Anyone who thinks those Central Park horse carriage rides are romantic have never been behind one when the horse farted.
Douglas Elliman rep: 70% of Brooklyn home sales going to hedge funds, investors and international buyers - Free Williamsburg »
Standing in the dining room of the early 1900s-era brick rowhouse, deep in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn with not a frozen yogurt shop or Starbucks to be found, Alan Dixon, an investor from Australia, struggled to tally the houses he had bought in the area over the last year.
Alan Dixon of Australian-based Dixon Advisory is leading investments in residential properties in the New York area.“What, 70? 72?” he asked, raising his eyebrows in question at a group of investors, contractors and designers standing nearby. A dozen construction workers scurried around, fastening plasterboard to walls and laying tile on floors, readying the four-bedroom house that the group purchased in June for $635,000 for leasing in less than two weeks’ time for as much as $5,490 a month.
When I tell people outside of NYC that it is getting critical in terms of housing for everyone but the wealthy, they don’t believe me. It’s really unbelievable what is happening here. This is Bloomberg’s NYC, and the damage that he’s done cannot be fixed. It has changed the landscape completely. This man served three terms as mayor, when it should have been two. He petitioned and found a way to add an extra term, because when you are a billionaire, the rules don’t apply to you.
In large part, this situation is the fault of many New Yorkers. If this sounds like blaming the victim, then good. Some of them are partially to blame. They were out here singing Bloomberg’s praises. How many times did I hear "Bloomberg should be the mayor. He’s smart and he runs a successful business. Look how rich he is. We need someone with financial savvy." People would argue you to death with this point, like it was valid. This is a problem in thinking that plagues many of the middle class and working poor. Some of them really think that business acumen means everything and that it means that you will be a good leader in all situations. Like running a corporation aimed at the bottomline is the same as being a mayor. The last person I want calling the shots in my day to day life is a financial exec, are you serious? Business acumen in capitalism means enriching yourself and your investors, often at the expense of your workers. If maximizing the bottomline means firing 10,000 people and using offshore outsourcing for production so the gravy train will continue for the people at the top, then they will do it. They don’t give a fuck about people on the bottom. Well, Bloomberg somehow still got a little over 50% of the votes from NYC voters for a third term, and it’s why he’s still here. People voted this megalomaniac in.
That cutthroat, business mentality is now pervasive in housing. If one rich fool is willing to pay $5,000 a month for a “luxury apartment” in a neighborhood that used to be predominantly black and brown, it doesn’t matter if everyone else can’t. There will always be that person who will, and people like them end up pricing everyone out. This is where we are.
In an old apartment in St. George on Staten Island that I stayed in, rent was $600 a month in 2003. If you had a roommate, you could work at McDonald’s and still be able to live there. Now? That same place is $1,900+ a month for a one bedroom and you need to get on a waiting list. That complex used to be all college students, waitresses, artists, musicians, young people getting their first place and working class people. Now? It’s all Wall Street bankers and corporate types. I have a friend who works in Hoboken. He told me that there are some apartments there that are up to $4,000 a month. Who the hell pays $4,000 a month to live in Hoboken? Bankers do. Why don’t they stay in Manhattan? All those luxury buildings are half empty, and they can clearly afford it. No, they want to go to places where people have to live because it’s all they can afford, and then they make it unaffordable for everyone but themselves. My friend’s uncle said that pricing people out of their own neighborhoods is just a legal way of carrying out ethnic cleansing. I believe him.
5Pointz - The gentrification blues
A big chunk of the people complaining about 5pointz are gentrifiers themselves. I was near a cafe not far from the S.I. Ferry, and they were talking about 5Pointz and how sad it is. That entire area of St. George in Staten Island is a giant gentrification zone. All the bankers, corporate types and white families with strollers are there because black and brown people have been priced out of the area. They got the luxury buildings and views of the Manhattan skyline and NY Harbor they wanted at the expense of black and brown communities.
They built a Staten Island Yankees stadium a few years ago which displaced many poor people who saw their rents triple in some cases. That happened. Everything that was there before is gone, and all that is left is soulless, cookie cutter expensive apartments. Yet, here they are lamenting 5Pointz, completely oblivious to the fact that what happened to 5pointz is what they did to the neighborhood they live in. The methadone clinic that used to help addicts is now a fancy cafe. The building that had an after-school program that used to help at risk youth is now an upscale bar. I’m supposed to think some Wall street banker gives a shit about 5Pointz? The whole thing is rather disingenuous. They see no correlation between themselves and things like this. Absolutely none.
