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Tracking Artists and the Next Big Neighborhood

The days of creeping gentrification are over. Contance Rosenblum reports on the New York artists who "rush about pell-mell in search of fresh terrain to colonize" and blows the cover on three of their up and coming territories.
March 18, 2012, 7am PDT | jerinbrent
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Cheap rent, low crime, like-minded people and easy access to transit are key characteristics that draw artists to a neighborhood. Rosenblum explores three neighborhoods that each have the necessary traits for hipsterization, but for reasons explained in the article, "might not have the grit and authenticity of those that came before."

Stapleton, Staten Island, is fairly removed from NYC happenings, but the arts culture is well recognized and thriving. Similarly, Ridgewood in Queens is gaining attention as an attractive location for young artists. Recently, Gothamist ran the headline, "Local Paper Declares Next Big Neighborhood: Ridgewood". Though the neighborhood is primarily residential and lacks much of the studio space artists seek in a community, newcomer Matthew Mahler points out it's relatively safe, close to the train and he pays only only $600 for a 2 bedroom space.

The stretch of Upper Broadway between the Columbia campuses is another area of NYC that has seen an influx of young people pursuing artistic endeavors. Playwright, Claire Kiechel pays less than $700 for her portion of an apartment she shares with actor Sarah Skeist, who likes the neighborhood because of her proximity to fellow actors. Kiechel admits the neighborhood is not much to look at yet and "coffee is a major problem. And there are no local bars that serve craft beer."

She probably won't have to wait long for the neighborhood to fill with hipster amenities, though. In these days of rapid fire communication it's easy to keep abreast of up and coming trends in real estate. As author Rober Anasi points out, "Artists' neighborhoods turn over so quickly these days...The speculators are there practically before the artists themselves."

Thanks to Jessica Brent

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Published on Friday, March 16, 2012 in The New York Times
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