Video Of The Week: Economic Development In NYC

There were a number of interesting and relevant discussions at the Cities For Tomorrow conference last week. This one, between Michael Barbaro of the New York Times, Dan Doctoroff of Sidewalk Labs, and Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor of NYC, about economic development in NYC was particularly relevant to entrepreneurs looking to build companies in NYC.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Matt A. Myers

    Great conversation.

  2. William Mougayar

    Not a dull moment during this discussion. The best panels are ones that include people that don’t agree with each other, and that come from different positions.Good point that governments have so many tools in their tool box. Those that can work well with the private sector that can get more done. It’s knowing how to work together.True, signalling does matter (as long at the fog hasn’t cleared). It’s tough to beat around the bush with it. First signal was the the Bit License. Second signal is UBER’s case. (and this shows btw it’s not mayor-specific)The chicken and egg question between prosperity and progressiveness is the quintessential dilemma for any government: Spend to prosper, or prosper than spend. That’s how deficits are born when you’re wrong.

  3. pointsnfigures

    In Chicago, government is in the way of economic expansion. High taxes, high regulation. Not so much for the tech industry, although many bureaucrats have issues with things like Uber. Tax increment financing districts and things like that put roadblocks in the way of cash flow businesses. They increase the power of government. Decreasing the power of government to intervene will create more economic opportunity for everyone.I am less worried about the tech sector, and more worried about small business. Small businesses provide the character and fabric of the city. It’s what makes “place” unique. We don’t have a Russ’s Deli in Chicago (and I wish we did) but we have pretty damn good hot dog stands.

    1. William Mougayar

      Too bad. If there’s a city that should be close 2nd to NYC in Tech growth, it is Chicago. But based on what I keep hearing from you, it keeps punching below its weight.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Actually the tech sector in Chicago is very good. It can use a lot more capital. But great companies are being built here and the culture is very friendly to anyone. The problem is with small business

        1. Donna Brewington White

          My excitement about Chicago tech is growing — actually on my target list for future expansion. As startups move beyond the hubs — or new hubs are created, it seems like a good base from which to serve the Midwestern startup ecosystem. I will pick your brain on this someday.Do you think growth in tech will be an economic boost for small business?Maybe because my father worked for a government agency (in Rockford but certainly influenced by Chicago politics) and I caught glimpses of the underbelly, I am jaded about Illinois government and politics, but I still have a strong affinity with my home state and desire to make some sort of contribution there.

          1. pointsnfigures

            I think the larger tech companies become, and the more there are, the better it is for small businesses in the town where it happens. Just look at the line over at Donut Vault every morning by 1871 in Chicago. I think it pays to stay jaded about Illinois politics, and Chicago politics in particular. However, math is catching up to them.

    2. awaldstein

      Trust me that that is a growing challenge in NY as well. People do it all the time but the complexity and cost of it is significant.

      1. LE

        I can only imagine. Where I am when I needed a CO for a new property it’s small enough that I am dealing directly with the assistant zoning officer who, because I was nice to her, called me on my cell in advance to tell me she was heading over. We had a nice discussion (talked for maybe 20 minutes) as far as why it takes so long for her inspectors to come out to give an approval for work. Something like that would never happy in NYC or even Philly (where I have operated a business and would dread having to go to city hall to deal with the patronage workers).However “no pain no gain”. The upside (as I mentioned in my other comment) of owning property in a sleepy place is “nominal red tape”. The downside is “nominal gain”.

      2. pointsnfigures

        People are migrating out of NYC, CHI, LA for other places. The new people coming in are immigrants. In Chicago, we are losing a lot of African-Americans as they migrate south for jobs in places like Atlanta, Nashville and Texas. White middle class people are leaving as well. In the suburbs of Chicago, we just lost a factory that employed 1500 to Tennessee. All the result of bad public policy. People are voting with their feet. Tech cannot grow fast enough to fill the void.

        1. Richard


          1. Donna Brewington White


          2. Richard

            Not sure of the years but as far as DTLA I call bullshit on this one

          3. Richard

            The explanation, if accurate, may be families moving out and single adults replacing them as well as people choosing not to have kids or postponing the decision

          4. Matt Zagaja

            I think that’s probably right. That graphic only looks at out migration and doesn’t look at population as a whole. Somebodies are replacing the leaving bodies.

