Bellafante writes, "Among the echelons of the upper middle class, there is a smug pride often taken in the edgy address, as if poor people existed to lend the better off a veneer of adventurous chic." That the City's lower-than-the-national-average unemployment statistics translate into a healthy and equitable profile of its 8 million plus residents is misleading.
"In the country, New York ranks third behind Washington and Atlanta as a city with a population over 250,000 with the highest income inequality. Manhattan on its own, however, leaves all of its competitors far behind. At $837,668, the average household income (a 2009 figure) of those Manhattanites in the top 5 percent is 81 times as much as the average income of those in the bottom 20 percent ($10,328). Among the lowest quintile living in the Bronx, the figure is even lower: $6,692," notes Bellafante.
"Park and 96th may have no equal in impact, but years of gentrification have given it many rivals."