"Of course Bloomberg's 'luxury city' is largely a Manhattanite vision, with a few tentacles spreading to the adjacent parts of the outer boroughs. It takes its sustenance from the enormous wealth generated by Wall Street as well as the presence of a large 'trustifarian' class. This is very much the New York of The New York Times: fashionably liberal in politics, self-consciously avant-garde, and devoted, more recently, to 'green' consumerism.
At the height of the boom – say two years ago – some imagined there were enough folks such as these to sustain the city. They would now constitute a de facto new middle class, except their bank accounts would have extra zeros."
"Yet despite the tough times, there is no real reason for New Yorkers to fear a return to the bad old days of the 1970s, as Reuters recently warned. New York used to have a diverse, middle-class economy that was remarkably recession-proof.
It could have such an economy in the future as well. A modern version may be less reliant on manufacturing, but focused instead on the talents of its citizens in such things as design, marketing and data analysis. Still, it would be a small business-oriented economy – one that could flourish outside Manhattan."