It's the end of an era. After more than 10 years of landlord harassment to try and evict my roommate and I from our rent-controlled apartment on the Upper West Side, using every legal trick and lie you can think of, the scumbags have succeeded. We have till Dec 14th to move out.
After witnessing firsthand what outside real estate speculators are doing, with the collusion of the city government and courts by the way, I can tell you this definitively: New York City, as you and I know it, is finished. They are turning Manhattan into a playground for the rich—another Hamptons if you will—and middle class and poor people simply will not be allowed to live here. I'm talking about from the Financial District all the way to Washington Heights.
Our case is but one of many. I ran into numerous people at our councilperson's office and the courthouse who were in the exact same position as us. Guess what they were told, and we, by your elected officials: "there's really nothing we can do to protect you from predatory landlords and real-estate speculators." Many times they were actually lobbying on behalf of these same landlords and speculators. The city government is corrupt to the core, and they're literally selling New York to the highest bidders.
So, that's really it. I used to think New York was the greatest city in the world, but that was because of the people here. The imagination, diversity, creativity, and ingenuity of ordinary people made New York the great city it once was. But when these same people, who were the lifeblood of this city, are no longer allowed to live in THEIR homes, then it's all over.
Instead, the beautiful and diverse culture that made New York unique is, as we speak, being replaced by some horrific homogeneous creation of the "upper-crust," the "better-sort." Up go the luxury condos and expensive boutique stores. Down go everyone else.
The “better-sort,” with all their money, resources, and politicians in their pocket, have sadly triumphed.
I have no idea where I will go. I’ll have to start looking for another apartment in the short term to move to. But, having witnessed what this city is becoming, I have begun to question whether I really want to live here at all. If all the things that made this city great are daily being destroyed, what is the point of continuing to put up with the grinding stress, fierce job competition, and obscene costs of living here?
I do know this: if New York is to become an Elysium space station for the rich, I want no part of it anymore.
* Stay tuned for a more detailed account of our dreadful experience with a real estate predator.