want to see your neighbors thrown out on their asses, then so be it. But you're not being very empathetic to their plight.

And you must be high to think I'm wishing for an economic downturn. I'm just predicting the inevitable.