          5. kidmercury

            that’s measuring 2014 vs 2013 change from census

          6. Richard

            I’m here and there are 50 cranes up and running bulding housing downtown. And of the remaining buildings, Almost everyone is being renovated. Nearby, SpaceX is growing and will soon, if not already, seen as the Apple of Space.

        2. awaldstein

          it’s a complex issue.the cost is real. the issues of creating a small biz significant. but there is no where–anywhere-that has the density of population with such a global cross section of consumer on the street intermingling.and there is no city i know of that embraces those that rise to the top with such loyalty and passion.survival rate is low but survival in one neighborhood is indeed market proof for leveraging it.i’m of course as biases as can be or course.interestingly if i didn’t live downtown ny i’d live in venice walking distance from the beach, lots of similar (except the walking piece) dynamics.

    3. LE

      Agree. For one thing the tech sector is driven by other people’s money, whereas small business is driven typically by people putting their own money (or assets) on the line.Think of it this way. Whatever assets you have right now imagine having a business idea and deciding to fully use and/or leverage those assets whereby if you make a mistake, or you are wrong in a single assumption you stand to lose what you worked for in your early years. Probably would never happen, right?

    4. Matt Zagaja

      I find it difficult to imagine any prosperous city being “low tax”. The marginal cost of many public amenities is going to increase as a function of the density of a place. To wit: a state trooper in rural Connecticut is all you need to police the population of 500 people and he can live in the town on property that probably does not cost much to rent or own, and the associated food expenses, etc. will be less than NYC. Not only do more people in an area require more police officers, teachers, etc. but you must pay all those workers increasingly more money if it is going to be “worth it” for them to live in this place with more expensive rents and cost of living. Of course this can be held down through increase in property values which will lead to an increase in property tax collections, but then rent for the workers just goes up and you need to increase their compensation for that or eventually the cost of housing will swallow their salary and they will leave.

      1. pointsnfigures

        I disagree. Just depends on how you structure everything. Certain pieces of city government can be decentralized and privatized. Pensions and benefits can be privatized. School choice could be implemented. Plenty of ways public policy screws up markets. Rent control is a perfect example.

        1. Matt Zagaja

          From a fiscal flexibility standpoint I think that moving from pension to defined contribution systems probably makes sense for municipalities but functionally you are just shifting future costs into the present (because now you have to increase worker salaries so they can invest privately) or you are merely cutting worker compensation and they will leave for greener pastures.I can see some services that you can innovate your way out of like trash collection via self-driving garbage trucks with robot arms, or increasing the effectiveness of health inspectors with algorithms, but we have yet to find potholes that fill themselves and for all the money we throw at education teachers do not really seem to scale and neither will many social services workers.

        2. Matt Zagaja

          Also to add that in a world where real estate is increasingly valuable, the cost of housing a firetruck in a firehouse or having office space in city hall grows linearly with the value of the real estate. When the property is valued at $100,000 and you are running a mill rate of 30 you aren’t forgoing nearly as much city revenue as when your mill rate is 40 and the property is valued at $300,000.

    5. Donna Brewington White

      As soon as you mentioned “small business” and “Chicago” it immediately resonated. And not just the typical mom and pop businesses which do bring a lot of flavor to Chicago — I think of the North Shore and how many of those residents are in some sort of small business involving the investment sector.BTW, one of my earliest memories was my mom taking us to her hometown (Chicago) and buying us all Polish Sausages at a street vendor — she was pretty animated with excitement on the way there. A germaphobe from birth, I was disgusted that he used his hands to grab a handful of onions to slather on. My mom, reading my expression: “That’s what makes them so good!”

      1. pointsnfigures

        HA!. In our younger days we used to go to a place near Maxwell Street and “hit for the cycle”. Polish, hot dog, brat and hot link.

