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Monday
Mar072011

Park Slope Is Officially Filthy Rich

Prospect Park @ Garfield EntranceSomeone was having a little fun, because we've got some new signage at the Garfield entrance of Prospect Park. 

I guess this was meant to celebrate our official status as a former middle-class hood that's completely lost its middle (or most of it anyway). Must be all that kickboxing and pilates and, yes, Brownstone Brooklyn is way richer than it was 10 years ago.

My anecdotal findings that we're over capacity on spoiled and assy neighbors have been confirmed by actual census data.  It's scientifically verified that for every departing retiree, legal aid lawyer, social worker, freelancing artsy-fartsy, and teacher—a group who in years past made up the backbone of our lost paradise of Park Slope—two professionals with entitlement issues and narcissistic tendencies have moved in. And they're having fewer kids on whom to shower their largesse and attention upon.

Community District 6Community District 2The Brooklyn Eagle crunched some 2010 Census data for Community Districts 2 and 6, and here's what they found:

The number of people rose by 11%, but individual households have fewer people in them.

From 2000 to 2010, the number of people renting declined by 4%.

And...

"There are now more than 17,000 households in brownstone Brooklyn whose members earn more than $150,000 a year, an increase of about $9,000 from 2000." 

If 17,000 out of 95,069 are making more than a buck fifty a year, that's 18%. I had to get my kid to explain percentages to me. So, how many more people are in the money than in 2010?

Curious, I got a hold of the source materials myself here, because I'm a gumshoe, goddamn it! Even if I am currently paid in Robicelli's cupcakes and free admission to singles mixers. Btw, the 2010 Census Data isn't actually out yet anywhere, but it's coming in the next month and I'm getting so into this whole comparative analysis shit that when it does, I'm going in deep to figure out Park Slope. 

Coming soon (Patch, take notes), let's put some facts behind our big fat hypothesizing: how many more GD kids ARE there in this hood? How white are we? How rich? How poor? Do they have a measure of personality on that thing? 

In the meantime, here's what I've put together:

  • 33% of "Brownstone Brooklyn" (Community Boards 2 and 6) earned $100,000 or more in 2010 compared to 21% in 2000. That's a 12% rise.
  • In 2000, 51% of CB two and sixers were making under $50,000 a year; that number declined to 38% in 2010. A drop of 13%. 

For the rest of the country, earnings during that same period have been static, haven't they? Times suck. Salaries suck. People are unemployed. They can't afford to pay a gazillion bucks in rent, or a half milly mortgage for a one-bedroom.

Mind you, only 16% of households in Brooklyn and 22% of households in New York City had incomes in excess of a hundred grand. The disparities between Community Districts 2 and 6 and the rest of BK are slated to keep widening over the next five years.

And, as the Eagle pointed out, the buckage rolling around in Brownstone BK is likely understated, "due to the presence of large low-income housing projects in Red Hook, Gowanus, and Fort Greene." Damn those poor people...they're skewing the numbers.

Meanwhile, some guy over on Brownstoner is calling for a degentrification project and I'm liking the idea. I can have my middle-schooler and Jake Dobkin come tag some walls for us to get the party started. We can hold a symposium on car thievery and shoplifting. Maybe bring back the streetwalkers to show schlubby Park Slope moms how to sex it up. Amy Sohn and Buscemi can moderate.

As should be expected, the comments over on Brownstoner devolved into arguing about who is most pro-union--which, of course, has jack diddly to do with the real issue. But when has that ever stopped the commentariat of Park Slope. My faves:

By Jaguar:

So wealthypeople stayed wealthy or became wealthier during the boom years, but god forbid we would tax them at a higher rate. Instead, we want to take away working people's collectively bargained rights to "fix" the economy. God bless America and god bless limousine liberals from Park Slope.

By Minard Lafever:

Lets all sing along: There's nothin' surer. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Obviously, we all can't get enough of this topic. In fact, this gentrification crap will be debated hotly in a forum on the invention of Brownstone Brooklyn. This not-to-be-missed event will take place on March 15th at 6:30 pm at the Museum of the City of New York. From their blurb:  

While some argue that the gentrification of Brownstone Brooklyn is a successful story of neighborhood revitalization, progressive politics, and human scale planning, others argue that it has become a yuppie disaster, driving up property values and pushing out longtime residents. 

Say it loud, sistahs and brothahs. 

The panel will include Park Slope's own Amy Sohn (AYFKMWTS?), Suleiman Osman (author of The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn), Eric Demby, co-founder of Brooklyn Flea and Brownstoner.com OG, and Michelle de la Uz, executive director of the Fifth Avenue Committee.

Tickets are $12 per limo liberal (buy yours here) Do poor folk get vouchers? I'll be there. Erica's treat.

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