Historic ethnic makeup of nabes shifts

In Bedford, blacks are a minority for the first time in 50 years

TRD New York /
Aug.August 05, 2011 12:57 PM

Several neighborhoods are changing significantly along ethnic and
racial lines, the 2010 census reveals, according to news reports. In
Bedford Stuyvesant, for example, the population is only 60 percent black, the
New York Times reported, down from 75 percent in 2000. And in the older Bedford section, blacks have
become a minority for the first time in 50 years.

John Mollenkopf,
director of the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of
the City University of New York, attributes the change in the neighborhood to the fall in
the crime rate and improvement of subway conditions.

An area of the neighborhood that was featured in the 1989 Spike Lee film “Do the Right Thing”
about racial tension now offers Zagat-rated restaurants. John Flateau, a professor of public administration at Medgar Evers College, said that some of the changeover is due to to black homeowners moving
to the South and others were having difficulty with the high price of
living in New York. But he said he worried that the result would be a
“major drain on Bed-Stuy’s social and economic capital.”

Similarly in Manhattan, the sharp differences between the Upper East
Side, historically predominantly white, and Harlem, historically more
diverse, have become less distinct, DNAinfo reported. The Upper East
Side’s white population has decreased buy around 2,000, while the
Latino and Asian population has grown by 17.5 and 14 percent. At the
same time time, there has been a 55 percent increased in the white
population to the north of 96th Street. Steven Romalewski, of the
Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center, said the change
was due to real estate pressure, as rents up on the Upper East Side
and more affordable housing was more available uptown.

Meanwhile, Chinatown is no longer the Chinese Center in the city that it
was, the Daily News reported. Sunset Park and Flushing now have
larger Chinese populations than Chinatown, growing by 71 percent and 93 percent since 200, respectively.

One resident of Sunset Park said the houses in Chinatown were too
small and expensive. The median rent for an apartment in the vicinity
of Chinatown has spiked 30 percent from 2005 to 2009, according to
the non-profit Asian Americans for Equality. At the same time hundreds
of cheap Chinatown units have been removed from rent regulation due to
loopholes in the housing law, while market rents in the neighborhood have
grown astronomically, driven by the construction of luxury apartments.

[NYT] and [DNAinfo]  and [Daily News]

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