Gerry - I did get your point, of course, about when the young creatives move in (whether they are corn-fed Midwesterners or not!), that it is a harbinger of change. And that is actually a huge source of frustration to my son and his friends: By moving into neighborhoods they can afford, they contribute to a process that makes the neighborhood unaffordable for both them and the families that were there first. The effect in a city with real estate pressures like NYC seems truly pernicious. Yet no alternative readily presents itself.
Zach, I'd like to know as well. And, er... I'm an anarcho-communitarian, so I'm both curious AND concerned.
But I have to live in this capitalist world like everybody else, and I confess that if I had the means, I would buy property in Bushwick. I actually agree with you, Gerry, that the neighborhood will rise in value - I just don't think it will happen quickly. I both hope and predict it will happen slowly, which I believe to be better for all concerned, with the exception of speculators.
Bushwick does not seem dangerous to me - the family nature of the neighborhood works against that a bit, I think. My son seems to put himself in the position of being mugged from time to time - one strong-arm robbery in Philadelphia, one grab and run in Barcelona and another robbery in Barcelona at gunpoint, and one at knife point in Minneapolis. (Actually, the only time anyone got anything of value from him was in Philadelphia - he was six or seven, and they took his 50 cents. He chased down the grab and run, fobbed off worthless Romanian currency on the gunmen, and talked his way out of the knife point robbery. He's kind of a funny kid.) Anyway, my point is, he's never been mugged or bothered in any way in Brooklyn - not when he lived in Crown Heights, either.
Fred, original questioner, are you out there? I didn't mean to make your question my freaking blog!