Real Estate Foolishness
Everyone knows I have been involved in real estate in several capacities off and on since 2000. I’ve seen trends, fads and weird things take place. Most of you are aware of my living situation and how tenuous it is, as regards to my not being able to find anything that I can qualify for whatsoever. However, that is not the tone of this particular column entry. I want to discuss something that makes my stomach tighten, twist and turn even more than this spending the 3-4 hours of downtime I have outside of work (including my lunch hour!) trying to find someplace to live:
THESE DISGUSTING PORTMANTEAU NAMES THAT BROKERS ARE GIVING TO CONVERGENT NEIGHBORHOODS IN NEW YORK CITY AFTER 2001.
Most people know Tribeca (or, technically, TriBeCa) as a legitimate neighborhood. The name is derived from the fact that the small area of some of the richest people in New York City, some of the ritziest dining establishments and nightlife are on those few short blocks — a (Tri)angle (Be)low (Ca)nal Street. Tribeca begins below Canal Street, west of Church Street, forming a triangle going towards Varick Street and, unofficially over to the confluence of streets that head toward the Holland Tunnel. Fair enough, right?
Spanish Harlem? Seriously? Make it sound innocuous so that people who you would have never caught dead walking off E. 116th St. at night will feel comfortable moving in and paying laughably inflated rents?
Boerum Hill-Cobble Hill-Carroll Gardens? The area just south of Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn. This area has always been pretty decent, although Carroll Gardens’ southern borders used to not be home to $3,500 rents, as it is now. Anything to draw in Tucker and Beth from Iowa to “Experience Brooklyn”, huh?
This one, while not an amalgamation of lazy neighborhood names, is just as bad: “Upper Manhattan”.
That’s to make Washington Heights, West Harlem and Dyckman appear antiseptic to prospective suckers… ehem, tenants.
Throw the aforementioned in with “Clinton” (formerly, but still in my mind, Hell’s Kitchen), “Billyburg” for Williamsburg, “EAST WILLIAMSBURG” (as you know, Williamsburg is #1 Hipster Central in New York City — so to lure in the high-butt posers who came too late, they had to take Bushwick out of the equation and began calling it “East Williamsburg” a few years back.
There are whole “new” neighborhoods that I have never heard of until the last two years. “Vinegar Hill” (the area over by DUMBO — which is in and of itself annoying, but creative enough — Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass; adjacent to Vinegar Hill, itself situated between the formerly mentioned and Brooklyn Heights). My question is, WHY BOTHER? It’s such a small area anyway. It’s all DUMBO to me outside of Brooklyn Heights’ clearly defined borders.
“SoHa” = South Harlem. Really? Harlem is Harlem. It’s either East/Spanish Harlem, Central Harlem (or Lenox, colloquially) and West Harlem.
I could go on and on. I can’t wait to see the rest of the renaming they’re going to do for the Bronx and Queens. There are only a few new ones out there. But most of Manhattan has been given new names.
YOU KNOW IT’S BAD WHEN “SUGAR HILL”, HARMLESS AS IT SOUNDS, IS BEING USED LESS AND LESS IN REAL ESTATE CIRCLES, SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE HISTORICAL MAKEUP OF THE AREA.
Situated between 145th and 155th Sts., and from (roughly) Bradhurst Avenue over to Convent Avenue, the forces that be want to call everything above City College (137th-145th Sts., between Hamilton Place and Convent Avenue) “Hamilton Heights” now.
I’m done. I just don’t like the whitewashing (no pun intended, no offense to anyone White, either) that’s taking place. With the lease guidelines as strict as ever, I wonder how ANYONE can afford to acquire a new lease, even with a roommate or TWO, if the two of them don’t have sterling credit (who does???) and at least $120K in combined salary. Between that constant smack in the face, and basically attempting to wipe entire histories from boroughs, this city is losing the last bit of soul it had remaining since the mid-1990s.
… and when the rest of “us” get pushed out, it will be gone for good.