Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Williamsburg Part II: More Evidence the Burg is Toast

northside2

We are not going to devote a lot of verbiage to this--because the visuals speak for themselves. These images are screencaps from the Northside Piers website, which has just been expanded. (Northside Piers is the Toll Brothers development going up on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg adjacent to 184 Kent at N. 5th Street.) There's an invite only cocktail reception to kick off sales tonight in Manhattan. In any case, we offer this in order to simply say: Williamsburg as we know it, is toast. Of course, we realize there are those who lived there for decades who would say that it was toast when the first wave of gentrification happened. But what's about to occur is something of an entirely different magnitude.

northside1

northside3

40 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Les Power said...

I have to say the gentrification doesn't nauseate half me as much as the smug, insinuating tone of that ad copy. Makes me want to go all "Falling Down" over there at Northside to welcome these tools to "the action".

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"bklyn brewery" on the map. oh boy.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always funny to see gentrifiers complain about other gentrifiers.
Earth to artsy white boy with the uneven haircut: YOU ARE GENTRIFICATION! So stop, please stop, your self-important delusions that you are somehow anti-establishment or somehow outside of the web of land development and gentrification. You are part of the machine whether you want to believe it or not. The people who built these apts starting eyeing Williamsburg the MINUTE the first young, "hip" white person crossed the bridge from the LES. And for all you smug anti-gentrification gentrifiers in Bushwick. The mouths of Real Estate brokers and developers are filling with saliva as we speak. You are NO different in the long run from those people in those ads.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But... the cheese i've been just DYING to try!!??

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Dennis said...

WB will soon be full of whine and cheese...

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and btw...come back in two years with the same comment about bwick...the RE money has already been streaming that way for a while....

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Anonymous: don't blame the victims for the real estate market's crimes. Yes, the hip white kids are part of the gentrification scheme, but not by any choice of their own. My hair is not "uneven," and I don't think anyone would consider me "hip," but I am a young white guy in a gentrififying Brooklyn neighborhood (to remain unnamed). Why am I here? Because $800 a month split between me and my wife is all I can afford. And I fucking love the neighborhood. But I have very few other choices, save Long Island (though I can't afford a car) or New Jersey (though it's not that much cheaper there). My neighborhood is still affordable but I fear it will no longer be. Whose fault is that? For one, it's the fault of the real estate developers who want nothing more than inflated property values and sky-rocketing rents. Two, it's the city government that will do nothing to prevent those values from rising (despite some bones scattered around the city for affordable housing). It is more than possible, given a city government that truly cares about affordable housing, to have an inter-racial Brooklyn neighborhood with relatively cheap rents.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Legs said...

look we can fight about who's to blame for gentrification in brooklyn, OR we can concentrate on something important: making fun of these superlame ads!

'everything my parents wanted for me...' brooklyn as adult day care center.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous queens is it said...

There is only one person to blame for this. Giuliani. Oh yeah, and the idiots who pay $1400 - $1500 for a studio or $2000 for a one bedroom. It's all these Merrill Lynch fuckers who make $60,000+ to be glorified secretaries, rent shitty over-priced apartments in these condos and then leave the city after a year or two, all so they can say they had their New York experience. Leaches every last one.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sell the house. Sell the car. Sell the kids.
The difference between this tool in the suit and diagonal haircut boy is that diagonal haircut boy at least as a vague inkling of the values to which the development of Williamsburg is an affront. We (who are HIP to these values) all can acknowledge the tragedy of what is happening but just have not been able to articulate our resistance or come up with viable strategy for opposing development.
Those bored with apathy and ironic withdrawal can take a lesson from the Iraqi insurgency- Effective opposition to capitalist development is EASY and EFFECTIVE. Here is your little red book of tactics: DO EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO UNDERMINE THE MARKETING OF WILLIAMSBURG. Make them UNWELCOME. Spray paint your sentiments on their bistro. DESTROY PROPERTY VALUES BY ANY MEANS. Just take a shit on the street if you’re not up for noise pollution or arson. If we are going to be thrown out off the farm, we might as well burn the fields.
No, These measures may not impede the march of gentrification, but they will help preserve and articulate the culture that we hold dear, or at least memorialize it with a lovely POTLACH.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Hunter Slaton said...

My comment on the situation can be found here.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

her parents wanted her to live near a bunch of bars?

