In 1988, the Tompkins Square Park rioters held signs saying “die yuppie scum” and “gentrification is class war”. Captain McNamara replied: “It’s time to bring a little law and order back to the park and restore it to the legitimate members of the community. We don’t want to get into a situation where we under-police something like this and it turns into a fiasco.”
24 years later, NY Observer reports: Brooklyn Is the Second Most Expensive Place to Live in the U.S.
Connecting the first and second most expensive places in the country.
Guess what! All that gentrifying has finally paid off. Brooklyn is now the second most expensive place to live in America, according to a study from the Council for Community and Economic Research that was cited in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Number one, of course, is Manhattan.
For those who have been watching rents in many parts of Brooklyn achieve price parity with Manhattan, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise—but still, more expensive than San Francisco? Yes, apparently, we’ve finally taken the not-at-all coveted second place spot. Even all those filthy rich technocrats aren’t enough to bump the Bay Area up to Brooklyn’s status. Still, San Francisco is a close runner-up, as are San Jose, Honolulu, Queens and Stamford. (Honolulu has ridiculously high food prices). The Council ranks 300 U.S. cities, based on the cost of people who enjoy “a professional-managerial standard of living.” Whatever that means. It looks at factors like housing, grocery prices, transportation and utilities.
In Brooklyn, it’s all about the cost of rent. Which is, as we all know, always going up. If you have rent control, it’s going up 3.75 percent, if you don’t it’s going up however much your landlord feels like it’s going up. Borough president Marty Markowitz, the consummate politician, took the news with a cheerful sound bite, followed by a word of concern. “Brooklyn is thrilled that so many successful men and women, particularly in professional fields, have chosen to live here—adding to our economic diversity and making it one of the most desirable places on the planet to live, work and play,” he told the Eagle. “But we are also mindful that Brooklyn must never be a place of only the very rich or the very poor.”
Although it’s increasingly obvious that that is exactly what Brooklyn is becoming.