  4. sigmaalgebra

    I don’t need (to be in or close to) NYC or any big city.From my location 70 miles north of Wall Street, I’ve seen lots of people who have as a major interest and activity understanding the intricate, even byzantine, details of NYC.In contrast, I don’t understand NYC. E.g., I’ve never been on a subway. I don’t really know the difference between Brooklyn and Queens.About the only reason I ever had to go to NYC was for entertainment for my wife when she was alive: So, we went to Lincoln Center for operas, would rush off on a whim for dinner at a deli, go shopping at one of the high end wine stores. Since she died, I’ve had only a few reasons to go back.For the video clip, mostly I don’t understand it; e.g., the clip talks about these projects in those locations, and I have no idea what they are talking about, either the projects or the locations.I see NYC as crowded, complicated, really long on asphalt, glass, and concrete, really short on grass and trees, and really expensive.As is fully clear in the video clip, a lot of people have some really important reasons, especially business reasons, to be in NYC.I’m doing about all I can for my business, but now I have no reason to go to NYC. If my business gets to be a big thing, then maybe I’ll have some reason to be in NYC, and in that case I’ll call a travel agent, have them set up the whole expedition, and pay the price in time, money, and effort.Where I am, I have what I need for what I’m doing. I have a good neighborhood, grass, trees, wildlife, shopping, car maintenance, exercise, etc.My hard wired phone is cheap and works great, and, for the FAX-modem card I have, I wrote a few lines of code that let my text editor dial phone numbers. And yesterday I used the same FAX modem card to send letters on the proposed treaty with Iran (in a word, upchuck) to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and my Congressman Gibson.The key for me is the Internet. My data rates are fine. For $80 a month more to my ISP, I can get a lot more in data rate, and if I can make use of all of that then I will have a quite nice sole proprietor business, e.g., be well on the way to being as successful as Markus Frind was with Plenty of Fish.Just why so many people want to be in or near NYC I don’t understand.I do know that I don’t need to be in NYC or in any big city.

    1. Richard

      There are tens of millions of highly skilled, highly educated, highly educated people who think differently in cities across the country.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        The main point of my post was (A) the video clip and NYC are complicated and (B) not everyone needs to be in NYC or struggle with the complexity.For your post, sure, I fully agree and, indeed, wrote As is fully clear in the video clip, a lot of people have some really important reasons, especially business reasons, to be in NYC. Of course, similarly for many other big cities — Boston, DC, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles.For my Just why so many people want to be in or near NYC I don’t understand. Want to explain to some of the rest of us just why people want to be in NYC or any of the other big cities?

        1. Richard

          It’s the modern equivalent of going back to ones Hunter Gatherer roots, but where the hunt is more for the intangible than the tangible. Imagine a world where the value of your day is inversely correlated to the time you spend in your home, the time you spend in a car, the time you spend getting to work, the time you spend staring at a wide screen TV in a man cave, the time it takes shopping for necessities, the time you spend cleaning your garage. Think of it as as close to living in Disney Land as you can get.PS sorry about your wife.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            PS sorry about your wife. Thanks. The AVC community has long known about that disaster and has been very supportive. It’s the modern equivalent of going back to ones Hunter Gatherer roots, I can like much of that:E.g., how can I be really afraid of doing a startup? I mean, 200 years ago I’d be walking through some forest, trying to avoid a bear, wolf, broken bone, snake, poison ivy, etc. and could die at any time. Heck, I’d hope to meet and kill a bear, cook the meat, use the fat for candles or axle grease, and use the skin as a blanket to keep warm in the winter!And I like the idea of a forest: For now I’ve got grass, trees, wildlife, etc. If my startup works, maybe I’ll move to a place next to a big national park and regard it as my backyard!Manhattan? There only a billionaire gets to own a few square yards of grass and a tree. Imagine a world where the value of your day is inversely correlated to the time you spend in your home, the time you spend in a car, … Easy to do: Earlier in my career, I put nearly 1 million miles on a total of five cars, and nearly all of that was commuting to an office. It was a huge waste of time, money, and effort, actually dangerous, and, in total, a bummer. I don’t commute now.Now I spend minimal time in such overhead, and what I spend, e.g., walking all over Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart and loading up the SUV with supplies for another few weeks or so, is well within what I should do for exercise anyway. the time you spend staring at a wide screen TV in a man cave, Since my work is for an Internet startup, “man cave” and “TV screen” are part of how I do my version of the primordial hunting. Uh, 200 years ago, a lot of frontier trappers, miners, etc. spent a lot of time alone or nearly so. So, I should not complain. Besides the main work of a startup is often essentially just a one-person activity anyway.Beside, I’m better off than being just alone: Now, when I go for outdoor exercise, there are plenty of good neighbors out walking with dogs, etc.In some important sense, a big city is where there are advantages being there, and apparently the main advantage is direct, face to face, one on one communications. Okay. E.g., some entrepreneur who wants to sell out will likely want such contact with their lawyer and investment banker. So be it. If my business comes to some such, then I’ll come to Manhattan for a few days, maybe see Tosca again, and do the deal.Heck, two days ago I looked out the back door, and five feet away was a big, healthy squirrel looking for food in some of the planter boxes full, however, with just chives. He (she) didn’t run away. I slowly tossed out a piece of bread, and soon it was gone.In the spring, I looked out the front door, and at the bottom of the steps were two of the cutest animals ever — two baby ground hogs living under my front steps. They were looking up at me, curious, not afraid.I wish my wife and I had had kids; that we didn’t was Mother Nature’s fault, not mine.The area used to have foxes, deer, and wild turkeys. Now I see deer but less frequently. Want to be some place with at least deer and wild turkeys in the back yard!One reason for high density is to be closer to people have relationships with. But, it’s also possible to use a big city to be anonymous, more alone, not less.

