Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Great Divergence Within Brooklyn

Speaking of the income disparity within Brooklyn, I missed this New York Times article published last Sunday:

The city’s most populous borough remains stunningly diverse. Neighborhoods like Red Hook and Bedford-Stuyvesant mix lives side by side, though not always comfortably. But a look at some of the typical signs of gentrification, income and education shows that sections of the borough are increasingly on divergent tracks.

In the community district that embraces Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, the proportion of households earning over $100,000 rose to 43 percent in 2010 from 28 percent in 1990. In Brownsville and Ocean Hill, the number stayed flat, around 9 percent, while those earning under $25,000 rose to 46 percent from 43 percent, according to a study of household income by Susan Weber-Stoger, a Queens College sociology research associate.

In Williamsburg and Greenpoint, the proportion of residents holding graduate degrees quadrupled to 12 percent; in East New York and Starrett City, it remained 4 percent.

Emphasis added. The recent economic crisis has exacerbated the Great Divergence. I can see why there is a persistent exodus of Latinos from the city. Opportunity is elsewhere, found even in Reading, PA. You are better off in a struggling Rust Belt community than to remain in Brooklyn.

Whether Brooklyn is dying or booming depends on the neighborhood. One should also consider the time frame and emerging trends. More and more of Manhattan is spilling over into America's urban frontier in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. Much of Brooklyn will remain a cul-de-sac of globalization.

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