Kids are getting shot in Brownsville parks. Artisanal horseradish is selling for $74 in Williamsburg.
Dinner at an ultra high-end restaurant in downtown Brooklyn costs $225 per person. About 25% of Brooklyn residents receive foodstamps.
Now more than ever, Brooklyn has become a tale of two boroughs, with rich and poor in parallel worlds.
“When you read about Brooklyn, it’s either artisanal cheese or murder and mayhem,” said Marilyn Gelber, president of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. “Both things are true.
“We have more poor people in Brooklyn than the entire population of Detroit; we have more people on food stamps than the entire population of Washington, D.C.,” Gelber said. “Yet there are more wealthy people than in Greenwich, Conn.”
The Daily News scoured Brooklyn for telling statistics about the extremes of grimness and glamor gripping the split-personality borough, and found:
-Sixty-nine people have been shot this year in Brownsville. Four miles away, a mansion at 70 Willow St. in Brooklyn Heights sold for the borough’s highest-ever home price of $12.5 million. -Brooklyn sent five athletes to the Olympics but one in four borough residents is obese. -Brooklyn has 113 colleges and universities but only 29% of borough residents have college degrees.
“It’s absolutely a tale of two Brooklyns, right out of Dickens,” said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. “The divide is getting wider every year.”
Waves of gentrification that started in the 1980s have brought an influx of mega-bucks and turned once-grimy neighborhoods like Williamsburg into magnets for the rich and trendy.
A big crime reduction in the 1990s was a main driver of moneyed people into Brooklyn, said Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future. Several years ago, the well-heeled stopped seeing Brooklyn as a bargain-priced alternative to Manhattan — but kept coming anyway.
“It’s an increasingly difficult borough to be middle class,” said Bowles, citing Windsor Terrace and Kensington as neighborhoods where rising real estate prices are displacing moderate-income residents.
And residential rents in Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Fort Greene are higher than those on the upper East Side.
“Clearly parts of Brooklyn are becoming like Manhattan,” said Bowles, “or are even more expensive.”
Christie M. Farriella, Joe Marino for New York Daily News Left: The former home of Truman Capote on Willow Street in tony Brooklyn Heights, where real estate prices are through the roof. Right: Police on patrol in Brownsville after a shooting.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Handcrafted ISH horseradish sold at Williamsburg foodie market Smorgasburg is $74 for six jars; 25% of Brooklyn residents use food stamps.
Brooklyn “has more writers per square inch than almost anywhere else in the country,” Borough President Marty Markowitz likes to say; 30% of the borough’s third- graders cannot read at grade level.
Real estate broker Corcoran peddles $1 million-plus Red Hook apartments; Red Hook is home to the borough’s largest New York City Housing Authority development.
Nearly 20% of Brooklyn households have an income of $100,000 or more per year; more than 20% of borough residents live in poverty.
The prix-fixe dinner at the Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare in downtown Brooklyn is $225 per person plus tax and tip; Brooklyn households receiving food stamps get an average $277.70 worth to buy food for a month.
Park Slope has America’s largest member-owned food co-op (r.), with more than 15,500 signed up; one in five Brooklynites is unable to afford food at some point during the year.
GQ Magazine named Brooklyn “The Coolest City on the Planet;” 20,406 crime complaints were made to the NYPD boroughwide this year to date, up from 19,530 for the same period last year.
Jane’s Carousel Pavilion in Brooklyn Bridge Park won the Travel and Leisure Design Award for Best Public Space; some 3 miles away, Greenpoint has the borough’s highest number of federal Environmental Protection Agency toxic sites.
The Brooklyn Heights-Fort Greene area contributes over 10% of Brooklyn’s income; more than one-fifth of the area’s residents receive food stamps.
New York Magazine chose 15 Brooklyn neighborhoods to star on its list of 50 Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York; there are 167 Brooklyn landlords on city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s Worst Landlords Watchlist.
Community District 14 — that’s Ditmas Park, Midwood, Prospect Park South and nearby areas — has the highest high school graduation rate in Brooklyn; only 27.5% of its students are deemed college-ready.
In Community District 1 — which includes parts of Williamsburg and Greenpoint — only 5.2% of the residents are unemployed; in Community District 16 — Brownsville and Ocean Hill — the unemployment rate is 12.9%.
Brooklyn has 113 colleges and universities; only 29% of borough residents have a college degree.
Brooklyn sent five athletes to the Olympics, including swimmer Lia Neal (r.); one in four Brooklynites is obese.
Sixty-nine people have been shot this year in Brownsville; just 4 miles away, the Brooklyn Heights house where Truman Capote wrote “In Cold Blood” at 70 Willow St., sold for $12.5 million, a record home price for the borough.
Sources: Brooklyn Community Foundation, New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Brooklynbookfestival.org, NYPD, NYC Public Advocate