        2. LE

          I could write a book on why I wish I had been able to be in NYC instead of where I was after college. Of course in all fairness to me, NYC in that day (1981) is not the NYC of today. [0] And there were family reasons that I couldn’t go there. (I was supposed to help my Dad in his business after graduation but luckily that never came to be..)Forgetting me for a second though (it would take to long to summarize further why I think it would be good for me) [1] let me give you an example using a local commercial realtor that I deal with here in a suburban town of NJ where I live and work. Nice place upscale community and I can park my car on a slant at shopping centers and it is sitting outside of my office right now and gets garaged every night. And the beach is only 55 minutes away as well. Starbucks across the street, Apple Store 4 minutes down the road.Back to the realtor. This guy is a real hustler. A ball of fire. Very emotional and hard driving never takes a break. He grew up in Israel and was a tank commander and then moved to the US and settled in my area (many Israelis here). The guy is an absolute machine of energy, making deals, marketing, hustling and so on. When I met him he was working for a small commercial realtor (who controlled much of the market here) and I told that realtor (who I also deal with) “you need to make this guy a partner or he will leave you”. He didn’t listen, didn’t want a partner, and the tank commander left.So the tank commander is now a partner at a new firm (that was started by another young hustler who split off from a major firm) . The problem is that the size of the deals that he and the firm can hustle here, and the number of people he can make connections with, is about 1/100th of what it would be in NYC and/or the metro area. So they are now big fish in a small pond so to speak. The same effort that he puts in to signing a lease at $18/ft he could be putting in to signing a lease at $60/ft. The same building that he sells for $350,000 he could be selling for $3,500,000. And he would stand a chance of doing super large deals as well. Most people will say “yeah but the competition is greater in NYC metro”. Of course that is true. But the increased opportunity makes up for the extra competition for someone who hustles. And there is always a fat lazy competitor that doesn’t return calls fast enough that you are able to pick up as a client. And so on. That’s the way people break into any business. That’s how I was able to start a company in a business which was somewhat similar. The other guy gets fat and lazy and you pickup the account.Do you see where I am going with this? If you are ordinary, not a hustler, and don’t know how to take advantage of opportunity then perhaps NYC may not be as much value to you. [2] There is a great deal of traffic and housing prices are quite high ($500k gets you a place next to the expressway near JFK.)Further to the point, the density of people in NYC along with the type of people that are motivated enough to move to NYC means that on average you are going to meet people with more ambition. That can help you in what you are trying to achieve. In the same sense that when I meet someone who has traveled here from China they are most likely not representative of the majority of the people from China who didn’t have the ambition to seek out a better life. NYC is like that. Many (not all but many) of the people who end up there had the ambition to know they wanted to be there for one reason or another. [3][0] A few years earlier, Ford to City: “Drop Dead” day and age.[1] Short answer is that people in NYC tend to be connectors (in the Gladwell sense).[2] For example my wife at her job has no reason to be in NYC. She gets paid well here and works less than 10 minutes from home and loves being here. (And she lived in NYC and was raised in the metro area).[3] A great example that I can give for this would be Fred’s wife Joanne. I am sure if you compare Joanne to everyone else in her high school class (not in grades I have no clue how well she “tested” in high school) you would see clear differences in someone who had the ambition to move to NYC to pursue a dream vs. stay in the local community and bake cookies at the church or synagogue (or in the case of a guy, coach little league and go to backyard barbecues).

