Thursday, November 05, 2009

St. Marks Gardens - Affordable Housing

It's just a big hole right now, but much of the space between Franklin and the shuttle tracks on St. Marks will soon be occupied by St. Marks Gardens, an 8-story, 38 unit affordable housing development courtesy of ABS Architects (the rendering above is from their website) and the city, whose Affordable Housing NYC banner hangs on the side of the plywood facing the site.

And as a bonus, some links:

- The NYTimes has a fascinating block-by-block map of the mayoral election returns. There's much to be said about the race and class breakdowns indicated herein, particularly on the borders of areas undergoing gentrification or neighborhood change, but I'll leave those conclusions undrawn for now.

- CNN ran a fascinating article on Brooklyn youth learning the cowboy trade in Queens.

- Nostrand Park is soliciting suggestions for Uncommon Gentrification Indicators, and their quest was picked up by Brownstoner, which brought in over 100 total responses. The results are somewhat predictable, but interesting nonetheless. If anyone out there can think of a way to represent these visually, I'll post it.


  1. Wow, one reason I had wondered about the validity of the "Thompson could have won if Obama had come out stronger for him" conventional wisdom was that I thought a lot of wealthier white liberals who voted for Obama might have supported Bloomberg. Looking at the results for Park Slope, that certainly appears to be the case.

    Not sure if that demographic should be more accurately described as "Obama Republicans" or "Bloomberg Democrats." Disappointing either way.

  2. It is suprising, especially since Park Slope elected Brad Lander to the 39th for City Council, a progressive liberal who was very much opposed to the term limits extention, and also went hard for De Blasio, their current councilman and now public advocate, who was anti-extension.

    Queens is a surprise, too--the Asian-American neighborhoods around Flushing were John Liu's big base, and he's a Working Families Dem who opposed the extension. Thompson, after all, featured on Dem and WFP lit along with Liu and De Blasio, and you could vote for all three on either line.

    Bloomberg was re-elected by people who otherwise voted strongly for Dems who opposed the term limits change, people who had to jump lines to do it. What's the explanation for that?

  3. Bloomberg's party affiliation is fairly irrelevant. He's only a Republican out of political expediency, and his policies do not reflect a typical conservatism. His job approval ratings have remained fairly high throughout his tenure, so I think a lot of traditional Dems have see him as sort of party-less.

    If you look at who came out for Bloomberg by neighborhood, they are either traditionally rich neighborhoods (Upper East Side, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Riverdale, Sea Gate) or traditionally older white working class neighborhoods (Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay, parts of eastern Queens). The places that went to Thompson are mostly communities of color (Lower East Side, Brownsville, Canarsie, East New York, Harlem, the South Bronx). The results were less clearly along race and class lines in 2005 where Bloomberg had a much better showing in places like BedStuy and Crown Heights. So that is a change in this year's result.

    Bloomberg lost votes in almost all of Brooklyn, particularly central and eastern. He lost votes in Park Slope as well, though with slight gains on some blocks. My speculative guess is that these lost votes were almost entirely about term limits. At the end of the day the term limits issue was not big enough in the minds of most voters to change their good opinions. Its pretty clear that (central BK aside) that the same neighborhoods who sent Bloomberg for his second term participated in giving him a third, just less enthusiastically this time.

    Okay, and now on to other fun things I noticed about the map:

    Orthodox Jewish communities jump out in red tones in a sea of blue. Our Lubovich neighbors went fairly strong for Bloomberg (the area south of Eastern Parkway near Kingston is that pink dot in central BK). Though to be fair the larger Satmir Hassidic community in Williamsburg also seems to have gone for Bloomberg (between Flushing and the bridge).

    In the last four years it appears that people have started to live in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, as it seems to have shown up strongly for Bloomberg, where it was just grayed out in 2005. There's also apparently voters on Liberty and Ellis Islands.

  4. Well, only two voters in the Navy Yard. A hard-core right-wing couple, perhaps? Living on a houseboat?

    I thought I remembered something (in the Brooklyn Paper, perhaps?) about the borough being home to both the most strongly pro-Obama and pro-McCain election districts in the state, a Park Slope and South Williamsburg neighborhood respectively.

  5. Nat, you've been tearing it up on the comments--you need a blog of your own! Good stuff.

    I had an interesting chat today with a friend who didn't vote because he was pissed at Bloomberg but also didn't think that Thompson would make a good mayor. I was more of a Thompson supporter than him (though not entirely enthusiastic), but I argued that even if you didn't want to elect Thompson, voting for him and making it close was a better way to wake up Money Mike than just abstaining, either on the mayoral vote or entirely. I think there are flaws in both our thinking--his leads to inaction and mine sort of perverts the purpose of a vote--but I thought the contrast was worth posting.