We can’t live in the city, it’s too expensive and we would slowly turn into those people, the kind who empty their wallets just to breathe in their own private air. Even if we could afford it, we wouldn’t.
Renting feels almost like permanence, anyway. A year is enough of a promise to make. I don’t know what we would do if we went any father.
We say the country like it’s unachievable because what would we do there? we ask, not thinking about the bars or subway but rather desk jobs and salaried positions that don’t mean anything outside of a five-block radius downtown. It’s not like we have any real skills. It’s not like someone upstate is going to pay me to tell them jokes and write succinct tweets.
Running away could work. We could be entirely different people. I’d die my hair and be someone’s something. But I don’t know what he’d do, what someone he could something, and I just don’t know where we’d live.
Remind me to tell you the story about how my boyfriend and I went apartment shopping.
It involves a fake engagement ring, not getting knocked up, and eventually settling, unmarried and baby-less, hapilly on the Upper West Side.
I’ll write it eventually.
He asks me what I’m writing. It’s fair. “Just read that,” he says, and points to something I underlined.
“Okay. Apartment hunting in Manhattan is a vain, disgusting affair in which classic Jane Jacobs New York battles unsuccessfully with the gilded spill over of the post 9-11 real estate boom.”
“Really? I just threw up a little in my mouth.”
On every single New York message board and every single blog, in every crowded car of the L train you hear it: that whiney, smug self-proclaimed artist complaining about Williamsburg.
It’s not just Williamsburg; it’s a product of massive fast paced gentrification that has spread around New York and oozed its way into Brooklyn. New Yorkers become loyal to a neighborhood in a vain, self-important way not unlike sophomores in high school thumbing the freshmen.
The complainers, the ones who put up the most fuss and noise, are the ones who moved in over the past five years. They are the finger-pointers, the screachers, the writers making fabulous claims of the value of their worth. They clog the internet with their shit. They react to rent hikes the way my parents’ generation reacted to the Vietnam war.
I have news for these so-called protesters:
Real estate is a mercurial enterprise. And neighborhoods in New York are all starting to bleed together — even, dare I say, humble Brooklyn. If you want to claim a bit of land as your own, a few streets to your people, I suggest you move to Wyoming and form a compound. Better yet, develop the poor land way upstate that young people are fleeing, leaving behind a wounded economy with little to show for it but acres of snow and blue collar contempt.
Unless you’re a Native American who has left the casino for a life of literary torment and low-brow astheticism, shut the fuck up about Williamsburg. Seriously. Shut the fuck up. It was never yours to begin with.
You Say Recession, I Say ‘Reservations!’
Ah, the plight of New York’s creative middle class. The underlings of culture suffer in the trenches of their small bank accounts. So when the economy starts to tank and Bear Stearns execs are running to their real estate brokers with their hands over their heads, the rest of us secretly chuckle and clutch the newspapers to our hearts: for the first time, one and two bedroom rental prices are falling in certain Manhattan neighborhoods. And there might actually be an open table at wd~50.
I’ve got a bad case of schadenfreude, and it ain’t pretty.
(Photo Credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
Posted in City
Tagged bank accounts, bear stearns, creative, culture, economy, manhattan, middle class, new york, new york times, newspapers, real estate, recession, rent, schadenfreude, wd~50