Greenpoint looks like the poorest, most dangerous neighborhood in New York City, according to participants in a recent study that asked people (not necessarily from New York) to compare Google Street View images and decide which looked wealthier or which looked safer, Fast Company reports. Greenpoint ranked just below East New York for perceptions of class and safety. “East New York’s number of major crimes more than tripled compared to Greenpoint, but users still ranked Greenpoint streets as feeling less safe,” writes Sydney Brownstone. “The same held true for perceptions of class, despite the fact that Greenpoint’s median household income (in 2010, the latest year data is available) is higher than the total New York average at $58,311, while the median household in East New York makes $34,295.”
Anomalies like that might arise because gentrifiers in Brooklyn are attracted to run-down-looking areas, what the researchers call an “internal process, while the built environment remains relatively static.” Think Bushwick, the warehouses of DUMBO, or even parts of Williamsburg: the rent on a friend’s weirdly laid-out one-bedroom apartment near the Williamsburg Bridge recently jumped several hundred dollars to like $2,300/month; many parts of the Southside, however, still don’t have the polished appearance (yet) of new condo development that might make such prices seem even vaguely reasonable—think of that great little bodega on S. 2nd and Berry, or the overgrown industrial ruin of the pre-development Domino factory.
The other lowest-ranking neighborhoods after Greenpoint and East New York were, for class, Canarsie, Brighton Beach, Bushwick, Cypress Hills, Brownsville and Williamsburg. For safety, it was the same neighborhoods in a slightly different order: Brighton Beach, Cypress Hills, Bushwick, Canarsie, Brownsville and Williamsburg.
Who ranked the best? For both class and safety it was Prospect Heights—now Brooklyn’s Best Looking Neighborhood—with Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge, Midwood and Park Slope distant runners-up. That’s not too surprising, except perhaps for their order, as all those neighborhoods are aesthetically appealing.