Saturday, September 08, 2012

Signs of the Times

Sales have picked where I live—I'm starting to worry I waited too long to buy again—and rents have recently skyrocketed.

Things have turned a corner this time, and they aren't going back. There's a giant apartment building and a Starbucks where Nancy shot film of me under a church's "Jesus died for our sins" sign in 1990. Puerto Rican bars are now craft beer bars. Young white people fill the restaurants on Friday and Saturday nights. People still get mugged occasionally, but we have a Barcade and an actual nice gym that I go to for the pilates and yoga. We even have food trucks that win prizes over in the Big City!

I'm not sure if that makes it all "over" or somehow better. I don't know. I do know that JC isn't hideous like the East Village became by the time I left, and there's still a lot of local characters and a lot of heart here in JC along with the new craft beer spots. Possibly by the very nature of us being the outsiders, the Jersey of the auxiliary boroughs, we can't be but so cool. We have Jersey in our name, even. Here's one sign things have changed. PBR on a bicycle, safely locked to an iron gate in front of a brownstone.

And this, fancy food at the Cuban joint that's been around since before I first got here in 1988.

But this is somewhat heartening. In 2008, I looked at an $850 a month rental over by my garage, and that no longer exists downtown. But rents aren't totally insane. $1200 a month including heat just outside Manhattan is still pretty great. Maybe not if you live in Detroit or Dayton, but here, it's a bargain.

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