Your Anecdotal Census: Manhattan

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

→ We're collecting your Anecdotal Census. Add your stories about Manhattan here!

John Mollenkopf, the director of the Center for Urban Research and professor of political science and sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, joins the conversation on Manhattan's anecdotal census.  He is the co-editor of the Urban Politics Reader and the co-author of Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come By Age.

Then, Dr. Ramona Hernandez, professor of sociology and director of the Dominican Studies Institute at the City College of New York, discusses the changing demographics of Dominicans in Manhattan. And Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer talks about the policy implications of all the demographic changes.

Comments [16]

April from Manhattan

I live at 82nd and CPW. When I moved here in '79 the hood was integrated. Now NOT. Liked it better before. What bothers me is not just segregation, and thanks for using the word, Brian, but racism. Minorities have moved out partly because of gentrification, though there are black gentry, an old man and younger women in my building. Not many minorities. Asked two white cops with New Yawk accents at the nearest subway stop what a "furtive movement" looks like. Assuming ducking behind a car at sight of a police car. 'You like cop killers?" 'No", restraining myself from "especially when they're off duty cops killed when they pull a gun in an incident, yell "police!" and are shot anyway. "This is a nice neighborhood." I.e. white. "'He's standing in a doorway looking side to side." (He's black or hispanic.) I: "Maybe he's waiting for someone to pick him up." Maybe it's raining and he's sheltering." Then I told them about being a Southern white in the civil rights movement in the South, and how no one here, (white), wants to hear about. Blacks either know or happy to find out. I told the two policemen of picketing a segregated motel by myself at 18, being cursed, spat at, things thrown. I offered to shake hands in peace. One did so happily. I imagine he has a daughter. The other said he had something in his mouth, so couldn't. Spit. Did they use the word racism here when Giuliani was killing an unarmed African American or African every few weeks. Do they call stop and frisk racism? If it happened in Atlanta? Occupy Savannah was totally integrated with biracial couples smiling and holding hands. To "diversify" Zuccotti required a trek of blacks and latinos from the S Bronx. It gets depressing. Any memorials at Attica. Any mention during Black History Month?

Mar. 19 2012 11:10 AM
Fran from Upper West Side

The families whose loss is being lamented by others seem to be settling in my neighborhood, the Upper West Side. Strollers, strollers everywhere, many of them double wide for twins! Blocking the sidewalks, ramming your ankles in Fairway, lining the sidewalk cafes. All those ex-DINCs now have children who are all brilliant and doing a “good job!”

May. 31 2010 10:32 AM
Marie from Murray Hill/Kips Bay

I've lived in this neighborhood for four years and I've seen it just get noiser, dirtier and less livable. For the first time, I want to leave.

May. 04 2010 05:51 PM
Joe from Brooklyn, NY

The change is the outflow of "families" -- which is a niche that's near lost in Manhattan -- to NJ, outward points and across the USA. Your program is focusing on ethnicity and dividing lines of economics -- but there's a reason why New Jersey and CT are the two largest per capita states in the USA. Manhattan, and other boroughs which our City gives shorter shrift too.. have lost their families. There's virtually no teenagers. New families, choose to leave when the children are under 10 years old for many reasons. Former Manhattan families can be found throughout the tri-state - and the Dominican emphasis of your show today, goes to New Rochelle and Pennsylvania, and the deep South.

Sure, people replace the space (and our City gov. loves that, because there's taxes collected on realty, and with every move, rates can be raised for owners/new owners). You're also overlooking the internet's role in feeding/fueling the attraction from all corners of the world. Singles take the apt.'s, they buy and they double and triple-up to be able to afford Manhattan -- and then, they move away. They establish their careers and lives elsewhere. NYC mayors call this "incubation" -- but there's little emphasis on OLDER NYers, either. The Baby Boomers have also been lost -- and again, a State like NJ has made this a niche market to exploit and has been building entire towns for Seniors across these last 10 years, as NYC under Mayor Bloomberg has focused on attracting younger professionals to feed this very cycle -- irrespective of the permanence that "makes" communities stable, memorable and a part of people's identity.

This is why the poor and mid-income families see NYC as "for the rich" -- because what's older, seems dispensible. No one cares for older, established communities -- and for what it takes to STAY and ENDURE and be the back-bone of the society. Teachers, NYPD etc. all live outside the City -- and that dissassociation with City dwellers shows itself, with interaction with people (and children) of the very people they chose to MOVE AWAY from in the first place. Not to mention all the city $$ that flow away, outside to commerce again, in NJ and surrounding areas. Think of what a HS principal living at the NJ shore buys -- when, where, how, from groceries to cars (and that the $150k etc. simply leaves, but for the tolls).

