God's Love We Deliver, a nonprofit that delivers meals to sick and homebound people, will double the size of their Soho headquarters this summer. In order to fund their expansion without relocating, they sold $4 million of their air rights to a development company that is building a 14-story building next door. With the nonprofit doubling in size and the new condo widening because of newly-purchased air rights, Soho neighbors are protesting both the legality of the sale as well as the possible detrimental effects they say the buildings will have on the neighborhood.
If NYC residents could hope for anything good to come out of this economic crisis, it would be this: the rollback of gentrification. The Observer is already writing trend stories on it, whether it happens or not! Are you worried about whether your current neighborhood will remain safe for yuppies once the economy tanks? Click through for our citywide, neighborhood-specific map showing the fate of post-recession NYC; you may not be pleased, hipsters: [The key: Purplish-pink for traditional strongholds of the rich that will remain unscathed. Red for core neighborhoods that are probably too gentrified now to roll back significantly. Pink for marginal hoods, where a recession could send gentrifiers fleeing. And grey for wilderness neighborhoods, where yuppies would fear to tread after The Poors and other non-glamorous types take them back for good.]
Oh good Christ. The next season of The Real World, MTV's drunken, disease-riddled dinosaur of a reality series, (the 21st!) will be set in Brooklyn. The current season, which threw a bunch of damaged wannabe stars into a "green" sound studio in Hollywood, is getting annoyingly high ratings. So, the network has decided to sally forth with yet another installment, apparently continuing the smaller-part of an already done city trend, and will dump a bunch of yokels and rubes in our trendiest and irritatingest borough. Now, we don't know for sure which little enclave of Brooklyn the producers are thinking about, but we assume it's somewhere real and gritty, like off the Bedford L! Yes, it seems fairly inevitable that our broken Zelda Fitzgeralds will be plopped into some gorgeous crash pad in hipster Disneyland Williamsburg, but we have a better idea! Why, not the notorious Bushwick McKibbin dorms??
Williamsburg and Greenpoint are the whiniest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. In less than a year, the tedious havens of under or over-employed post-college entitled brats/ Gawker employees made 8,900 complaints to 311, beating the #2 neighborhood, Canarsie/ Flatlands, by 500 complaints. Between drunk hipsters making a mess and Polish landlords getting mad and reporting the mess to the city and hipsters then reporting their Polish landlords' minor code violations to the city in revenge, this was inevitable. [Brooklyn Paper]
"Brooklyn's 'creative self-employed' workers — its architects, designers, writers, jewelry makers — are growing. But what's to stop this population from fleeing the region? Perhaps special zoning to help them find affordable rents is one answer, according to Freelancers Union founder Sara Horowitz." They have that already. It's called "neighborhoods outside of Park Slope." [Metro]
One of the nicer things about the Lower East Side is that it isn't Park Slope. Sadly, that nice thing became a little less true with the news that the Cocoa Bar will be opening at the end of April down at 21 Clinton Street. Those of you who've had the misfortune of stumbling on the original 7th Avenue Cocoa Bar in Park Slope might know what this arrival heralds. Dave Matthew's Crash Into Me blaring through shitty speakers, a barista with dreadlocks and a kerchief (signed by Trey, if you're lucky) indolently doling out lattes with a malicious I-went-to-Skidmore glint in her eye. In the corner, meanwhile, two mothers passive aggressively share baby stories while their tots systematically pour coffee on the laptops of the other customers. A boob comes out, an infant suckles. Hello, reverse suburbanification. Brooklyn is winning the game.
A few weeks ago, as you might recall, New York mag announced that Shopsin's, the West Village institution with an interminable menu and a cantankerously charming — charmingly cantankerous? — owner, was up and moving to Brooklyn, looking for cheaper rent. Then the Daily News followed up on the story, downgrading the move from fait accompli to something Kenny Shopsin was considering. But now we're hearing it's not true at all. A source who lives across the street from the restaurant emails:
There are many reasons for homelessness. Many are sad, some tragic, and a few eminently understandable. A there-but-for-the-grace-of- God woman appeared in night court last night; unable to afford her apartment after she lost her job, she'd been arrested and charged with trespassing for sleeping on a Gramercy Park roof.
We read with interest the lead story in yesterday's Metro section, "Hell's Kitchen, Swept Out and Remodeled." We're always intrigued by the changing face of the city, we're recently frustrated by the disappearance of neighborhood quirks and characters, and we're saddened by the increasing unlikelihood of ever again finding rival dancing gangs on the West Side. And while the article touched on all those points, we were most intrigued by this one:
The city is apparently thisclose to reopening the Brooklyn House of Detention, that hulking highrise jail between Atlantic and Pacific Avenues in Cobble Hill. The move may be necessary to ease imminent overcrowding at Rikers Island, according to the Times, and it will pose no risk for the yuppie-hipster neighborhood, as the prisoners will be kept safely under lock and key. To further ensure minimal neighborhood disruption, immediately upon arrival the prisoners will be issued horn-rimmed glasses, iPods, and, of course, magazine jobs.