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"everything my parents ever wanted for me."

i wonder if that was before or after cokie's closed.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy in that ad is the same guy who lived in Williamsburg in 2001 at age 22, but is now 27 in 2006. Don't you people get it? You are that person. You are that yuppy off Bedford, just growing up naturally. Hate him, and hate yourself.

Williamsburg is still really cheap compared to Manhattan - $900 for a share in a decent sized bedroom with one other person off Lorimer. Compare that to some tiny, claustraphobic share in Manhattan for $1,200/month that's a 10 minute walk to the subway.

Get over yourselves - you're artsy, you're educated, you're cultured, yet ... you hate ... the very customs ... of the older artsy, educated, cultured? Self-hate, I thinks it is.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, If you have become that guy, YOU HATE YOURSELF WITH GOOD REASON. There are alternatives to living in souless commercial condos and working in finance. THAT is the WHOLE POINT of Williamsburg. Duh.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, If you have become that guy, YOU HATE YOURSELF WITH GOOD REASON. There are alternatives to living in souless commercial condos and working in finance. THAT is the WHOLE POINT of Williamsburg. Duh.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living in a condo? Almost all of Williamsburg is still old-school Italian and Jewish-owned homes ... just live there, and it's not that expensive.

That's why I don't get why people are freaking out - Williamsburg is still pretty cheap when you compare it to Manhattan, and similar to the outer-boroughs. You've got luxury condos in Queens, and you've got cheaper old school houses. WBURG is becoming ilke any other neighbhorhood. Bushwick is only vaguely cheaper and 1000x more inconvenient if you actually work.

I'm a writer, I can still afford it. Maybe not in 2 or 3 years, but people should just get over it. NYC isn't just a single neighborhood.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

While I sympathize with the sentiment that we should do "EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO UNDERMINE THE MARKETING OF WILLIAMSBURG," I don't think it's the best strategy. One, for better or worse the police are more powerful than we are. We would be defeated eventually. Two, by trying to alter the market value of Williamsburg we would be trying to work within the current system of free market real estate capitalism. That is a losing battle as well. Three, I don't care about the culture of Williamsburg as much as I care about the economy of the neighborhood. In other words, Joe Schmo and Hipster Dave can live there side by side for all I care, just so long as the rents remain cheap. The answer, I think, is to generate political pressure so that the city government has no choice but to rein in the real estate pimps, create more affordable housing, introduce accross-the-board rent caps, and ensure that everyone has an affordable place to live and is able to stay in his/her apartment/neighborhood.

1:47 PM  
Blogger jayKayEss said...

Hating hipsters is sooooo last season.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just moved in to one of those condos and I can assure you that there isn't a banker amongst us. Is it ok if we stay? Please don't shit on me.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is in response to "earth to white boy"... yes, we are all gentrification, but i think the difference is that we match the soulful identity that williamsburg represents, and we are not the souless people these ads portray. we are a COMMUNITY, like minded individuals for change. we work in nonprofits, we paint, and we cannot afford the luxury high rise lifestyle. the community mixes well, accepts all, and that's what makes it special. the people who made this community beautiful are now subject to its inevitable yuppie take over. if only we kept it a secret. if only we were safe from the "machine"... our way of life will continue, and it will continue without williamsburg :(... "spread love, it's the brooklyn way..."

