“Tale of two worlds: Statistics paint picture of extremes of wealth and poverty that exist side by side in Brooklyn
Kids are getting shot in Brownsville parks while artisanal horseradish is selling for $74 in Williamsburg. These and other jarring contrasts highlight the stunning extremes of inequality that persist in Brooklyn
Kids are getting shot in Brownsville parks. Artisanal horseradish is selling for $74 in Williamsburg.
Dinner at an ultra high-end restaurant in downtown Brooklyn costs $225 per person. About 25% of Brooklyn residents receive foodstamps.
Now more than ever, Brooklyn has become a tale of two boroughs, with rich and poor in parallel worlds.
“When you read about Brooklyn, it’s either artisanal cheese or murder and mayhem,” said Marilyn Gelber, president of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. “Both things are true.
“We have more poor people in Brooklyn than the entire population of Detroit; we have more people on food stamps than the entire population of Washington, D.C.,” Gelber said. “Yet there are more wealthy people than in Greenwich, Conn.”
The Daily News scoured Brooklyn for telling statistics about the extremes of grimness and glamor gripping the split-personality borough, and found:
-Sixty-nine people have been shot this year in Brownsville. Four miles away, a mansion at 70 Willow St. in Brooklyn Heights sold for the borough’s highest-ever home price of $12.5 million.
-Brooklyn sent five athletes to the Olympics but one in four borough residents is obese.
-Brooklyn has 113 colleges and universities but only 29% of borough residents have college degrees.
“It’s absolutely a tale of two Brooklyns, right out of Dickens,” said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. “The divide is getting wider every year.”
Waves of gentrification that started in the 1980s have brought an influx of mega-bucks and turned once-grimy neighborhoods like Williamsburg into magnets for the rich and trendy.
A big crime reduction in the 1990s was a main driver of moneyed people into Brooklyn, said Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future. Several years ago, the well-heeled stopped seeing Brooklyn as a bargain-priced alternative to Manhattan — but kept coming anyway.
“It’s an increasingly difficult borough to be middle class,” said Bowles, citing Windsor Terrace and Kensington as neighborhoods where rising real estate prices are displacing moderate-income residents.
And residential rents in Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Fort Greene are higher than those on the upper East Side.
“Clearly parts of Brooklyn are becoming like Manhattan,” said Bowles, “or are even more expensive.”
Via: The Daily News
Image: Amanda Sakuma; Gary He for New York Daily News