When people want to track a societal shift, they turn to statistics. But signs of the times also come in less quantifiable bites.
The Brian Lehrer show on WNYC has since the recession began asked readers to write in their stories for it’s “Uncommon Economic Indicators” series. One listener wrote to tell of the skaters who have settled in by the planters outside the glassy, under-occupied Richard Meier building by Grand Army Plaza. A few noted consumers pass around more rare joins these days, a sign that people have cracked open piggy banks to make ends meet.
Nostrand Park picked up the Lehrer show’s idea, with a twist. A recent post on the Crown Heights blog has “uncommon gentrification indicators”–a demographic shift measured in coffee shops, local blogs and affordable housing forums.
In Sunset Park, the recession has coincided with a neighborhood rezoning, the opening of a Duane Reade, an uptick in murders, a downslide in pizza sales and, recently, headlines touting the local fare. The New York Times, the Brooklyn Eagle, the Huffington Post and the Village Voice have all in recent months guided hungry New Yorkers to Sunset Park.
What do you think? Is it the recession, gentrification or just long overdue recognition that if you want tender, chewy hand-pulled noodles or melt-in-your-mouth pork tacos, Sunset Park is where it’s at?
Where do you go to get your bellyfull? Leave a comment. I’ll make a map.