Has New York Lost Its Cool?
There’s a row brewing on the internet and in the press about New York’s high prices driving out its creative types. The New York Times says: “The sudden downturn has affected the very industries that give New York its identity — finance, media, advertising, real estate, even tourism — with real prejudice. The result is that some New Yorkers feel that the city is losing, along with many jobs, its swagger and sense of pre-eminence.”
The bankers have become pariahs, and some nightclubs are refusing them membership. New York’s bloggers are complaining that the city has become a gated community for the rich, a safe suburban re-imagining of the Big Apple, just chain stores, imported shows and glass offices. Now the city’s newspaper vendors are to be replaced by glass and chrome pods, half owned by the Spanish corporation who will build them. Former music clubs are turning into clothing stores selling music club T-shirts.
There’s one hope on the horizon – that the economic downturn will reduce rents enough to bring back the creative community. If not, it looks like the East Coast’s cool will shift somewhere else.