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um how "Williamsburg" is it to think that "the man" has it in for this one 'hood. Key words "waterfront property". Look up and down the rivers at any 'hood on both sides. Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, Chelsea, TriBeca, West side, L.I. City, W'Burg, Dumbo, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Coney Island. Count up all of the recent and upcoming projects and then whine collectively about how the industrial waterfront is now turning into luxury residential waterfront. So, I don't think Williamsburg is unique. Its a small part of a much larger brushstroke.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always funny to see gentrifiers complain about other gentrifiers.
Earth to artsy white boy with the uneven haircut: YOU ARE GENTRIFICATION! So stop, please stop, your self-important delusions that you are somehow anti-establishment or somehow outside of the web of land development and gentrification. You are part of the machine whether you want to believe it or not. The people who built these apts starting eyeing Williamsburg the MINUTE the first young, "hip" white person crossed the bridge from the LES. And for all you smug anti-gentrification gentrifiers in Bushwick. The mouths of Real Estate brokers and developers are filling with saliva as we speak. You are NO different in the long run from those people in those ads.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always funny to see gentrifiers complain about other gentrifiers.
Earth to artsy white boy with the uneven haircut: YOU ARE GENTRIFICATION! So stop, please stop, your self-important delusions that you are somehow anti-establishment or somehow outside of the web of land development and gentrification. You are part of the machine whether you want to believe it or not. The people who built these apts starting eyeing Williamsburg the MINUTE the first young, "hip" white person crossed the bridge from the LES. And for all you smug anti-gentrification gentrifiers in Bushwick. The mouths of Real Estate brokers and developers are filling with saliva as we speak. You are NO different in the long run from those people in those ads.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in the 'burg for 10 years and before that in Wicker park,Chicago.- which also got gentrifed. I came for cheap rents and to not just live around other frikkin white people..I am an artist. I do not make a lot of money and probably never will. I do not shop for 300 dollar shoes on bedford or go to the millions of new bars every night or buy real estate because I cannot afford to and I do not want to. It bums me out to see the vibrant culture of my neighborhood - hipanic, black, hassidic, artists , whatever - being killed by these people. Just becasue I am white and educated- as thery are - does not mean we are all the same, any more than all blacks or whatever are the same. The real issue stems from NYC not having a good plan to protect affordable rents for blue collar people, arrtists, families, etc.
As for the yupsters they come because they like our flavah.. then they kill it. They are a bunch of zombies. I know I sound embittered but I am sick of being the canary in a developers coalmine every 10 years... but the problem of course is not the individuals its putting polticial pressure to make sure that new developments include percentages of mixed income housing etc etc.

But even given all that, the sad thing for me is losing the old wildness. Form example, that waterfront will never be the place it once was -the delightfully tentanous laden scrub free to every hobo, skate kid, tagger, polish and hassidic date make out artist, stoner and walker, just a river away from one of the most expensive real estate in the world. And nothing brings that back.Instead we have these.. ads .. that say it all. Vomit. I really do want to monkeywrench them...

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Well said.

1:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived in Brooklyn my whole life. I grew up here. That makes me, let's say one in a fucking million. I make it a point to stay as far away from that place as I can, and not because I can't find my costume.

"The search for love is so absurd, they're cramming into williamsburg"- anonymous song quote

-Pete Fucking Becker

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived in Brooklyn my whole life. I grew up here. That makes me, let's say one in a fucking million. I make it a point to stay as far away from that place as I can, and not because I can't find my costume.

"The search for love is so absurd, they're cramming into williamsburg"- anonymous song quote

-Pete Fucking Becker

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

My partner and I have lived in our place on Clinton Avenue for 13 years, and to the Anonymous person claiming that we are part of gentrification I want to state that I am not part of the trust-fund establishment that has taken over my hood, and I don't like what is happening to many of my neighbours. Do you realise that we have loved this place because of its great diversity? We knew our neighbours and had a community spirit that doesn't need another 'cafe cliche' and pram toting silver spoon bankers with attitude. We fear for the possibility that some crap real estate agents will one day take over our building and throw us out so one of these bankers will shell out $2 million for a condo conversion. We do not want to move, but fear the day that we will be forced to do so. Then where will we be able to afford to live in this city?

Please please please stop this migration of dreadful soul-destroying souls from my beloved Fort Greene. You have Manhattan-enjoy! Luxury is all there for you. Please let Brooklyn have some places for its creative people.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My great-grandfather moved to Brooklyn in 1886. My grandfather and father were born here. I'm a leftist. Live music is my passion. I like to talk about food, movies, and life. I like to rant about politics. I'm also a very well paid employee of the IT department of a financial company. I don't accept that this makes Williamsburg off limits to me. Those that judge me by my job are closed minded fools. What kind of person would I be if I judged a coffee house cashier solely by their day job?

I feel sorry for anyone who rejects the joys of a glass of wine paired with the right food (such as, yes, cheese) because they think it is elitist. Tell that to French peasants.

I actually don't have any interest in living in Williamsburg because it is a bit too young for me, but I do live in Brooklyn nab this being gentrified. I think that afordable housing is a right, but not my direct responsibility.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, maybe I'm just visually challenged, but that guy in the suit doesn't look "white" to me. Did it ever cross your minds that perhaps, people who look like the "douchebag in a suit" grew up in a "diverse immigrant neighborhood", went to public school, loaned their way through higher education without the benefit of trust funds, studied economics instead of reading Derrida because their parents felt that moving out of Flushing, 60th Street in Brooklyn, or in my case, a crime-ridden area in Michigan, would be a better option than, well, staying in the ghetto, which you hipsters believe to be "authentic" and "quaint"? Sure, getting beaten while walking home from school sure is "quaint", let me tell you! You should try it sometime.

