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Old 03-03-2014, 04:21 PM
 
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Manhattan at-large (not through-and-through but enough so to be noticeable and impactful) has become so homogenous and culturally/visually/aesthetically bland compared to the older, traditional, more natural- and normal-looking New York of earlier times. One may see elements of this in some of the other 4 boroughs here and there, but Manhattan is just "over-the-top" in this regard. It has become so "Hollywood-ized" and "Disney-fied" since the reign of Giuliani and then followed by Bloomberg. Yes, both mayors did good (to whatever degree) for NYC but, as a result or outcome of their reign (or was it mostly by the reign of Bloomberg?), Manhattan in particular has lost alot of its character in my mind . . . not necessarily completely or through-and-through but I definitely notice a real, real difference from earlier times in its overall look-and-feel and how one experiences it. A C-D contributor to the NYC Forum named Bronxguyanese said (a bit paraphrased here by myself) that he gets "very nostalgic and it makes my eyes water when I miss old-school NYC". He took the words right out of my mouth.

I often enough even prefer, enough of the time-- or maybe even much of the time --to be in whichever of the other 4 boroughs or even in the environs outside of NYC proper (e.g., in New Jersey's Gold Coast such as Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark, Bayonne, Fort Lee, Englewood, Teaneck, Hackensack) or in Westchester County cities (such as Yonkers or White Plains) as they feel more authentic and meant to reflect the needs and mindset of ALL the people of the population-at-large (not just designed to be some type of playground or fantasyland for the uber-super wealthy and for tourists on a Disneyland-like fantasy trip). I still can appreciate and even love Manhattan for what it is and can find nostalgic aspects of it here-and-there (at times) yet the truth is that I'd often rather hang out in Queens (e.g., Sunnyside, Flushing, Jamaica, Elmhurst, College Point, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, Fresh Meadows, Howard Beach . . . or wherever), in Brooklyn (e.g., downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope, Williamsburg, Flatbush, Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay . . . or wherever); in the Bronx (e.g., West Bronx, Throgs Neck, Riverdale, Woodlawn, Pelham Parkway, Parkchester, South Bronx/The Hub, Coop City . . . or wherever); Staten Island (not as familiar with it . . . yet); Jersey City; Hoboken; Newark; one or more of the Oranges; Fort Lee; Bayonne . . . or wherever; or even some urban-like Long Island communities (e.g., Garden City, Mineola, Hempstead Village, West Hempstead, Rockville Centre, Freeport, Long Beach, Hicksville, New Hyde Park . . . or wherever).

How many of you feel the same (for instance, that you'd often enough rather hang out in & patronize the other 4 boroughs of New York City or even nearby environs outside New York City proper)? I know alot of you do. Share your lamentations and thoughts here . . . or any contrary views if any.

Or, for that matter, to what degree (if any) do you feel that this same homogenization and reduction-of-character has taken place AS WELL in any of the other 4 boroughs outside Manhattan?
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:47 PM
 
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So you don't find Park Slope to be homogenous, but all of Manhattan to be?
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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There was a joke a client told me when i was showing her some apartments in harlem and she notice so many white people living around there. She combined a joke from Chris Rock and a statement and i had to chuckle. It went something like this: Its alright, cause its all white. Funny though when you walk into an apt that has white walls, you think its plain, you describe the color white as plain. White people do so much to get darker from their plainess such as tans real or fake.

I normally hold in my comments or laughter when certain clients say or put me in certain positions but i couldnt help it with this one. The reason i mention this is because, the way NYC has changed has been plain and boring, a loss of certain people from certain communities being replace by plain yet safe lol explains why nyc is not what it use to be.

What made NYC the place to live in the 80's/90's/before 911 was the diversity, the fact that you could pursue an artistic career while only being a waiter/waitresss or only work as an artist and still have a place to live that wasnt forcing you to work 2-4 jobs giving you no time for your craft.

NYC has lost the creativity/diversity that made it special.

Oh but its clean and safe
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:31 PM
 
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Harlem is probably less homogenous today than it has been in a long time.

My favorite neighborhood would probably be Chinatown, which could also be described as homogenous.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Dale View Post
So you don't find Park Slope to be homogenous, but all of Manhattan to be?
I haven't been to Park Slope in a good while but just remember it from years ago (perhaps 1984 or later?). I don't doubt that other parts of NYC outside Manhattan have the same issue (I even brought up that suggestion in my posting) and I distinctly said that not all of Manhattan through-and-through is like this but enough so where it leaves a certain aftertaste or impression on me.

