gentry less faded, more “ified”

I’ve loved my neighborhood since before the realtors renamed it “Hudson Heights”; my best friend has lived in various corners thereof for 20-some years, and I soon knew both the assets and the liabilities of this small town at the top of the island.

But by the time we moved  up here five years ago, the renaming had happened, taking with it any hope we had of buying. The rent stayed reasonable, but barely. And every time we hope that things will soften, our neighbors who write for the Times ensure that an article like this one appears to perk things up:

Over the years, Hudson Heights — a quaint enclave that stretches roughly from 181st Street on the south to Fort Tryon Park on the north, and from Broadway on the east to Riverside Drive on the west — has attracted more affluent residents than the rest of Washington Heights, where the overall average household income in 2006 was less than $45,000, according to the United States Census Bureau. In Hudson Heights, one-bedroom apartments can fetch as much as $1,800 a month in rent and two bedrooms for nearly $3,000. Two-bedroom co-ops and condos can cost as much as $800,000. Much of the construction is prewar, and there are even some Tudor-style facades. A fortresslike wall stands along the community’s western edge.

Ostensibly, the piece is about the recession-era travails of small businesses on the block, focusing on the spa (!) that opened up on our block three years ago.  I wondered why the reporter didn’t check in with Mr. Anh, the tall chainsmoking Korean man who sells produce on the corner. I bet he’s actually seen an uptick in business, as more folk realized that Fresh Direct is really no bargain. (Besides, they miss Anh’s surreally good cilantro.)


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