Sorry, but many of us horrible "yuppies" didn't have the luxury of debating the minutia of what's cool and uncool and discover the next underground band and then hate them a year later, and spend money on rare vinyl, etc. etc. etc. We were too busy studying and trying to live a better life.

Call me all your stupid names. Call me "nouveau riche." Call me "clueless." But I'd rather live next door to hardworking yuppies than trust fund hipsters who have the luxury of whining. Remember, somewhere in your family's past, someone worked hard so you could paint and do underground theater. Leave the yuppies alone. Their kids will grow up to be hipsters who will have the luxury to glorify "slumming" (without actually being subject to street violence like their grandparents), and the cycle will continue.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn straight guy who just posted above. that's what I'm saying - these kids who bitch and moan about "oh, you yuppies!! you people who can afford 800-1000/month on an apartment!" (which is absolutely nothing, and the regular share rent in Williamsburg), they come from parents who are bleeding yuppies. It's all just rebellion against their affluent lifestyles they left.

I grew up in a suburban/urban environment - redneck blue collar white guys, angry Puerto Ricans, public/state schooling. You know what's nice? To actually be around other smart, ambitious, cultured people in an environment that isn't "authentic" (aka, where I'll get my shit thrown up against a wall in broad daylight). Fuck those sanctimonious hipsters - what's wrong with being artistic, cultured, smart, -and- economically self-sufficient?

Some people just have to work hard, and those people can afford half-way decent rents. You can learn a thing or two from them.

3:22 PM  
Blogger emily2 said...

"My hair is not "uneven," and I don't think anyone would consider me "hip," but I am a young white guy in a gentrififying Brooklyn neighborhood (to remain unnamed). Why am I here? Because $800 a month split between me and my wife is all I can afford."

either that or you're too "cool" to live in new jersey (an aside - and by suggesting a move to unhip "new jersey" the williamsburg brats all had seizures.) btw, i pay $650 a month for a bedroom in a little town in new jersey and commute to work in manhattan.

no, but seriously, looking on the other side of the hudson, if you want affordable rents, isn't a bad idea. i highly suggest it.

"Sell the house. Sell the car. Sell the kids.

The difference between this tool in the suit and diagonal haircut boy is that diagonal haircut boy at least as a vague inkling of the values to which the development of Williamsburg is an affront. We (who are HIP to these values) all can acknowledge the tragedy of what is happening but just have not been able to articulate our resistance or come up with viable strategy for opposing development.

Those bored with apathy and ironic withdrawal can take a lesson from the Iraqi insurgency- Effective opposition to capitalist development is EASY and EFFECTIVE. Here is your little red book of tactics: DO EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO UNDERMINE THE MARKETING OF WILLIAMSBURG. Make them UNWELCOME. Spray paint your sentiments on their bistro. DESTROY PROPERTY VALUES BY ANY MEANS. Just take a shit on the street if you’re not up for noise pollution or arson. If we are going to be thrown out off the farm, we might as well burn the fields."


see the post two posts above, you out-of-touch wanker. take your "i'm still rebelling against the values of my rich parents, which ironically, gave the the luxury to rebel" garbage and shove it.

"Dude, If you have become that guy, YOU HATE YOURSELF WITH GOOD REASON. There are alternatives to living in souless commercial condos and working in finance. THAT is the WHOLE POINT of Williamsburg. Duh."

i hope that was ironic. i will give you the benefit of the doubt. :)

Two, by trying to alter the market value of Williamsburg we would be trying to work within the current system of free market real estate capitalism.

i hope to god you're a teen or in your early 20's. otherwise you just sound ignorant. take the "gentrification" of central square in cambridge, ma for example. it was a crack den in the 90's. who were the landlords? working class / elderly folks who could barely break even on the rent that was (not) being paid. when the "hipsters" (which are basically yuppies in costure) started moving in, those landlords could finally reap the benefits of their investment. now the uncostumed yuppies are paying their rent. it's a beautiful thing.

that's the free market for ya. because of the "free market" those who couldn't escape poverty finally can.

"this is in response to "earth to white boy"... yes, we are all gentrification, but i think the difference is that we match the soulful identity that williamsburg represents, and we are not the souless people these ads portray. we are a COMMUNITY, like minded individuals for change. we work in nonprofits, we paint, and we cannot afford the luxury high rise lifestyle."

the fact that you can afford to create art means that you lived a privileged or at least a middle class lifestyle. could it be possible that your parents had to be yuppies so that you could make a living off of art? again, see dude who posted two posts above.

