Per a broker in the article: “Right now, he said, the average rent for a one-bedrooms in Williamsburg is $3,300, $2,875 in Long Island City and $2,800 in the East Village.”
Okay, I’m now officially a grumbly old man raving on about the past. The fact is, however, that I moved to the East Village in 1986 and lived in Fifth Street Squat for a while. Free accommodations were easy to come by back then. After squatting I moved around a bit. Sleeping in an abandoned building and using pirated electric is indeed a great romantic gesture but cold water showers and no heat take their toll when winter comes. So I upgraded, crashing on the floor at an after hours club/shooting gallery on Avenue D, moving into the back room of a motorcycle shop on Sixth and C, that sort of thing. Had a nice run scamming SRO’s. Would pay for a night then just stay until they physically drove me out. Those places were all poorly run back then and a nights rent was good for a months stay. Hell, I lived on the top floor of the Empire Hotel for an entire summer.
Look at the city now. My neighborhood, the home of the bolsheviks, the radical Jews, the beats, the beatniks, the hippies, the radical left, the revolutionaries, the Catholic Workers Movement, the junkies, the punks, the skins, the puerto rican gangs, crack, the art scene and the drag queens, it is now the place that takes 2800 a month as a cover charge. I used to come home and have to bail out of the cab early because some form of civil unrest was taking place. There were two serious riots here and several smaller ones. 2800 is just a start, the newcomer to the East Village today needs first and last, commission, moving costs etc. You’re looking at ten grand to land in this goddamn neighborhood. There’s a whole lot of interesting people who can’t carry that freight. I’ll always keep my apartment here, but I’m not sure it’s where I want to live every day. And don’t tell me about Brooklyn, I don’t want to hear it.