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Do you see where I am going with this? Sort of. If you are ordinary, not a hustler, and don’t know how to take advantage of opportunity then perhaps NYC may not be as much value to you For your example, NYC would be a better place to “hustle”.For my work, about the best place to hustle is just where I am doing just what I’m doing.I’m trying: One way to kill a tank is right there on the desert floor, within 100 yards of the tank. Another way is from 30,000 feet up with an infrared guided bomb based on a lot of unfair advantages of US aerospace and, e.g., as illustrated in Gulf War I.My project is intended to solve a problem important for maybe 2+ billion people with at least a smart phone with a Web browser up to date as of, maybe five years ago.The problem, that it is a problem, and that it is at least fairly serious for 2+ billion people are all obvious. The main issue is how the heck to solve it. For that, I’m using an unfair advantage which I’ve long since gotten done.For that unfair advantage, from experience in teaching and technology, I have some understanding of what to expect from other entrepreneurs, and, net, no one else interested in entrepreneurship will be able to duplicate or equal what I’ve done. By the time someone able tries, I’ll have some additional solid barriers to entry.So, I’m the first to do this. So, right, I don’t have examples of 1000 people before me who were successful doing just this same thing. So, I’m out on this project alone.Alone? Should I be surprised, afraid, or discouraged from being alone? Well, some trapper or miner 200 years ago who loaded up a backpack with basic tools and supplies and went off west of the Appalachians or the Mississippi River was also very much alone. Maybe he returned with gold, silver, pelts from beaver, bear, bison, deer, and maybe not.I believe I have much better reasons to be successful than such a trapper or miner.For the 2+ billion people I want as users, I can’t meet all them one on one face to face. If my project works, then that one of my users is next door, in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Peoria, Poughkeepsie, Pittsburgh, Paris, or Poland won’t make a huge difference.I know; I know; even if I want to go for the whole 2+ billion users, I have to start with something that “100 people love”, at least, 100 people who are a good sample of the 2+ billion.English? My users mostly don’t need to know English, even when I have just an English Web site.Obstacles? So far, none serious and visible. Cutting my way through quite a lot of Microsoft documentation has been an unexpected sink of resources, a self-inflicted, unanesthetized root canal procedure with a “barbed wire enema” but otherwise not worse than cleaning out a barn — unpleasant but quite doable, one shovelful at a time. Besides a barn is worse: It will need the same effort within a week, but the documentation I’ve cut through is now well enough between my ears and exploited in my project.I have no good reason to quit and a lot of good reasons to move another shovelful.Being in NYC would just hurt the project until I need, say, a lawyer or investment banker. the ambition to seek out a better life. Some of my “ambition” can be measured in what I did to get my Ph.D. for my background for the unfair advantage for my project.No background, no good solution. For a good solution, the background is necessary but not sufficient. The background goes back through some fairly recent material but otherwise over 100 years; no one is smart enough to reinvent all that stuff on their own; get the background about the way I got it or don’t get the background or the solution. Even with the background, still need some original work to get a good solution.The program was at one of the world’s best research universities and, deliberately, was challenging, not easy. There were some people in the program from China, Viet Nam, Turkey, and Israel along with various parts of the US. In that competition, I did fine, thank you. The the entering students were carefully selected, bright, highly motivated, and well prepared, but the fraction who left with a Ph.D. was small.I’ve published peer-reviewed papers of original research in some of the best journals in the world. So, that is a case of winning in a world wide, world-class competition. There are a lot of complaints about how difficult it is to get a paper published — I’ve never had a paper rejected or needing more than trivial revision (once for the trivial issue of how to intent a paragraph after a heading). I have had quite a list of high end journals say that they don’t have math background enough to review my work.E.g., there is a famous paper in mathematical economics by Arrow, Hurwicz, and Uzawa. Poor Uzawa — apparently he hasn’t won his Nobel prize in economics yet. At one point in that paper, they state a problem but don’t solve it.Okay, I can see why they didn’t solve it; a solution is a bit tricky! I know, because I solved it, as a grad student, for a reading course. To solve it, I cooked up a new result comparable with the classic Whitney extension theorem — I assumed a little less than Whitney did (my application didn’t have all of Whitney’s assumptions) and got a little less but got enough for my application. The reading course was enough for the last I needed for a Master’s.The solution took me two weeks — fast reading course. It was a fun two weeks. News of my solution spread around the department. Technically, according to the official standards of the university, that work was enough for my Ph.D. dissertation. What the work did, though, was to polish my halo enough so that my path to a Ph.D. was not in doubt. I used some other work I’d done, independently in my first summer, for my dissertation.Lesson: At a good research university, if want a polished halo and a Ph.D., then do some good research. At such a place, the three most important things are research, research, and research; everything else is nice but alone is not sufficient.Later I published the paper. Competitive? Yes. Financially successful? No.But my current project is supposed to be both competitive and financially successful.Being in NYC wouldn’t help my project!

