Wide Eyes on the Streets of Brooklyn

PeopleinBrooklynParkTDV travelled to Brooklyn yesterday to visit with family members.

On the surface, Brooklyn is an exciting and vibrant place, and we had a wonderful time walking Ft. Greene Park and surrounding avenues with great little shops, restaurants and bars.

Beneath the surface, however, as Spike Lee has discussed recently, it felt like something was happening that is, well, maybe not so cool.

  • An asset bubble with condos and row houses selling in the millions
  • Gentrification on a grand scale.
  • Social stratification with rich and poor, black and white, rubbing elbows but not really mixing

From a public policy perspective, how do you deal with such a situation? Well, among other things, you might want to use some of those new found tax revenues on million-dollar condos to help stimulate jobs growth and housing opportunities for low and moderate income residents.

And, oh by the way, isn’t that what Mayor de Blasio has been trying to do?

And he has been taking a lot of heat for it in some quarters, as evidenced by mounting opposition to the planned Brooklyn Bridge Park project.

But perhaps his critics have not walked the streets of Ft. Greene lately with eyes wide open.