Graffiti Mecca 5Pointz Painted White Before Becoming Luxury Condos »
The walls of 5Pointz are being buffed, to add insult to injury.
The sentence ‘5Pointz painted white before becoming luxury condos’ perfectly describes gentrification.
Bloomberg Files Aggressive New Action To Preserve Stop-And-Frisk »
Bloomberg’s latest motion aims to fast-track court action on stop-and-frisk before Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio takes the reins.
Bloomberg doing what Bloomberg does.
Talked to a bunch of teens today, and somehow the conversation sidetracked to the subway and old trains. I mentioned tokens and one of them said “What are tokens?”
Dealing with the reality that there are young adults who never used a token to get on the subway or bus in NYC is a mindfuck. Where does the time go?
NYC African Restaurant Week. October 13th - October 20th. More info here.
NYCHA tenants should be fingerprinted: Bloomberg »
City public housing tenants should all be fingerprinted, Mayor Bloomberg said Friday, sparking an uproar from Democratic mayoral hopefuls. What we really should have is fingerprinting to get in,” Bloomberg said during his weekly appearance on The John Gambling Show on WOR-AM as he spoke about ways to improve safety in public housing.
This is our NYC mayor. As if stop and frisk isn’t enough, now he wants to finger print people in public housing. He’s not even hiding how horrible he is. It’s wide open, yet some people still want to act like he’s not a racist and classist piece of shit.
This is the type of person that supports stop and frisk. A woman named Joan calls in to NY1 to share her opinions about stop and frisk. Amazing. via Complex
JOAN: No, I was at first because of this stop-and-frisk—which I’m totally against—but when I saw him on the street with his entourage, I had gone up to him and introduced myself and told him how active I was in liberal politics, and I said to him, ‘You’re not going to end stop-and-frisk in Manhattan, right? Just in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens (and I’m still up in the air about The Bronx). And he said ‘Why should I not have it in Manhattan?’ And I said, ‘Ugh, you can’t expect us to live by the same rules we dictate to other people for heaven’s sake! Just because people like me are against stop-and-frisk in places like Brooklyn and Queens and Staten Island doesn’t mean we don’t want it to continue in Manhattan! I mean: Manhattan is special. We are New York! Brooklyn and Queens and Staten Island, I….I don’t even like talking about those kinds of places!
JOHN SCHIUMO: I’m assuming you were sarcastic an—
JOAN: No! No! I’m being sincere!
JOHN SCHIUMO: Oh, you—[laughs in disbelief] you were being sincere?
JOAN: I don’t know why that’s funny!
JOHN SCHIUMO: Why is that funny? That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard in eight years of this program.
JOAN: Well, in all due respect, think about it this way: Affordable housing—I mean, New Yorkers accept that kind of thing in the boroughs, but you don’t want those people living around you! Of course, I would be the first to say anyone in Brooklyn and Queens and Staten Island would be prejudiced for that, but I mean, ugh, I’m not a hypocrite!
She then went on to endorse Christine Quinn for mayor, right before Schiumo hung up on her. But that wasn’t the best part of the program—that was the succession of New Yorkers who called in Joan’s wake, to tell John what a terrible person Joan is.
But the above footage goes to demonstrate that, yes, stop-and-frisk bakers are generally on some seriously racist, classist, fucked up shit.
And also, that John Schiumo is the man, and NY1 is amazing and the best local news station ever.
Fatoumata Diawara performing at Summerstage.
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Legendary Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi with the Black Spirits performing at Summerstage, Central Park NYC.
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Femi Kuti and the Positive Force at Summerstage.
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Mayor Bloomberg: NYPD ‘Stops Whites Too Much And Minorities Too Little’ »
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the police department’s controversial stop and frisk program during a radio interview on Friday morning, and complained that the NYPD was stopping too many white people. The comment was made during an interview with WOR-NY host John Gambling, who questioned the mayor about some of the troubling statistics […]
Mayor Bloomberg giving us a slice of post-racial America.