The New Brooklyn : What It Takes to Bring a City Back
Overview - Only a few decades ago, the Brooklyn stereotype well known to Americans was typified by television programs such as "The Honeymooners" and "Welcome Back, Kotter"--comedies about working-class sensibilities, deprivation, and struggles. Today, the borough across the East River from Manhattan is home to trendsetters, celebrities, and enough "1 percenters" to draw the Occupy Wall Street protests across the Brooklyn Bridge. Read more...
More About The New Brooklyn by Kay S. Hymowitz
Only a few decades ago, the Brooklyn stereotype well known to Americans was typified by television programs such as "The Honeymooners" and "Welcome Back, Kotter"--comedies about working-class sensibilities, deprivation, and struggles. Today, the borough across the East River from Manhattan is home to trendsetters, celebrities, and enough "1 percenters" to draw the Occupy Wall Street protests across the Brooklyn Bridge. "Tres Brooklyn," has become a compliment among gourmands in Parisian restaurants. In The New Brooklyn, Kay Hymowitz chronicles the dramatic transformation of the once crumbling borough. Devoting separate chapters to Park Slope, Williamsburg, Bed Stuy and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Hymowitz identifies the government policies and young, educated white and black middle class enclaves responsible for creating thousands of new businesses, safe and lively streets, and one of the most desirable urban environments in the world. Exploring Brownsville, the growing Chinatown of Sunset Park, and Caribbean Canarsie, Hymowitz also wrestles with the question of whether the borough's new wealth can lift up long disadvantaged minorities, and the current generation of immigrants, many of whom will need more skills than their predecessors to thrive in a postindustrial economy. The New Brooklyn's portraits of dramatic urban transformation, and its sometimes controversial effects, offers prescriptions relevant to "phoenix" cities coming back to life across the United States and beyond its borders.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in:
- Review Date:
Brooklyn resident Hymowitz (Manning Up) turns her attention to the rapidly changing landscape of her storied borough. Her aim is to understand how Brooklyns reputation swung from crack-and-mugging notoriety to being an exemplar of the thriving postindustrial, creative city. After a swift historical survey, the book breaks into chapter-length case studies of neighborhoods, each serving as a set piece through which the author explores how the creative destruction of gentrification brings new residents and businesses into a once-struggling area. She introduces white middle-class families, hipster artists, entrepreneurs, black returnees who grew up in Brooklyn, those who never left, and Chinese and West Indian immigrant communities. The tone of the book champions new Brooklyn, described by the author as a splendid population of postindustrial and creative-class winners, and the author pays only cursory attention to other residents. When struggling Brooklynites do appear, they are too often caricatured using tired stereotypes (e.g., smallpox-infected natives, Fujianese immigrants who work like dogs). The public policies and corporate muscle that have helped to determine who does and does not benefit from the Brooklyns new prosperity remain underexamined. Readers with an interest in the subject would do better to read Suleiman Osmans The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn. (Jan.)