New York Slum Images
Quite often, I hear people complaining that New York has lost its edge and that it has been ruined by gentrification and Yuppies. The people that I hear this from have tended to be middle class white people.
Here are some pictures of New York in the 70s and 80s, when I remember visiting the South Bronx and it looked worse than my early memory of Beirut. Not much to romanticize about, unless you look back wistfully on poverty rarely seen outside of the ‘developing’ world and people shooting up through bloody, shoeless feet. The gritty creativity of downtown New York, was a theme park hell, whereas further north there was the real thing.
There is a consensus these days, that rising oil prices spells the end of suburbia. However, few people under 40 in global cities such as New York and London have any memory other than the improvement of inner city areas. Here real estate costs soared through tenement and terrace gentrification, rezoned industrial building conversions and more recently cartoon loft condo dwellings. But in a country with few socialist programs outside of free tennis courts, and a financial services crash which will lop a sizable chunk of New York’s local government revenue, the Brownstone and brick frontiers could easily retreat as they have done in the past.