The Ascent Is Too Damn High

Shuttered storefronts. Abandoned retail locations. Small businesses that fall like the House of Cards & Curiosities on Eighth Avenue. These are the signs of urban blight we usually associate with economic downturns or poor, forgotten neighborhoods. But these shuttered storefronts are in one of America’s wealthiest neighborhoods; NYC’s West Village. As The New Yorker’s Tim Wu explains, some urban blight emerges when economic times are too good and rents get too high. And we’re not just talking about mom and pop here. Even Starbucks is closing some Manhattan locations due to rent hikes.

+ The Zawisnys managed to keep their Brooklyn store open in the 80s by paying protection money to local organized crime figures. But then the yuppies came, and that was too much. Vivian Yee in the NYT: Shop Owners in a Changing Brooklyn Decide to Call It Quits.

+ “The number one rule is stated twice, once in the classroom and once on the bus: ‘Don’t make fun of the residents.'” Welcome to the boot camp that teaches you how to make a fortune by buying up trailer parks.

Copied to Clipboard