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View Poll Results: In your opinion is crime citywide up or down since 2005?
Up 89 47.85%
Down 97 52.15%
Voters: 186. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-26-2008, 10:46 PM
 
1,734 posts, read 2,088,804 times
Reputation: 1900

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Over the last decade, the topic of gentrification has been pushed to the forefront as a hot button issue affecting NYers. I thought I would create a thread where people who live, work, play or have family/care about NY can air their thoughts.

Some people have wondered why gentrification seems to be a dirty word to many. For people to understand why it's not always seen as a good thing, I will offer a personal antcedote:

I am a bi-racial person with Autism. No, I don't go around "announcing it to the world", but people figure it out sooner or later. I left NYC as a kid and ended up in Bucks Co, PA (outside Philadelphia) in 1999. Living here, I don't fit in and probably never will. I know this is not politically correct, but basically this is white trash land. Once I turned 14, I began to travel on my own. By 15, I was traveling to NYC by myself to see my family and explore. At that time, NYC was a wonderland of old memories and new adventures. I rode subways to places I'd never been as a kid. I took in museums and graffiti murals. I toured the museums and gazed in awe at the towers of Wall St and Midtown. But most of all, I loved the people. Only in NY could I see the variety and colorfulness of humankind. But most of all, I felt accepted and welcome. My disability didn't matter, my race didn't matter, my impoverished status didn't matter. I was but one of 10 million souls each with their own story and none more or less welcome than the rest. I loved it.

This stands in stark contrast to Bucks co. Bucks co PA is 92% white (as per 2000 census) and even that doesn't contain much diversity in and of itself. Anyone who was/is in any way "different" is instantly cast off into the realm of "loser" and "freak". I spent the great majority of my middle school years running from skinheads and dodging disability slurs. HS improved marginally, only becuase we moved to a different hood becuase the meth heads got too bad. In short, it is everything "Middle America" is stereotyped as being, and it's disgusting.

NYC, as far back as the 1900's, was a place those rejected by the puritan establishment in the US and Europe could come and excerize their lifestyles in comfort and peace. Beginning in the 1970s, wave after wave of goths, punks, nerds, gays, artists, emos, theatrics, go-getters, etc moved into bombed out wastelands of horror and poverty, and from there began the flowering of what we see today. They came much like how the colonialists or the Underground railroaders came, to escape a society they saw as limiting their right to live in happyness and peace. These were the people who began to turn the ship and make the city the propserous and safe place it is today.

But then, something changed. Maybe it was Sex&The City. Maybe it was MTV. Maybe it was 9/11 and seeing the bravery and compassion so many NYers displayed for each other, but suddenly, Middle America took noticed. NYC was no longer the "The Warriors"esque scene of out-of-control crime, fading oppertunity and bombed out wasteland that the heartland for so long saw it as. And so now, the people us "Outcasts" sought to escape have come back to huant us again. First by visiting (which isn't too bad), but now by coming to join us. That would be fine if they respected what NY stands for, but they do not. When I walk Manhattan today, I see the same kids I saw in high school, only grown. The pretty princesses and High-school Quaterback stars walking around in gucci tops and armani shoes. Looking with a mix of fear and distain for us "freaks" who haven't been priced out yet as we pass each other on the sidewalks of SoHo. I can feel their prescence in the bland condos and chain stores. I can watch as they squirm around the subway car and walk 7 across down a busy sidewalk. But most of all, it's the feeling of them looking at you, the same way they looked at you in school, with the same "I'm better than you" attitude and same fear of the unusual brought with them from the hinderlands of America (and the rest of the World).


Call me a bigot, but this is not what I thought NYC should be, and this is why there is such a backlash. It's not simply about being whiners, but it's about what NYC is and what will it be. When people refer to NY being "over", the above is what I am referencing.

On the flip side:

I support gentrification. People who talk the most about bringing back the "real NYC" more often than not are the silly-assed white kids I'm referencing. NY today is better than it's been since the 1920s. I do want to see the wealthy continue to move and expand here, since they fuel the growth needed to keep NYC a world player in finance, innovation, buisness and culture.

Anyone agree with me?

 
Old 09-26-2008, 11:49 PM
 
45 posts, read 76,267 times
Reputation: 21
Somewhat, yes and no.
Gentrification is good.

The land shortage is not (although thereís nothing we can do about it).

Combine the two and you get gentrification combined with insanely high prices that very few professional types and businesses can afford. With rents so high only banks and pharmacies and afford to open, pushing out some of the great ethnic restaurants and cultural flagships. The immigrants from various countries looking for a fresh start canít afford to move in. If the demand and prices are both crushing for an extended period of time, the gentrification can sometimes have a bleaching effect where the city begins to loose its soul. The Asian teahouse loses its lease to the coach purse boutique, and the Cuban deli on the corner eventually gives way to a starbucks.

