We've been rather hard on the New York Times recently, but it's almost as if they're dipping monocles made of melted iPhones in artisanal mayonnaise and flinging them in our faces, daring us to swat them down. Today's source article is about how Greenpoint is going to be Oz in twenty years, because everyone you meet will be made of Brazilian teak and speak in Dirty Projectors song titles. Here's one of the least hyperbolic quotes from the story, courtesy of a real estate marketer: “It’s going to be bigger than Williamsburg, it’s going to dwarf Dumbo, and be twice the size of the Long Island City waterfront, like a massive version of the West Village waterfront."
For reporter Robin Finn, finding the right Greenpoint gentrifier to interview was probably a difficult task, until J.P. Horton strode into frame.
“Here it is, sandwiched between the two development darlings of the outer boroughs, Long Island City and Williamsburg, and I suppose I’m the perfect case study for imminent gentrification,” said J. P. Horton, 28, an I.T. consultant wearing orange shorts, sandals and a designer T-shirt, as he strolled along Manhattan Avenue with his brindled French bulldog lagging at the end of a leash.
Where are Nate Hill and his cheeseburgers when you need them?!
On the advice of friends who live here and like the “slightly chill” ambience, Mr. Horton moved to Greenpoint in February 2011 after five years in Astoria.
We hear ya J.P., the birds chirping and the sound of your own thoughts colliding inside your brain can get pretty deafening up there in Astoria. Greenpoint is "chill" but not "chilled," like a fine, dairy-free gazpacho.
He found a 1,000-square-foot apartment in a new five-story brick building at Manhattan and Freeman and was able to negotiate the rent: $1,900 the first year, $2,000 this year. “Next year we’ll probably have to move,” he said.
“Rents in the newest buildings are $3,500 for one-bedrooms, and even if the infiltration of cool people with discretionary money to spend isn’t to the point of Williamsburg, you sense it coming. For now, the remnants of the old-time neighborhood are hanging on. You can find the best Polish food in the city right on this street.”
Mr. Horton has an eventual exit strategy: “I’m looking at downtown Minneapolis.”
Well played. We were just telling our favorite butcher over a glass of room-temperature, firkin-poured ale that the Twin Cities are ripe for potential. Then again, we had suffered a massive head injury while urban exploring the old Getty station on Kent Avenue (they sell real fossil fuels! From pumps!)
Besides two luxury waterfront towers currently navigating the city’s approval process, Mr. Bernstein’s Greenpoint portfolio includes 100 apartments and 15 condominium units. On the commercial side, he is installing a Sleepy’s franchise at Manhattan and Meserole because, thinking ahead, he figured, “Hey, when the residential thing blows up, everybody’s going to need mattresses.”
Scrub what "original" charm you can from a neighborhood, but an army of "bespoke boutiques" and another goddamned magazine about Brooklyn won't kill Sleepy's. Nothing kills Sleepy's. Nothing.
Also, does this make any sense?
The patchouli oil of Gen Y gentrification is scenting the air. A two-bedroom three-bath garden duplex on Russell Street recently sold for $772,000.
Is this because people who spent $700K on a duplex can't afford to wash themselves with soap? You know, like people who use patchouli? And can we borrow some of it? (Not patchouli, money.)
The story provides quotes from "regulars" and old-timers who say that the gentrification thing ain't so bad, and Transmitter Park and the greenbelt sound pretty swell, but then, this:
“On weekend nights,” said Randy Taylor, a photographer who moved to Milton Street from Miami in 1999, “the intersection of Franklin and Greenpoint is party central.” He says the upside of Greenpoint’s being livelier is that it is safer. The downside is a demand for Internet connectivity that outweighs the bandwidth supply: “The technology providers have yet to realize that this is a rapid-growth community with a certain amount of wealth.”