Image: View Grand Concourse via photopin (license)
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning.” The infamous phrase, uttered in a 1977 broadcast of a Bronx fire, has stuck in the mind of many New Yorkers even today. Indeed, the Bronx saw a sharp decline in population and quality of life in the late 1960s and 1970s, which culminated in a wave of arson. By the early 1980s, the South Bronx was considered one of the most blighted neighborhoods in the country, with a 60 percent decline in population and 40 percent decline of housing units.
Although revitalization picked up by the ’90s, the Bronx never quite took off like its outer-borough counterparts Brooklyn and Queens. While media hype, quickly rising prices and a rush of development has come to characterize those two boroughs, the Bronx has flourished more quietly. The borough, nevertheless, has become home to growth and development distinct from the rest of New York City. Innovative affordable housing, adaptive reuse projects, green development and strong community involvement are redefining the area. As Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said during this Municipal Arts Society discussion in 2014, this is “The New Bronx.”
Keep Reading About What’s Going on in the Bronx
Photo via Katoi
Can a Detroit Thai restaurant’s New York City marketing campaign convince East Coast hipsters to move to the Motor City? That’s what Philip Kafka of Prince Media Co., the boutique billboard company behind the campaign, is hoping. Business Insider reports that New York-based Kafka is a partner in a forthcoming Thai restaurant in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood called KATOI, and he’s looking to hire between 15 and 20 people. Of course, the publicity for his new venture can’t hurt, but he said it’s really a separate campaign “to encourage people–particularly artists and young creatives–to move to the financially troubled city,” where he owns property and feels a renaissance is occurring among millennials.
Check out the billboards here
Yesterday, we took a look at a Wall Street Journal article that reported on a new crop of shops, galleries, and condos popping up in Chinatown, attracting both a hipster crowd and real estate developers. While developments like Essex Crossing are definitely setting parts of the neighborhood on the gentrification track, other areas are still full of open-air fish markets, Chinese specialty shops, and rows and rows of tenements, seemingly unchanged from decades ago. With this collision of worlds happening, we want to know which way you think Chinatown is going to go.
Images: Essex Crossing via SHoP Architects (L); Chinatown via CityRealty (R)
Image via CityRealty
“Canal Street is a gantlet of billboards and signs; Courvoisier, Pearl Paint, Bally’s Grand Hotel, Salem Cigarettes, Lincoln Savings Bank, Mc Donald’s, and signs in Chinese impend on traffic, which is the covered with signs and graffiti itself.”
A New Yorker article published in 1990 paints a picture of Chinatown that isn’t all that different from the one we know today. Despite its prime location, few developers have eyed Chinatown as a destination for luxury living. As a largely self-sustaining community—many stores don’t even bother with English—it has preserved its cultural fabric even as the city has gone through transformation after transformation just streets away. But all of this is changing. A new crop of shops, galleries and condos is starting to find its way into the neighborhood’s depths, the Wall Street Journal reports, and brokers are predicting rapid change for Chinatown over the next decade.
more on changes in chinatown
Our article last week on Hoboken being named the hipster capital of America certainly got people talking. Some felt that Hoboken is the frat capital of the country, while others were simply shocked that Brooklyn, the land of artisanal mayonnaise and lumbersexuality, didn’t even make the list of most hipster cities. The New Jersey city was given its title by “data-driven” blog FindtheBest, who drew their ultimate conclusions based on how many yoga studios and cafes there were per 10,000 inhabitants. So does the fact that Brooklyn also has rock climbing gyms and food trucks disqualify it completely? Tell us what you think.
Papaya King, a dying small business breed, via Papaya King via photopin (license)
Yesterday, standing inside the Upper West Side’s Halal Guys restaurant, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer unveiled her “Small Business Big Impact: Opportunity for Manhattan Storefronts” report (PDF), which outlines ideas to help small businesses survive and thrive in a city where even Starbucks can’t afford the rents. A major part of the plan is a mandatory negotiation period between landlords and commercial tenants, where the landlord would have to notify the store owner 180 days in advance of the end of the lease whether a renewal will be offered.
The borough president and Councilman Robert Cornegy, chair of the small business committee, are drafting a proposed bill that would enforce the plan. “Small storefront businesses and vendors create jobs and add value, vibrancy, and diversity to our neighborhoods—New York would not be New York without them,” asserted Brewer.
More details on Brewer’s plan
Is Hoboken really America’s most hipster city? According to a study conducted by “data-driven” blog FindtheBest, Hoboken out-hipsters us all with its souped up offer of 13 cafes and one yoga studio per 10,000 residents—the vast majority of whom are aged between 20 and 34 years old.
FindTheBest looked at the top 19 municipalities with 50,000 or more inhabitants, evaluating both the locale and people against certain attributes they deemed characteristically hipster. Hilariously, the site defines a hipster as one who associates with a “subculture all about nonconformity and effortless nonchalance” and embodies an appearance that conjures up one “reading Proust over an overpriced cup of coffee.”
More on the study here
On Monday, we took a look at #SaveNYC, a new campaign helmed by Jeremiah Moss of Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York that’s fighting to save the city from the superrich. Moss’ end goal is to get the Small Business Jobs Survival Act passed, “which would give businesses an opportunity to negotiate lease renewals and reasonable rent increases, whereas right now a landlord can outright kick a tenant out by denying a lease renewal, or hiking up rents so that only large chains can afford them.” While this is undoubtedly a noble undertaking, Moss has been criticized by the press in the past for his sometimes “bitter” or “one-sided” nature, so do you think he has what it takes to save NYC’s mom and pops?
Images: small business Katz’s (L) and chain store Starbucks (R), via Wiki Commons
Image via nyc.go
“Small businesses in New York City have no rights. You’ve been here 50 years and provide an important service? Tough luck—your space now belongs to Dunkin’ Donuts. You own a beloved, fourth-generation, century-old business? Get out—your landlord’s putting in a combination Chuck E. Cheese and Juicy Couture.” – Jeremiah Moss in today’s Daily News.
With out of control rents, insane land prices, and properties trading hands for tens of millions–if not hundreds of millions–New York has become a playground (and a bank) for the ultra-rich. While most of us complain about the rising the cost of living with little action beyond a grumble, others are far more affected, namely the “mom and pop” shops forced out to make way for high-rent-paying tenants such as Duane Reade, Chase and Starbucks. But all is not lost. The issue of small business survival seems to be gaining some traction, particularly with a new campaign called #SaveNYC launched by Jeremiah Moss of Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York.
Photo by brandon king cc
Focusing in on just race can be taboo when looking at gentrification, but a new study finds that an area’s racial composition is actually the biggest predictor of how a changing neighborhood is perceived. CityLab recently dissected the study conducted by sociologist Jackelyn Hwang to find that the way that blacks and whites perceive and talk about change in their neighborhood is often wildly different. This gap in perception has wide-reaching effects for changing neighborhoods because not only does it polarize the individual groups, but it can also have a tremendous effect on where neighborhood boundaries are drawn and investment is distributed.
Find out more here