In a Crowded New York City, Should Newcomers ‘Go Back to Iowa’?

The Brooklyn borough president, Eric Adams, sparked a conversation on gentrification and what makes someone a New Yorker.

Comments: 220

  1. Corey Johnson saying he wants to bring people back to equality is rich. In fact His lead of the city council seems intent to spend an ever increasing amount of tax money to coddle up to the new and wealthier class that has moved to this city. Property taxes have gone up tremendously under DeBlasio a trend I'm sure would accelerate under Johnson. This is a huge driver of rent increases and quickened gentrification. Mr Adams was right to cite “Starbucks and bike lanes and sushi.” as symptoms of this sell out by NYC "leaders". Bravo

  2. @C A few weeks ago, Corey Johnson was talking about a "gentrification tax," which could strip equity from the homes of senior citizens by devaluing their property while making it far more difficult to sell them to individual buyers (RE value moves in inverse proportion to tax burden), force them to sell at a discount to developers (in the past five years, something like 60% of one to three family homes in the 5 boroughs were sold to developers for cash) and facilitate the acquisition of a lot of smaller properties by developer - who would then chop them up into as many apartments as possible. And of course no matter who's elected mayor, those developers would undoubtedly get generous property tax abatements from the City for "rehabilitating" those nasty old homes - while their prior owners and tenants were displaced, and the "renovated" (or demolished and rebuilt) properties would have no caps on their rents, as one and two family homes are exempt from the recently passed rent controls. Johnson's gentrification tax proposal is yet another thinly veiled wealth transfer from longtime homeowners barely scraping by (many on fixed incomes) to the wealthy developers who control NYC politics. A plague on all their houses. We need a mayor who will truly protect all constituents = not just developers and the wealthy.

  3. @Sagalovich Thank you for bringing this up, This guy Johnson is one of the most disingenuous politicians to come through this city in a while. a list that includes DeBlasio, Bloomberg, Quinn, AOC, Cuomo and Giuliani et all. And that Doesn't mention the ones going to jail(Silver), in all doesn't say much for my NY brethren as an electorate.

  4. Mr. Sharpton and associates have never been shy in telling someone else what "they" need to do. I don't think anyone who would hate NYC culture would move there to destroy it. I also don't think Mr. Adams would directly blame these newcomers for problems people of color have in NYC. It sounds more like the gentrification issue which is a REAL concern. Gentrification wouldn't get attention as well as telling people to "Get Out"!

  5. @William Grey So if I tell immigrants to get out the would be okay ?

  6. Terrible thing to say for the economic engine of the world. The issue of gentrification isn't about other workers coming to your cities, it's about the rich that made it impossible to be financially invested in a growing city. It's about tax cuts that the rich get. It's about inequality that is built into the economy. Until Mitch McCoverup is gone from the Senate, regular people will suffer everywhere, not just in NYC and gentrification is the symptom, not the disease.

  7. I’d love to go back to Ohio, but the jobs aren’t there. The housing is much better, affordable, and the quality of life is tremendous compared to here (NYC). We have the best orchestra in the world in Cleveland and people who are kind. I’d rather not gentrify any neighborhood, and we’ve resisted doing so, but soon we’ll have no choices in this city with the real estate prices soaring and the city catering to the richest among us.

  8. @Reader -- I grew up (and loved it) and then left NYC 40 years ago and never went back (to live). There are jobs everywhere, but once you take one in NYC you can feel stuck ... OR you can do what I did and take Big City experience back with you to a smaller city and get a great job since you learned stuff other locals did not. Then you can buy a big house, easily raise kids, buy a lake house and still have lots of money when you retire since you did not spend it all in NYC. I honestly believe people should CHOOSE where they want to live first and then get a job there. If you don't love NYC, you should not live there. While I do love the city for work and play, its the daily living (and housing) that still kills the experience for most.

  9. @Reader I lived in NYC for 25 yrs then moved back to Cincinnati where I was pleasantly surprised to find urban life on par with what I had in NY (not entirely of course but satisfyingly enough). And yes, jobs and better housing. I understand why so many ppl move to NY, but I wonder what our cities and towns outside of NYC would look like if we transplants instead used our collective talents to remake our hometowns into the “New York Dream” we left them for in the first place.

  10. Thanks for your thoughts. I agree, and we may move back. I certainly would love to contribute to another area. But both of us are currently in cultural jobs that are NY only for at least the next two years. We love the people and would still love New York if it were livable for middle class families in the arts with kids as it was when we arrived 20 years ago.

  11. white people form iowa are not stealing apartments from low income new yorkers - its a problem of supply and demand. yes aggressive gentrification from bad actor landlords and real estate speculators is a terrible problem, but all the young people who move here all want the same thing as long time residents, somewhere reasonably affordable, safe, clean, and close to transit; its not fair that communities are being broken up, but its also not fair to blame the individuals for the large and complex problem that we are in now. maybe blame bloomberg for rezoning the whole city. or other leaders for the shortage of housing options, or developers for not creating enough affordable housing, or maybe blame tech companies for creating all the high paying jobs that attract the young educated people in the first place.

  12. @Ross The two cities with the strictest rent control, New York and SF are also the two with the highest rents. Surely, this is not a coincidence. When you offer half the renters a really good deal in a desirable place to live, those who don't get a sweetheart deal are going to be squeezed to death. I am not a fan of landlords, but the current system is ridiculously unfair.

