To make a point about how New York City hasn't become too expensive for artists, a New York Times reporter deployed an anecdote about attending a party in the elevator room of an under-construction Midtown building: "A barman in a trilby offered cocktails; a chandelier of candles dangled from the ceiling." Very cool.
Old-guard creatives like David Byrne, Patti Smith and Moby are wrong to lament the passing of the city's chaotic past, the Times's Alan Feuer argues. And, you know, fair enough: there's nothing more annoying than wildly successful creative people complaining about how it just isn't like it used to be. "The supremacy of real estate and capital that so many people carp about has helped define a new New York aesthetic," Feuer writes, "one that has moved away from traditional disciplines like painting and sculpture into a more itinerant, guerrilla-style version of performance art."
"Yes, the rents are high, but people are adapting by living in increasingly inventive ways," he continues. "Yes, the finance economy has brought about the $50 entree and the $3,000 studio apartment, but it's also provided decent-paying side jobs, not to mention an audience." So, be grateful for all those finance bros at your poetry reading.
It's ridiculous that people would complain of a lack of community in New York, Feuer writes. Just look at all of these people he met who know each other:
"The community in New York, especially in the D.I.Y. arts underground, is pretty robust. The barman at the rooftop jazz club, for example, used to date a woman who is known for throwing Gatsby-era costume parties, who is herself friends with a film and theater designer who often collaborates with Mr. Hackett, who has long known Mr. Austin, who, a few years back, held an illicit event atop the Williamsburg Bridge in partnership with the Brooklyn street artist who introduced me to Mr. Tummolo. And so on."
So weird how the bartender at the rooftop jazz club used to date a woman who throws Gatsby-themed parties. Opposites really do attract.
Also! One struggling writer is subletting her one-bedroom Brooklyn Heights co-op to her struggling musician boyfriend's sister, a struggling fashion designer. Community: it's not an illusion. (Haha, just kidding: the writer is Lena Dunham.)
Meanwhile, a study conducted by RealtyTrac.com found that the Bronx, which has an unemployment rate of 9.5% and nearly 30% of the population of which is living below the poverty line, is the least affordable county in the country, the New York Daily News reports. Tenants in that borough can expect to spend 68% of their income on rent.
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