Fame and Fortune

Big thanks to the Brooklyn real estate news site Brownstoner for posting a link to my “Why Are You In Brooklyn?” poll and Kickstarter page. While it didn’t singlehandedly cause a rain of money to push me past my funding goal, enough of you have generously chipped in (or upped your pledges) in the last 24 hours that I can see light at the end of the tunnel: just another $540 needed, with two days left to go before the deadline! Thanks for getting “The Brooklyn Wars” this far, and please help keep it going just a little longer!

Speaking of that survey, meanwhile, 123 current and former Brooklynites have now taken the poll, and their responses are starting to take on an interesting shape: There’s a lot of “moved here for a job” and “I like the culture,” but a significant number of “I didn’t want to have to drive” as well — something I’m guessing is a major shift from a generation or two ago. It’s also interesting, to say the least, to see multiple “I live in Brooklyn for the cheap rent” answers juxtaposed with those saying “I left because it was unaffordable.”

A sampling of the responses so far:

  • The music, the comedy, the art, the food. For Brooklyn, it was the neighborhood feel and all the stuff I moved to NY for is now all in Brooklyn
  • Born in NYC, moved to Brooklyn in 1987 to discover new things for less money 
  • I loved the architecture, the grit, and the artistic community. Where else can you “accidentally” join a cult when you think you just signed up for a recycling campaign?! 
  • Manhattan was turning into a mall filled with wannabe Carrie Bradshaws. 
  • I saw in the real estate section of the Times one of those neighborhood profiles of Cobble Hill (this was 1999). It sounded great – scruffy, authentic, up and coming. We have lived here ever since. 
  • I grew up in cities in Europe; I couldn’t imagine living in the suburbs, and New York is the most European of American cities. 
  • We bought our house in 1994. The question is, can our children, who love this lifestyle, stay? Or will they be forced to live in the suburbs. 
  • There is more of a gap between the haves and the have nots, and it doesn’t feel like NYC anymore. However, I cannot find a place that has the greatest food and diverse culture in the world, in combination with nature and great educational opportunities. Brooklyn is also a small town where you can reinvent yourself every day if you chose to. I love/hate Brooklyn. It’s my home.
  • My son and I are moving in July. Too expensive to do anything…. housing, schools, childcare, a $5 coffee, etc… we have been priced out! We live in Stuyvesant-Heights currently…
  • Where am I supposed to go, Westchester?

If anyone you know would like to chime in, send them to bit.ly/whybrooklyn. And if they happen to have $540 burning a hole in their pocket, all the better…