I agree that the city isnít the same, and I donít have hope for a reversal. It wasnít 9/11 that did it; simply put NYC is a successful place. And once the crime was alleviated it didnít take long for people around the country to be enticed by the harmonious mixture of cultures, the artistic atmosphere, the gritty charm, the conveniences, and the exotic experiences to be had. Sadly the influx of people around the country who wanted out of bland places has significantly diluted the multicultural, worldly native stock. When I tell people Iím a native, born and raised, I suddenly get looked upon like a rare creature driven to extinction. The vast majority of people I meet are not true new Yorkers, but transplants who donít have the crucial combination of confidence, a brass pair and open mind of a true native- but desperately want to think they do. Intellectual snobbery has taken the place of racial tolerance, and liberals have become are more communist than the tolerant free spirits of old.

My spouse and I are seriously considering leaving NYC. Not because we have to, but because weíre an island. While I welcome the decline of crime, I resent how popular it has made the place. A good thing has been spoiled. My beautiful east village is now becoming sterile and generic. Why stay? It is a question Iím having a hard time answering.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 12:54 AM
 
Location: Metropolis
1,114 posts, read 2,379,016 times
Reputation: 617
Quote:
Originally Posted by subcriminal View Post
Somewhat, yes and no.
Gentrification is good.

The land shortage is not (although thereís nothing we can do about it).

Combine the two and you get gentrification combined with insanely high prices that very few professional types and businesses can afford. With rents so high only banks and pharmacies and afford to open, pushing out some of the great ethnic restaurants and cultural flagships. The immigrants from various countries looking for a fresh start canít afford to move in. If the demand and prices are both crushing for an extended period of time, the gentrification can sometimes have a bleaching effect where the city begins to loose its soul. The Asian teahouse loses its lease to the coach purse boutique, and the Cuban deli on the corner eventually gives way to a starbucks.

I agree that the city isnít the same, and I donít have hope for a reversal. It wasnít 9/11 that did it; simply put NYC is a successful place. And once the crime was alleviated it didnít take long for people around the country to be enticed by the harmonious mixture of cultures, the artistic atmosphere, the gritty charm, the conveniences, and the exotic experiences to be had. Sadly the influx of people around the country who wanted out of bland places has significantly diluted the multicultural, worldly native stock. When I tell people Iím a native, born and raised, I suddenly get looked upon like a rare creature driven to extinction. The vast majority of people I meet are not true new Yorkers, but transplants who donít have the crucial combination of confidence, a brass pair and open mind of a true native- but desperately want to think they do. Intellectual snobbery has taken the place of racial tolerance, and liberals have become are more communist than the tolerant free spirits of old.

My spouse and I are seriously considering leaving NYC. Not because we have to, but because weíre an island. While I welcome the decline of crime, I resent how popular it has made the place. A good thing has been spoiled. My beautiful east village is now becoming sterile and generic. Why stay? It is a question Iím having a hard time answering.


Good luck finding a city which isn't in the process of, or already has become disneyfied. Try the LES, Harlem or East Williamsburg.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 05:04 AM
 
14 posts, read 41,043 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by subcriminal View Post
Somewhat, yes and no.
Gentrification is good.

The land shortage is not (although there’s nothing we can do about it).

Combine the two and you get gentrification combined with insanely high prices that very few professional types and businesses can afford. With rents so high only banks and pharmacies and afford to open, pushing out some of the great ethnic restaurants and cultural flagships. The immigrants from various countries looking for a fresh start can’t afford to move in. If the demand and prices are both crushing for an extended period of time, the gentrification can sometimes have a bleaching effect where the city begins to loose its soul. The Asian teahouse loses its lease to the coach purse boutique, and the Cuban deli on the corner eventually gives way to a starbucks.

I agree that the city isn’t the same, and I don’t have hope for a reversal. It wasn’t 9/11 that did it; simply put NYC is a successful place. And once the crime was alleviated it didn’t take long for people around the country to be enticed by the harmonious mixture of cultures, the artistic atmosphere, the gritty charm, the conveniences, and the exotic experiences to be had. Sadly the influx of people around the country who wanted out of bland places has significantly diluted the multicultural, worldly native stock. When I tell people I’m a native, born and raised, I suddenly get looked upon like a rare creature driven to extinction. The vast majority of people I meet are not true new Yorkers, but transplants who don’t have the crucial combination of confidence, a brass pair and open mind of a true native- but desperately want to think they do. Intellectual snobbery has taken the place of racial tolerance, and liberals have become are more communist than the tolerant free spirits of old.

