Has New York Lost Its Cool?

Observatory, The Arts


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.

One comment on “Has New York Lost Its Cool?”

  1. Mike Cane says:

    >>>that the economic downturn will reduce rents enough to bring back the creative community.

    No, that’s not how things are done here. If rents are reduced, that becomes a bureaucratic paper trail that kicks in the rent laws. So what the sneaky slimy bastard landlords do is offer “free rent.” So on the books of the gov’t, the rent remains at “market value” and never, ever decreases. Really, you could have a fifty percent vacancy rate and the rents STILL wouldn’t decrease. And that “free rent” tends to go away in the second year of a lease (which ALWAYS includes a RENT INCREASE too!).

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