And "gentrification", for instance, doesn't necessarily or always take away the character of the earlier New York (or at least not necessarily "through-and-through"). For instance, I was exploring Alphabet City and the East Village (along with Greenwich Village) at night and even in the middle-of-the-night (in the AM hours) in late 2009 . . . taking a "walk done memory lane", as I used to live and hang out around there in the earlier hippie and countercultural days. And, although it was all cleaned up and well-maintained and yuppiefied, et al, it still maintained enough of a sense of what it used to be and the features and sites were recognizable enough and nostalgia-provoking. Whereas there are settings of and places or areas in Manhattan (and perhaps some of the other boroughs . . . to a degree) where an altogether plasticized, metallized, homogenized, genericized "look-and-feel" has been overlaid over the area or locale or site . . . and any or and all or nearly all of its old "grit" and "authenticness" or "authenticity" has been destroyed, torn down, built over, covered over, replaced, or greatly or even hugely diluted, et al. It looks like a "virtual reality-like" artificial world that many have expressed as taking the character out of or reducing the character of the settings or places or sites or areas in question.

I know that, as George Benson once sang "Everything must change ... nothing stays the same ..." . But can't changes happen with delicacy and sensitivity to nuance and character? Would we like it if Paris was all torn down and built over to look like Disneyland or Disney World or Las Vegas (no more Eiffel Tower, no more Louvre, et al)? After all, some people's outlook is perhaps always one of "out with the old, in with the new". Perhaps a difference in philosophy and I don't personally call the shots for society-at-large. But I can lament some decisions made by others that affect ALL of us. Some others perhaps could care less.

Last edited by UsAll; 03-03-2014 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:44 PM
 
2,399 posts, read 2,393,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbullnyc View Post
There was a joke a client told me when i was showing her some apartments in harlem and she notice so many white people living around there. She combined a joke from Chris Rock and a statement and i had to chuckle. It went something like this: Its alright, cause its all white. Funny though when you walk into an apt that has white walls, you think its plain, you describe the color white as plain. White people do so much to get darker from their plainess such as tans real or fake.

I normally hold in my comments or laughter when certain clients say or put me in certain positions but i couldnt help it with this one. The reason i mention this is because, the way NYC has changed has been plain and boring, a loss of certain people from certain communities being replace by plain yet safe lol explains why nyc is not what it use to be.

What made NYC the place to live in the 80's/90's/before 911 was the diversity, the fact that you could pursue an artistic career while only being a waiter/waitresss or only work as an artist and still have a place to live that wasnt forcing you to work 2-4 jobs giving you no time for your craft.

NYC has lost the creativity/diversity that made it special.

Oh but its clean and safe
Yes, I have had 3 apartments in Manhattan (or perhaps I should say 2 rooming house units made for one person only and then 1 one bedroom apartment) but the point is that it used to be that an average person (a normal "Joe" or "Jane") could live in Manhattan even in the early 1980s and have a one bedroom apartment in a decent or reasonable area such as Clinton or the Upper West Side or wherever (in a presentable-enough non-slum building) and pay $250/month (for instance). Now, the real estate world can't conceive of charging less than $2000 or $2500 or $3000 or $4000 or whatever (even if $1800 or $1900) per month for the same place . . . or you now have to buy and own the unit. And this is even often the case in enough areas of the outer boroughs. Now, to have YOUR OWN apartment (even a studio) all to yourself-- not sharing with any roommates --you seem to have to be in the high upper-end of the upper middle class or else in the upper-class one-percenters. Yet human society at-large (our economic and political system) is not designed whereby everybody or even most persons (even those who are highly intelligent, multi-talented, multi-gifted, educated, and with a strong work ethic) can be compensated to a level or make the livelihood necessary to live in such places. And I am not talking about anything resembling "'luxury-class' living" but just basic, no-frills, presentable, non-ostentatious, and modest living spaces.

It is like the broad cross-section of New York City (with a few exceptions) has been done over TO A VERY SIGNIFICANT EXTENT for the uber-wealthy and privileged . . . unless you accept always living with multiple roommates or housemates as a way-of-life. I sometimes wonder: "What if it was made outright 'against the law' for non-family unrelated persons to co-habitate or share an apartment together in New York City or in downstate NY at-large?" Well, we all know that a huge, huge chunk of the population-- covering a broad cross-section of socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic categories --would have to vacate the region altogether and then New York City or the nearby downstate NY region-at-large would exclusively become a haven only for the high-end elite (but then where and how would they get all the people to do all the lower-end and mid-level work to be near or in the city each single day to do all the work to allow the uber-elite to live the lives they want to live here if this decision was made and enforced across-the-board?)