  5. Richard

    Solve housing costs inflation and you solve the principal problem. Dis-incentivizing part time, 2nd home, home owners in NYC is a good place to start.

  6. Richard

    What we do know is rent control doesn’t work and subsidized housing amounts to picking winners and loosers

    1. Matt Zagaja

      Unstoppable force, meet immovable object ;). Nothing can so deftly put the breaks on economic prosperity like incumbents protecting the status quo.

  7. Matt Zagaja

    The nice thing about economic growth and prosperity is that when you have problems it’s perfectly acceptable to throw money at them. Rent rising at a 50% YoY clip is not a big deal if your salary is following suit. You can buy your way to better public transit systems and if you want to keep the price of your lattes down you can buy subsidized housing and healthcare for your baristas.Trying to find an apartment to rent in the Cambridge area right now. Rents are crazy. $1000/month or so if you want roommates in a “decent” place. For that amount I could probably have a mortgage on a decent house here in the Hartford area (or just buy a Tesla).

  8. Salt Shaker

    First, Dan Doctoroff is a mensch and very good for NYC; the jury is still out on DeBlasio whose motives are questionable and ambitions are a bit too premature.Second, NYC’s bureaucracy is infamous. It’s not going away and it’s part of the cost of doing biz here. If Uber has led to a high profile signaling problem for tech in NYC then there are far, far too many start-ups operating w/ ridiculous expectations and visions of grandeur. My point being, it is silly to even remotely view Uber’s bureaucratic experience as a potential impediment to yours, now, tomorrow and quite frankly, ever. All that aside, income inequality continues to escalate in NYC, most evident by rapid gentrification of virtually all neighborhoods, even those only fairly recently considered quite undesirable. Just look at the price/value of residential real estate in Brooklyn, which is now today’s Manhattan. With escalating gentrification, it’s only a matter of time before affordable housing is literally unavailable in any NYC borough, beyond those lucky enough to currently live in a rent stabilized or controlled apartment, and they ain’t going anywhere. Moreover, if anyone thinks legislating a $15/hr. minimum wage will be a legit buffer to income inequality then they’re likely smoking residue from the crack vials left behind. Although likely a tad helpful, the prob of income inequality and affordability is far greater than a few incremental dollars in one’s pocket.My niece just moved into a 2B apt in Bed-Stuy, an area just a short while ago you’d hardly venture into, let alone live in. When my brother helped my niece and her roommate w/ their move an African-American gentleman across the street yelled out, and not in an unfriendly tone, “we knew white people were moving in when they took the bars off the windows.” It’s easy to see how the lower and middle class are getting squeezed out of NYC w/ very little opp for recovery or resurrection. The face and composition of NYC is changing, and not necessarily for the better.