My spouse and I are seriously considering leaving NYC. Not because we have to, but because we’re an island. While I welcome the decline of crime, I resent how popular it has made the place. A good thing has been spoiled. My beautiful east village is now becoming sterile and generic. Why stay? It is a question I’m having a hard time answering.
Please don't leave our beloved neighborhood! I am an Alphabet City native and I can tell you that despite the negative aspects of gentrification in the East Village, Alphabet City continues to retain its native character to a greater extent, more so than other areas of Manhattan. We must stay in the East Village to ensure that our neighborhood retains its original character. If we leave, who will there be left to continue our way of life and pass on the torch to the next generation! Our uniqueness in New York and in the world can not be replicated. Our sense of humor and toughness are our greatest assets and we must maintain the integrity of our culture. The East Village and Alphabet City have always been large ethnic enclaves with remarkable cultural diversity. It is this specific type of unique New Yorker that we must make sure does not disappear from our part of Manhattan. Thank you for continuing to live in the East Village despite the apparent changes. And please remember that as long as we stay here, our culture will continue to flourish!
 
Old 09-27-2008, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn
47 posts, read 110,596 times
Reputation: 16
I would like to post my thoughts as well. Gentrification has apparently spread into the online world on NY as well. I wanted to move to BK because it would cut my commute downtown in half but can't afford the 2000+ rent to live anywhere remotely close to the city. Everytime I see ads for $4000 apartments in Williamsburg on CL I can't help but laugh to stop from going into a homicidal rage.

Last edited by Viralmd; 09-27-2008 at 09:01 AM.. Reason: Calling out mod
 
Old 09-27-2008, 02:42 PM
 
45 posts, read 76,267 times
Reputation: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanQuest View Post
Good luck finding a city which isn't in the process of, or already has become disneyfied. Try the LES, Harlem or East Williamsburg.
All of which are experiencing a condo boom. No thanks, in two years it will be like the rest.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 02:45 PM
 
45 posts, read 76,267 times
Reputation: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphabetCityNYC View Post
Please don't leave our beloved neighborhood! I am an Alphabet City native and I can tell you that despite the negative aspects of gentrification in the East Village, Alphabet City continues to retain its native character to a greater extent, more so than other areas of Manhattan. We must stay in the East Village to ensure that our neighborhood retains its original character. If we leave, who will there be left to continue our way of life and pass on the torch to the next generation! Our uniqueness in New York and in the world can not be replicated. Our sense of humor and toughness are our greatest assets and we must maintain the integrity of our culture. The East Village and Alphabet City have always been large ethnic enclaves with remarkable cultural diversity. It is this specific type of unique New Yorker that we must make sure does not disappear from our part of Manhattan. Thank you for continuing to live in the East Village despite the apparent changes. And please remember that as long as we stay here, our culture will continue to flourish!
If it is any comfort to you, Alphabet city is one of the only things keeping me in the Village But that too is slowly vanishing. It's so heartbreaking.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 02:47 PM
 
Location: southern california
49,729 posts, read 46,804,402 times
Reputation: 40961
gentrification is natures way of saying lets make it pretty.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 05:07 PM
 
180 posts, read 266,438 times
Reputation: 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by subcriminal View Post
Somewhat, yes and no.
Gentrification is good.

The land shortage is not (although thereís nothing we can do about it).

Combine the two and you get gentrification combined with insanely high prices that very few professional types and businesses can afford. With rents so high only banks and pharmacies and afford to open, pushing out some of the great ethnic restaurants and cultural flagships. The immigrants from various countries looking for a fresh start canít afford to move in. If the demand and prices are both crushing for an extended period of time, the gentrification can sometimes have a bleaching effect where the city begins to loose its soul. The Asian teahouse loses its lease to the coach purse boutique, and the Cuban deli on the corner eventually gives way to a starbucks.

I agree that the city isnít the same, and I donít have hope for a reversal. It wasnít 9/11 that did it; simply put NYC is a successful place. And once the crime was alleviated it didnít take long for people around the country to be enticed by the harmonious mixture of cultures, the artistic atmosphere, the gritty charm, the conveniences, and the exotic experiences to be had. Sadly the influx of people around the country who wanted out of bland places has significantly diluted the multicultural, worldly native stock. When I tell people Iím a native, born and raised, I suddenly get looked upon like a rare creature driven to extinction. The vast majority of people I meet are not true new Yorkers, but transplants who donít have the crucial combination of confidence, a brass pair and open mind of a true native- but desperately want to think they do. Intellectual snobbery has taken the place of racial tolerance, and liberals have become are more communist than the tolerant free spirits of old.

My spouse and I are seriously considering leaving NYC. Not because we have to, but because weíre an island. While I welcome the decline of crime, I resent how popular it has made the place. A good thing has been spoiled. My beautiful east village is now becoming sterile and generic. Why stay? It is a question Iím having a hard time answering.
wow. hit the needle on the head. x2.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
47 posts, read 110,596 times
Reputation: 16
Apparently we're all supposed to just sit back while we're all priced out of our own city and do it with a smile and welcome all the out of staters in. I have a professional job, 2 college degrees and I STILL can't afford most decent areas of even Queens and Brooklyn forget Manhattan. How the hell is a working class family with kids supposed to survive when rents even in the ghetto are even 1200+? Oh it doesn't matter because there are 100 Notre Dame grads with trust funds and connections who are willing to pay double that.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 09-27-2008 at 06:14 PM.. Reason: Off-Topic Comment
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