Last edited by UsAll; 03-03-2014 at 07:01 PM..
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:42 PM
 
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Take the subway....to me, it looks like the third world country it seems you long for.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Bronx
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Manhattan is not racially homogeneous but I can say it is becoming culturally homogeneous. Same for parts of Western Brooklyn and queens. I see whites, blacks Asians, Hispanics who make plentt of money, educated, likw yoga, expensive organic food and all those fads. I call it the monoculture.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:42 PM
 
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Does anyone serious expect NYC to be frozen in time like one big museum piece? Yes it's changed from the Koch/Dinkins era. But the Giuliani/Bloomberg era is now over, and it will change from that too.

A lot of people on this forum are living in the past! Some are living in the 80s as some sort of glorious era. Others are trying to declare Giulani/Bloomberg the second coming of Christ! There were good and bad things about those eras, but they are done. And this era too will have its good or bad things.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NyWriterdude View Post
Does anyone serious expect NYC to be frozen in time like one big museum piece? Yes it's changed from the Koch/Dinkins era. But the Giuliani/Bloomberg era is now over, and it will change from that too.

A lot of people on this forum are living in the past! Some are living in the 80s as some sort of glorious era. Others are trying to declare Giulani/Bloomberg the second coming of Christ! There were good and bad things about those eras, but they are done. And this era too will have its good or bad things.
True enough. George Benson sang "Everything must change . . . nothing stays the same . . ." (in the mid-to-late 1970s). Perhaps, in relation to this issue, it should be rather stated "Everything will change . . . sooner or later . . . whether we want it to or not" (rather than saying "Everything must change") but, for what we are talking about here, these changes sometimes come across as forced and contrived. How's about if we take all of Central Park, dig it up & pave it over, and then turn it into a giant metered or attended parking lot or a massive collection of tall apartment buildings? After all, New York City sure could use more parking spaces and certainly more available apartments to address the housing supply shortage . . . so these changes would fulfill some useful purposes. But is that what you or we really want to see happen to Central Park?

But you ARE right. Things do change and there will always be some people who like the changes and some who don't. Like the neighborhood of Flushing (Queens), since perhaps the mid-1980s-onward (?), has become nearly overwhelmingly East Asian-oriented and dominated through-and-through (literally looking like you were visiting Hong Kong or Beijing, et al) and yet it didn't use to be. So much of its earlier character has been obliterated BUT this DOESN'T mean that it shouldn't have happened. It can be said that whoever makes the best use of the land and area, treats it well and maintains it well, and otherwise does right by it has the right to inherit it. No ethnic or racial group is better than or more worthy than another (and vice versa) or more meriting to characterize and occupy an area over another (and vice versa). What matters really is "who are the best stewards of the area or land in question?" But this example brought up by me is not the same as enacting policies which are meant to drive out the entire or near-entire middle class or working class to turn the entire or near-entire locale into a haven that only the uber-super-rich can live in. I'm not saying to preserve a neighborhood or a cluster of neighborhoods or an entire borough as a permanent haven and living refuge for what can be called "the permanent underclass" (i.e., those who seem intent on making a way-of-life out of living off of the productivity and beneficience of the public till rather than being characterized by a strong work ethic and responsible behavior patterns including valuing being learned and educated & engaging in civil behavior patterns rather than aberrant or anti-social or even criminal behavior patterns) but we can't just destroy the city as a place for the middle class & working class to live in as well as work in or shop in. The great bulk of human society consists of the middle and working classes (rather than the one-percenters) and, without them being there to be the backbone of our society, human society will collapse and the one-percenters won't be able to live the lives they do without the middle and working classes (as well as the even lower-than-middle classes) to be there to live amongst & alongside them so that the middle classers and working classers and lower classers can be there and available to do all the grunt work that enables society to function & for the elite to be able to live as they wish to and thrive.

So unlike what the contributor named joeymags suggested in his/her posting to this thread, I am not looking to have New York City be like or resemble a "third-world country" but you have to have it serve the needs and limitations of the middle and working classes and not just be wholly or nearly-wholly re-made into a giant playground and fantasyland for the uber-super-wealthy. Without us middle classers and working classers (and then even some segments of the lower classers as well), all the uber-super-wealthy couldn't exist (for they need US ALL to do all their sh*t work for them and all the other supportive work to make the lives of ALL of us-- including the uber-super-wealthy --possible). A city whose administration and management (i.e., the "powers-that-be") doesn't take this all into account cannot be sustained over the long-run (or maybe not even over the intermediate run).

Last edited by UsAll; 03-04-2014 at 03:15 AM..
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