I've read many articles regarding the art revolution occuring in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Can anyone elaborate on?

Asked by Fred, Ross, CA Tue Mar 25, 2008

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Murri, , Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
Sun Jun 21, 2009
after 20 years in Manhattan (studio in the basement of my east village place) I moved to Bushwick. I looked in:
Red Hook, (nothing under 1 M) Gowanus (small stuff just under 1M) Boerum Hill, (forget it!) Bed-Sty, (lots of great homes but architecturally not right for an artist like me) and then bingo I discovered Bushwick. Bigger housing types, the L train (best in the city) good vibes great mix of people and you can see the Empire State Building when you walk down the street. I have more space then I have ever had and rental property, a backyard, birds! Oh and PS bus service in Brooklyn is super. Here also, there is a community of artists very diverse and really great. In Manhattan there used to be a community but it has been fractured by the art market, or it seems like that. The artists whom I have met here have very consciously chosen to "create community" on every level, the political, social and cultural. This is really refreshing. There is a good range of age groups here also, in terms of artists, it's not just youngsters. (I am 56) My area is really close to all these small manufacturers: people working metal, lumber, junk yards, glass and mirror places, stone cutters, like ideal for an artist to get stuff made/materials. A great resource for me was the Bushwickbk.com website. I LOVE Bushwick and I would never move back to Manhattan! ( well maybe if I was a millionaire....)
Anthony Fernandez of ReMax was the listing agent on my property and he was great.
1 vote
Caesar Galin…, , Staten Island, NY
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Hey Fred,

Hard to imagine, but as a law student and real estate professional, I am also an Artist. So I will speak to you as an artist not as a real estate professional. Is not only an "art revolution" in that specific area, but throughout Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. Thats happening in neighborhoods that people would consider remote and distant. I live on Staten Island, and many artist are moving into St. George, an area people will think of it as a last place for art to flourish. I go there often, they also have a nice cafe where fellow artist gather and speak about art, and their perspectives.
In terms of Brooklyn, many artist that come to visit Staten Island, are from East New York, Bedford Styveson, Bushwick, Crown Heights. Shockingly, I have started to meet many more artist coming from those areas, although you may not see art galleries, and studios so visibly as you would find in Manhattan, I have visited an abound number of studios, galleries in homes of these artist, and they are beautiful and refreshing. Many people would have negative assumptions about these places, but I will tell people that it is a place where human beings are expressing themselves with diligent commitment to the arts, and freedom. I am glad that that article gave a small idea of what is happening in Bushwick, but it is more illustrious and gratifying to see it from yourself.

Caesar Galindo
Prosperity Real Estate Group
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Karen, , 55408
Mon Apr 21, 2008
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!
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Zack, , Westchester County, NY
Mon Apr 21, 2008
Not to hijack this discussion, but the realtors may know. When a new area is being "redeveloped" or invested in or whatever, like what they're trying to do to New Rochelle now, what, if anything do they do with the current residents who they're trying to push out of the area? I'm a capitalist so I'm more curious than concerned.

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Gerry Vazquez, Agent, NY,
Sun Apr 20, 2008
Karen, I agree. Displacing lower income families/individuals in gentrifying neighborhoods is a serious problem--and one that has picked up speed across NYC.

Chicken? No. My point is that it's a clear sign of change when a "dangerous" NYC neighborhood becomes home to midwestern college students, East Villagers, "starving" artists, nouveau restaurants, shops and clubs.

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Karen, , 55408
Sun Apr 20, 2008
Gerry - I visited New York in 1968 when I was five (and got my picture taken with Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie!) Would that have been before Manhattan's East Village became THE East Village?

I do know that there are now luxury condos in Bushwick - including some at the DeKalb stop. I'm unaware of anything more than a block and one half from an L stop, though. It's just that I'm not sure it's a good thing. How does development of that type affect the families who already live there?

"A sure sign of Bushwick's acendency is the fact that college students from 55408 are willing to live "on the edge" in Bushwick."

Hey! Are you calling us chicken!?!?!
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Gerry Vazquez, Agent, NY,
Sun Apr 20, 2008
Karen, Did you ever visit Manhattan's East Village before it became THE East Village? How you described Bushwick is much like the East Village of not so long ago. Believe it or not, super expensive Upper West Side and even the Upper East Side were once dominated by low-income immigrant families living in crowded, substandard housing. A sure sign of Bushwick's acendency is the fact that college students from 55408 are willing to live "on the edge" in Bushwick. Q: Do you know that there are now "luxury" condos in Bushwick? GerryV (vazquezgerry@yahoo.com)
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Karen, , 55408
Sun Apr 20, 2008
My son lived in Bushwick with 4-6 friends (depending on couplehood) in a five bedroom apartment one block from the DeKalb L-stop. He paid $500/month for a 12' x 14' bedroom. It was great, and I was jealous, but take heed: Bushwick is not for everyone.

Bushwick is a great place to find affordable housing for people who want to live with a bunch of friends and for artists who need space such as is found in illegal conversions of factory buildings. Freelancers and kids who just graduated from some funky liberal arts college and don't yet know what or who they want to be can find a place both cheap and convenient to Manhattan. But I humbly disagree with Mr. Vasquez on the assertion that Bushwick is "quickly" becoming the new East Village. Glacially and almost imperceptibly, maybe.

But Bushwick is mostly a family neighborhood, and these families are mostly immigrants from the Dominican Republic who are living in poverty. Once you are more than one or two subway stops into Bushwick, Bushwick looks and feels like exactly what it is: a latino/carribean family neighborhood where almost everybody is struggling economically. Many families are living in overcrowded and substandard conditions.

Sure, there is some cool art stuff going on in Bushwick, because young creative types like my son and his friends can find space they can afford. I think that's good for them and the neighborhood both. But they and their ilk comprise a small percentage of the residents, and neither my son nor I think that will change anytime fast. And, you know, should it?
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Gerry Vazquez, Agent, NY,
Tue Mar 25, 2008
After decades of decline, Bushwick is experiencing a renewal spurred in part by the migration of artists searching for affordable space--something that has all but disappeared in Manhattan. A place once known as the neighborhood that burned down during the blackout of the '60s is quickly becoming the new East Village. GerryV (vazquezgerry@yahoo.com)
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