May 26, 2017 Aranxza Lopez 0Comment

“Where to live when the L train shuts down” has become a popular point of discourse since the MTA announced that it would be halting service along that route through Brooklyn for 15 months come 2019. Fifteen months is not all that long, but when those who live along the L in Brooklyn are used to the streamlined convenience of being whisked into the center of Manhattan, any alternative may seem devastating.

Many-an-outlet (including this one) have put forth recommendations for neighborhoods where wary residents who live off the L can settle down ahead of those months of commuter doom. New to that pack of recommendation-makers is the New York Times, who published a piece this afternoon suggesting “neighborhoods that are similarly packed with millennials, chock-a-block with restaurants and that exude an artsy vibe.” Their recommendations, with a little bit of commentary, below.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Correct; in an article set to make recommendations, the Times sets out on recommending the very neighborhood people are anxious to flee. But rents are dipping! Its take:

Already, an L effect may be kicking in. Rents declined after last summer, when the closure was announced, by about 10 percent, though prices seem to have since recovered, said Mr. Gavzie of Elliman. Still, he expects the actual shutdown to rattle the market again.

Under the elevated tracks in South Williamsburg. Flickr /
South Williamsburg, Brooklyn
What a difference several blocks makes! Truly—this portion of the neighborhood is served by the J, M, and Z lines (which the NYT notes, in a second article published today, is an area poppin’ off with new development.) The Times opts not to mention that the neighborhood is a hop, skip, and jump from the commercial areas off the L, instead highlighting South Williamsburg’s disappointing (their word, not ours) lack of “trendy” bars and shops:

[T]hose seeking trendy Williamsburg-type bars and shops may be disappointed, for now. Under elevated subway tracks, Broadway, the nearest major commercial strip, is dim, loud and a bit dirty, and sidewalk racks sell $4 bath mats. But Dotory, a four-year-old Korean restaurant at No. 353 that is popular for its food and offbeat décor, hints at changes to come.
Mott Haven, Bronx
Why wouldn’t someone want to move to one of the world’s hottest destinations in 2017, according to the New York Times? The Times continues stumping for the South Bronx here, noting:

Mott Haven may have battled bad press for years, and its police precinct, the 40th, had 14 homicides in 2016, high for New York. But the scene inside Filtered Coffee on a recent morning featured a woman in a Nirvana T-shirt serving people hunched over phones and laptops. “Being creative is not a hobby. It is a way of life,” was spray-painted on a wall a few blocks away.
Following its inclusion on the Times’s list of 52 Places to Go in 2017, prolific Bronx blogger Ed Garcia Conde told Curbed, “We’ve seen what’s happened to Brooklyn and other places that are declared ‘the IT’ place by the New York Times.” He continues, “We’re much more than an artificial community being set up for gentrifiers. We’re a real, living, breathing community rich with culture that intersects from every possible discipline representative of an extremely ethnically diverse people.” This latest inclusion, harkening to the neighborhood’s hip developer-backed coffee shop, feels equally as flat.

Lower East Side, Manhattan Flickr /
Lower East Side, Manhattan
“With its cafes, raucous bars, vintage buildings, art galleries and bohemian soul, the Lower East Side can seem a cousin of its East River counterpart,” the Times writes. Can’t argue that.

Sunnyside, Queens
The residential Queens neighborhood has become more and more a part of the conversation when it comes to relatively affordable housing in a well-established neighborhood. “Its tight cluster of shops and restaurants along Greenpoint Avenue recall pre-gentrification Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg,” the paper writes. “It doesn’t have a hipster vibe. It has a neighborhood vibe,” Elliman broker Andrew Hatch told the Times, noting that it also has more personality (whatever that means) than Long Island City.

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