    1. awaldstein

      Changing it certainly is.Do I think NY is better city today overall then when I lived in a 5th floor walkup on Ave A and 2nd back when.Wouldn’t trade those times but hell yes it is getting better.Embracing change is the only way to live.

      1. Salt Shaker

        The rent at Ave A & 2nd would likely be unaffordable to you today if you were just starting out. Back then “crack city” w/out quality restaurants like Prune close by. I presume it’s gotten better for you cause your means have grown. Although expensive, a quality lifestyle is within your (and fortunately my) grasp, though my comments are not really about us.

        1. awaldstein

          This is a nuanced discussion honestly.NY is more expensive. So is everywhere.When I was growing up riding the subway with my grandfather he would lecture me in Yiddish hat there were places I was never allowed to get off the train.Not true anywhere from East Harlem to Bed Sty.This is good news.Do I have to balance that with how freakin cool it was to live on Broadway below Canal in illegal homesteading loft buidlings. For certain.Stuff changes. I’m glad for the city it is today.

    2. LE

      My niece just moved into a 2B apt in Bed-StuyI am guessing (noting that my daughter recently moved into a Studio on E. 86th st) that NYC is also occupied by a revolving door of people who are there with low overhead and/or being helped by family until they get established. And if they don’t get established, they will move out of the city with their husband and family. Unless for some reason they can rationalize raising a family in a small place just so they can be in NYC. (Even though the job that they have may easily be available in a less pricey suburb with better living conditions).Also in NYC it appears that there are perhaps people who are able to live there as singles for a long time with only their cats, friends and activities to keep them busy. So you have a great deal of “characters” that would never choose a single lifestyle like that elsewhere because, quite frankly, they would get bored to death. In NYC, and this is strictly a guess, it is easier to be single than in a typical suburb since you have so many things to keep you stimulated. It is not boring.My point is simply that since NYC is such a destination, that if and/when your niece, or my daughter, can no longer afford to live there, or has a life change and moves out, there will be someone else ready to take their place (another young person).The lower and middle class are getting squeezed out because of the people that are flooding into NYC in the past (what is it 5 to 15 years?) because it’s viewed now as a desirable place to live. (Wasn’t the case as I’ve often said in the 70’s and early to mid 80’ least if you look at the housing prices..)

      1. Salt Shaker

        Demand exceeds supply, unquestionably. I frankly wouldn’t let my daughter move into that apt in Bed Stuy if I was her parent, but to each his own. It’s not just the exorbitant rents in NYC, it’s the onerous student loans that put the nail in the coffin for many young people today. A hole many, many will never dig out from under.When I have friends who visit from out of town they’re blown away by the pricing and value of RE in NYC. I love NYC, but it’s a hard place to live, and often you don’t realize or see to what extent until you “step out of the box” and are able to view objectively.

        1. LE

          I frankly wouldn’t let my daughter move into that apt in Bed StuyAgree. Which is why I shelled out for my daughter to live where she is in a reasonably secure building.My sister let her daughter travel overseas by herself last summer and I told her I thought that was a huge mistake (given her maturity level and a few other things). Small chance of a big thing happening, no reason to take that type of chance.

    3. fredwilson

      i agree about Dan. he’s a good guy.

  9. creative group

    The decision by Politicians in New York to rebuff and withdraw the livery bill by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to limit Uber’s access to provide a better service and pricing verses the Taxi Cartel was a major victory for the public. Innovation that disrupts the old way of thinking and doing things that helps is a plus. The technology crowd needs to be more vocal and not stand on the fence when their politics conflict.The following article by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. of the Wall Street Journal coversthe development.…What is disheartening is how Politicians and their surrogates who are on the wrong side of an position always triple down and attempt to justify a position motivated by a special interest.

  10. Matt Zagaja

    I feel compelled to share the following Medium article I saw on twitter today:…Lots of data on housing and rent price increases versus income growth.