Brooklyn, I Love You. But Your Rent Is Too Damn High. Hello, Manhattan!


It’s the same old story.

The Wall Street Journal reports that young New Yorkers are finding that they need to adjust their expectations and move to a less cool borough because they’ve being priced out of where they really want to live.

So, it’s good-bye Brooklyn and hello Manhattan!

In the reverse trajectory that George and Weezy Jefferson took in the show The Jeffersons (RIP Sherman Helmsley) increasingly high rents are forcing people to move on down to the East Side. To that deluxe apartment in the sky.

And by “up in the sky,” I mean the fifth-floor walk-up that Josh Wolinsky “a 28-year-old restaurant server and aspiring author” has moved into after being priced out of Astoria.

Wolinsky hopes the move is temporary, though, and tells the WSJ that “he hopes he won’t be a long-term Upper East Sider. ‘I’d rather be living in a borough.'”

Which, you know, Manhattan obviously is a borough, but I get where Wolinsky is coming from. He’s flustered and upset. He doesn’t want to have to take a bridge or tunnel to get to where he really wants to be.

It is a crazy sign of the vitality of the Brooklyn real estate market that, even during the economic downturn and still-high unemployment rates, rents continue to rise. Brooklyn and Queens used to be the last resort for people priced out of Manhattan, but now, outer-borough residents are warily moving to Manhattan.

But how will these Brooklynites adjust to living in Manhattan?

One new Manhattan resident, 27-year-old advertising executive Philip Bjerknes, has found that he’s not going to have to rough it too much in the wilds of the East Village.

“I love Brooklyn. It’s adorable, with great places to eat, but they also have that in Manhattan,” he says.

It’s true! Manhattan and Brooklyn ARE both adorable. I’d totally use that word to describe both places.

What a solid adjective.

And there are also positive signs that the gentrification of the Upper East Side has begun.

Kate Artibee, a “33-year-old Pilates studio owner” might not be comfortable describing her new Yorkville neighborhood as “cool” (which, yeah, it’s not) but was relieved to see a sign that the ‘hood would be changing soon.

“These hipsters were moving in—you could tell they were hipsters because I used to be one too, so they stand out—and they were moving a mounted moose head into their apartment,” she said.

There you have it. Hipsters with a mounted moose head. If that isn’t a beacon of positive change, I don’t know what is.


  1. I take MAJOR issue with gentrification being touted as “cool”. It’s f*cked up, and exactly why people are getting priced out of once-affodable neighborhoods.. duh. You must not actually be from New York.

  2. @dg–You’re so right. Astoria is in Queens. That changes everything. Everything! Your reading comprehension is commendable.

    @RealNYer–I too feel a lot of sympathy for the Upper East Siders who are getting gentrified right out of their neighborhoods. Sure, gentrification is cool. But at what cost, right? Personally, I find nothing funny about this issue and was completely sincere in every word that I wrote above. Humor has no place in a blog post that has a picture of “The Jeffersons” at the top of the page.


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