Thursday, March 19, 2009

The "New" Brooklyn

It is funny how some cities get picked up in the media and blogosphere hype as the next big thing. Brooklyn seems to have been on this path for sometime now. I don't even want to know how many blogs exist that are talking about Brooklyn in some shape or form, but I assume they are in the thousands.

Brooklyn to me became the backyard for Manhattanites who wanted a bit more space, have somewhere to park their car, and have 1-3 kids. That pretty much sums up a few of the main reasons I left. The last thing I wanted to do was move to the next Brooklyn. Yes, unfortunately this put Philadelphia out of the running, although I think it is a great city and wish things had been different.

Just like Portland today (I do love you PDX), but Brooklyn is completely played and gentrified out. Cost of living does not meet the quality of life, the scale is way out of balance. Brooklyn to me is one of those cities that could be great, but fell victim to its own demise. I like this quote from this NY Times article:
But for Richard Florida, author of “The Rise of the Creative Class,” it’s all the same thing. “ ‘Brooklyn’ is a euphemism for ‘gentrification,’ ” Florida says. Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, is quick to distinguish between good gentrification and bad. Brooklyn accumulated its hipness, he says, by avoiding the “gauche” sort of hypergentrification that overwhelmed SoHo — perhaps because it had so much further to come. Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, Florida developed a distinctly negative impression of Brooklyn. “Brooklyn was ugh,” he says. “It was urban blight. Now it’s somewhat affordable, it’s somewhat real, it’s somewhat authentic.” And alas, maybe somewhat over.
Just for clarification I am not a troll that despises NYC. I lived there for years before deciding it was no longer the place for me to lead my life. While choosing another city was far from easy, I know now after relocating that it was the right, and long overdue, decision. I no longer have to fight to get into the subway, claim my 700 sqft of apartment space, almost get run over daily bicycle commuting, and work way too hard to make ends meet. The myth and romanticism of NYC is just that. The reality today is quite different, at least for me it was.

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