NY Times readers today commented on their city blocks.
Interesting comment was from Jon Greene, a white newcomer who says black renters have been all but erased from his area, which is Greene Ave. between Classon and Franklin Aves.
(Interestingly, The Times says nothing about whether Jon Greene claims relation to the original Greene of Greene Ave. Those curious about Bed-Stuy street names can visit my blog BrooklynRon.com and look down the sidebar to see if your Bedford Stuyvesant block was named after a slaveholder.)
Also of note is that two days ago I got a cell phone call from a guy saying his name was Moshe and he asked if I wanted to sell our Bed-Stuy home. 'Will consider for $5 million, I told him.' Right away he says, 'I'll give you $450,000 cash.'
I hung up in irritation because the guy's been calling the home for some time now trying to get my cell number, which he obviously somehow got.
Anway (or anyways, as Mike Bloomberg likes to say, when he's in Brooklyn faking an accent), here's what Jon Greene had to say about his Greene Ave. block, and after that you can find a link to the full Times piece.
Jon begins here: Greene Avenue between Classon and Franklin Avenues, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Block is a mixed bag. Five years ago it was kind of a no-man’s land. Vacant lots. Empty buildings. Realtor called it Clinton Hill. Took six months to realize it was Bed-Stuy.
But that was then. Today Bed-Stuy has cred! In ’07 there were no services within a half mile, apart from two ratty bodegas. Today a vegan bakery across the street, wine bar on each corner, hipster coffeehouse, Zagat-rated restaurant with wood-burning stove, an offensively overpriced artisanal cheese/grocery joint. In ’07 I felt conspicuous. One of the only white people on the block. Now it has flipped. Where did they go? The older families (who own) are still here. But the renters have been washed away like ants with a garden hose. Turns out they were black, and have been replaced by renters who are white and in their 20s.
We even have a frat guy who, shortly after arriving, got a vanity plate for his giant Hummer that says King of Brooklyn.