Even your website FOCUSING on outward areas -- and being funded by NEW YORK CITY -- says more than you know, about the suburbanization of NYC itself.

May. 04 2010 12:03 PM
Dennis from Inwood

The lady from Murray Hill just called. I work there. She's right. In the past 15 years there has been MUCH, MUCH more car traffic in Manhattan. There is NO enforcement of block the box.

May. 04 2010 11:58 AM

what about the strange looking women all over the upper east side.

May. 04 2010 11:57 AM
eastvillage from eastvillage

BottomLine: the money-people who so much benefitted from Bush tax cuts and wall street free wheeling and dealing have ruined manhattan, along with the wave of NYU/NewSchool/Columbia Students who regard manhattan as nothing but a playground

May. 04 2010 11:55 AM
RLewis from Bowery

Isn't there just one common thread in all of these changes: Real Estate Developers

They have way too much power. They even name out neighborhoods now. Govt has put this island out of balance by letting Developers and Real Estate interest have their way.

May. 04 2010 11:52 AM
Bill Israel from Dix Hills, NY

As another stats geek (college professor to be precise) I'm surprised that Brian made this fundamental error. Maria from Crown Heights pointed this out. Another way of thinking about the median is, if Bill Gates walks into a room with 30 people, the median income is barely affected.

Also, the growth of the median income from $60,000 to $68,000 from 2000 to 2008 is not a large rate of growth. Assuming continuous growth, this works out to 1.58% per year, which is BELOW the inflation rate.

May. 04 2010 11:52 AM
Sharen Medrano from Bronx, New York

I grew up in Washington Heights and sensed a big neighborhood changed when the Starbucks opened up on the corner of 168th St.

The changes occurring in the neighborhood are naturally going to happen due the people occupying it. Columbia Presbyterian has always been big presence in the area, but more so now. Despite this, the Dominican presence is still strong and vibrant.

I now own a home in the Throgs Neck area of the Bx. but still go back to visit my father in law and when I want some authentic Dominican food.

May. 04 2010 11:50 AM
Gloria J. Casar from HoHoKus, NJ

My sister and I grew up in Inwood and it was a real neighborhood, providing the services needed by the groups living there. We were immigrants and children of immigrants. We had a wonderful childhood there and return every once in a while to visit. It is still a family neighborhood -- of immigrants and children of immigrants -- providing services needed by those living there now. Dyckman Street and 207th Street was and is alive and hopeful. We realize that times have changed but we still see the New York neighborhood we grew up in and hope that the children who live there now will have fond memories.

May. 04 2010 11:37 AM
Polly Bookhout from Clinton, Manhattan

When I retired from the Columbus Branch Library on Tenth Avenue and 51st Street at the end of 1999, children came to the library on their own or with their friends and family from tenements, Section 8 buildings, and public housing. Today children also come in with their nannies from the new luxury high rises on Tenth Avenue.

May. 04 2010 11:33 AM
Andy from Brooklyn (formerly of Washington Heights)

You can hardly talk of a Manhattan community south of 110th street. Those young post-college dormers you talked of are young post-college financial industry workers. I've known young bankers who refer to their coworkers leisure activities as not just frat-like but down right fraternal---as in the formation of actual postgraduate fraternities based out of financial institutions.

I think a community must have families. Young unattached people recently moved into a neighborhood have no reason to get to know their neighbors, let alone someone around the corner. Families meet people in their community naturally through schools and kids' activities, and by being in one place long enough for connections to grow organically.

The new young rich downtown has killed the idea of downtown communities. But who cares, this city is big enough---who really needs Manhattan?

May. 04 2010 11:30 AM
m from inwood

I'm not Dominican but live in Inwood right next to a Catholic church and school. Ten years ago the children mostly walked to school. Now almost all the children get dropped off in a car, often an SUV, with a resulting big traffic jam on our small street in the morning and afternoon.

May. 04 2010 11:29 AM
Maria from Crown Heights

Sorry, I forgot to say this before. The median is the income right in the middle of the distribution.

May. 04 2010 11:23 AM
Maria from Crown Heights

Brian, median income is not sensitive to changes in the extremes, that is, the median of 1 2 3 is the same (2) as the median of -10000 2 300000.

For the median to change, you need to have people whose income actually went up, so you go from 1 2 3 4 5 (median: 3) to 1 4 4 4 5 (median: 4) and the median rises. What probably happened, and that goes towards your point, is that people in Mahattan were replaced by people making higher incomes than the original residents, rather than incomes growing for the same people.

Sorry for the geekout, Stats teacher here.

May. 04 2010 11:18 AM

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