As for the yupsters they come because they like our flavah.. then they kill it.

i think they come (to those high rises at least), because they want to afford something both modern and affordable - i.e not cheap and rat and bedbug infested. one of my buddies was hospitalized for a bedbug attack in old-school williamsburg. needless to say, it wasn't pretty.

really, some things are simpler than you think.

"We knew our neighbours and had a community spirit that doesn't need another 'cafe cliche' and pram toting silver spoon bankers with attitude."

the bankers i know (and went to school with) weren't "silver spoon" by any means. their parents worked hard so they could get into good schools and be successful. yeah, full disclosure - my parents were immigrants, and so are theirs. and maybe i'm just not "hip" to the whole "hate capitalism" thing, because half of my family escaped communism.

"I feel sorry for anyone who rejects the joys of a glass of wine paired with the right food (such as, yes, cheese) because they think it is elitist. Tell that to French peasants."

rock the most on.

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Let's get down to the crux of the matter: affordable housing in New York is diminishing very quickly. Gentrification--by definition--makes housing less affordable. We can debate for hours over whose fault that is. But why, unless you are some selfish, sadist asshole who loves to see poor people get poorer, would you want gentrificaiton? Sure, it helps some property owners come out of poverty themselves. But there are far more renters in this city than owners. And there are far more rich real estate developers than poor property owners. What's good for owners (economically at least) is bad for renters. I don't care about hipsters or the "culture" of Williamsburg (it disgusts me actually), but I do care about people being able to afford to live (and continue living) in affordable neighborhoods. The solution is not to "keep out the yuppies" (though that wouldn't hurt); it's to put pressure on our politicians to create more affordable housing, establish stronger and broader rent control measures, and (on larger scales) get rid of the Federal tax cuts that have helped the rich get so much richer.

2:56 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

And another thing: can we drop this neoliberal bullshit about the rich working harder than the poor?

3:12 AM  
Blogger emily2 said...

And another thing: can we drop this neoliberal bullshit about the rich working harder than the poor?

sorry you took my post that way.

now that i've stopped ranting, i think what set me off is that i got a sense that (some) people were attacking the "douchebag in the suit" (i.e. the "types" of people who are purchasing condos as being soulless capitalists) rather than attacking the city for not having a solution to create and maintain affordable housing. is it really the yuppies' fault? i think not.

perhaps if more of the attacks were on "the douchebags in city hall" i'd be less ticked off by the overall tone of (some) of these posts.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

We're in agreement then. I think the key is to see the quantitative problem here before we jump on the qualitative issues. The qualities of a neighborhood shouldn't be discounted (I live in my Brooklyn neighborhood in part because it's relatively cheap but also because I find it charming, friendly, slow, beautiful, and, most importantly, home to many of my friends). But quantitative changes to a neighborhood (specifically rents) are much more threatening to people's lives. The problem is that, so long as we let the market determine the value of rents, qualitative changes will affect the quantitative ones and vice versa (the more attractive a neighborhood gets, the more expensive it is). What we need is government intervention to harness the market, to make it impossible and, in fact, illegal, for rents to rise above certain levels for certain people in certain places. A difficult, complicated, but not impossible, task. On to City Hall!

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Quasimodo said...

The people in these ads are just models dressed to look like bankers or trust-fund babies. That an ad can *simultaneously* cause so much resentment and sell so few properties speaks much more about those involved in the business of real estate marketing than the actual bankers and lawyers represented by these hapless models.

Bankers and lawyers can drain the life out of bohemia -- I confess to being a junior lawyer at a large firm (though not to sucking), but I stay in my natural surroundings of Brooklyn Heights -- but real estate marketers should not be given refuge behind their own awful creations.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in williamsburg, Im 38 yrs old and 30 yrs ago you couldnt pay someone to live in the south side of williamsburg. Its funny how these haircut dudes took over. But what about us who have lived here forever...we stuck it out, through the crack yrs, the gangs, the heroine, the rapes, the graffiti, some of the best may i add, please give us a break. Develop some afforable housing...some of us actually made something of ourselves..I for one have become a federal officer for the bureau of prisons. It has become a city for the extremely rich or the extremely poor. Should I have just not done anything for myself and just become extremely poor?

9:31 PM  

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