Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, February 03, 2021

Don’t look now, but a pocket of the East Side is turning into a veritable guild-based village for young professionals:

As Ariel explained to me, his [financial services] firm had negotiated a deal with the building’s real estate agents, and every employee who rented an apartment got a 6 percent discount on the brokerage fee. Each weekend, and especially over the summer, the young bankers moved in, while families and elderly people moved out.

The apartment building next door, meanwhile, was filling up with lawyers. Doctors lived in a third building, the one closest to the river. “It’s like special-interest housing, but for professionals,” Ariel said.

It was Friday night and Ariel’s hallway was busy with pre-party chatter. One guy no one had ever seen before knocked on the door, inviting us to a party on the next floor. An hour later, two women showed up asking whether we ourselves were having a party.

Ariel and his roommates were elated. They finally had their own place, and one within walking distance of work. Everyone else on their hall was young, friendly and new to the city. It was like freshman year again.

Indeed, like freshman year in the college of life. I guess. I mean, these “students” are working for a living, but they’re surrounded by a slightly unreal environment, almost as cloistered as the college campuses from which they had just left. I’m thinking the social interactions within this zone are barely distinguishable from college — thus providing a continuation of school life and further deferment of full-fledged adulthood. (How much you wanna bet there’s at least one keg party ragin’ every weekend here?)

More interesting is the socioeconomic conditions in Manhattan that makes this clustering necessary. True adult dorm-style living has been around for a while now, but this is the first I’ve heard of active employer facilitation of the trend. It injects a corporate subsidy into young professionals’ work-life balance, beyond paying a high enough salary to make it possible to live close to the workplace.

Is this how future New York City neighborhoods will take root? Not that like professions haven’t grouped together before, at the top and bottom of the economic ladder, but this seems like an extreme strain of a natural tendency.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/03/2021 04:32:05 PM
Category: Society, New Yorkin'
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