  13. 'New Yorkers have a right to be angry with anyone who “disrespects the people who have built the neighborhoods they enjoy.”' In that case, New Yorkers who in the 1960s discovered that their clean, quiet, safe neighborhoods -- Washington Heights, East New York, Flatbush, Fort Greene, Cobble Hill, and so many others -- had become very much the opposite because of a influx of dependent, dysfunctional, and too often criminal newcomers should have been very angry indeed. Oh, wait --.

  14. "An influx." Sorry. I have never liked Eric Adams, and now I am very exercised indeed at his comment, so ironic in so many ways.

  15. @B. Is this a dog whistle?

  16. Time for ICE to go to work. They will get rid of the excess New Yorkers and they won’t be the ones from Iowa.

  17. He just lost my vote. Diversity is what makes us great- stop giving tax cuts and incentives and allowing zoning changes to curb gentrification, don’t just blame anyone who doesn’t fit your idea of what NUC used to look like.

  18. @NYC The city is becoming less diverse though. I believe that's part of what he was trying to say, poorly.

  19. As long as a major source of municipal finance is real estate tax, city governments will, consciously or unconsciously, do what they can to make real estate as valuable as possible. At base this is the engine driving endless gentrification and it makes anyone who, as Adams did, carries on as though gentrification is a malevolent invasion, into a preposterous hypocrite. He will propose programs that require serious funding and when he looks to find sources for it he will certainly find a few areas where assessments can be pushed a little to get a bit more. Over time the entirte city will be high intensity real estate.

  20. I take Corey Johnson's comment as a parody on the Trump statements about immigrants from central America wanting to immigrate to the USA. Mentioning Iowa is another way to say "Trumpland"

  21. @toom Eric Adams, not Corey Johnson

  22. I always thought that I liked Eric Adams. But, after these disgraceful and bigoted statements, he has lost my vote.

  23. The article talks about the problem of black and brown people being pushed out of traditionally black neighborhoods. But, there was a time that Bed Stuy, East NY and Harlem were white neighborhoods and the complaint of whites were that black people were pushing them out and changing their neighborhoods. When Archie Bunker complained about a black family moving into the neighborhood, he was called a racist. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  24. @kierz Dont forget the Bronx. My parents, native New Yorkers, moved us out of the Highbridge section of the Bronx in 1969. They saw what was happening to the neighborhood, the schools etc and decided that they did not want to raise us there. It made them very sad. My mother was raised in the Bronx and my father in Inwood. They loved NY and all that it had to offer their family. However, the neighborhood was changing and not in a good way. Thank goodness they got out when they did because after that the Bronx totally self imploded.

  25. Archie Bunker was not forced out of his home nor neighborhood.

  26. Why did you leave out the fact that Adams is the recipient of huge donations from the real estate community, a fact that could be a more balanced reporting. Or are facts no longer required in journalism?

  27. This struck me, too. His comments seem like a way to take the blame off landlords and developers, and to split poor and middle class people along racial lines.

  28. @L A convenient tactic he learned from Trump.

  29. Your comment is dead on. The underlying causes of gentrification (i e , the ripple effects of high end condo towers) are more market forces that, for better or worse, have made NYC a capital (no pun intended) of inequality in housing, wealth and income. With a big assist from policies influenced by political donations from real estate developers. Perhaps a follow up NYT article, written by economic as well as city politics reporters, will examine this.

  30. One day, maybe, people will wake up and realize the Democrats have not served the working class of people since Carter. Look how quickly De Blasio and Cuomo sold out NYC to one of the largest corporations in the world, in secret without any voter opinions on the matter. At least with a Republican you now where they stand. Only Democrats get away with saying there is a "tale of two cities" and then sell-out that city to a company that would only provide high-tech jobs to university graduates. It's really depressing.

  31. One need only look at the Village to see the ultimate affect. The Village of the 60’s and 70’s memorialize by many authors no longer exist. What is left in its place is a cross between an outdoor mall and and a cheap arcade.

  32. @George Should we then have made the Village into a Museum? Everything changes and will continue to change whether people like it or not. Of course, the 60s and 70s no longer exist. Neither do the 20s and 30s.

  33. One could also look at the tenements of the Lower East Side about which Jacob Riis wrote or Five Points about which Herbert Asbury wrote. Do we wish folks today still lived in dark, dank, vermin infested, tuberculosis risky, fire prone buildings ? Evolution of housing stock and the ebb and flow of life by generations of births and deaths and modernization means things change. Except the buildings that are adopted by the City Council or others as to be legally preserved as Historical Monuments or important Architecture denoting our past.

  34. @George change happens everywhere. The county I live east of Louisville was quiet and quite pastoral when I was growing up. After busing started and the east end of Louisville started moving our way it changed the dynamic drastically. We too wish they'd go back to their suburban subdivisions instead of raping the land and building thousands of home in subdivisions on what used to be farms (my grandfathers included) and beautiful scenery.

  35. Immigrants tend to start new businesses and create jobs, overall positively contributing to the economy. It's like telling Einstein not to come to your city. The issue is that there is not enough subsidized housing in convenient areas which they should fix. Also, it's great Di Blasio is adding a ferry, I wish there were more projects like that instead of almost forcing people to buy a car.

  36. "Not enough subsidized housing": Birth control -- the great leveler, particularly in regard to income inequality.

  37. I agree the comment was ill-conceived as to its wording and agree it is a dog whistle to those voters who see the newcomers who are working stiff strivers in their own neighborhoods as the instigators of costs rather than the truly wealthy in Manhattan from all parts of the globe and the real estate owners hidden among us all who drive up prices because there is demand and because the returns are so high due to tax law and other incentives. The person who comes from Ohio or Iowa with a college degree and settles into Brooklyn, Queens or Manhattan above 96 St is gentrifying ? She or he or they are not the ones who determine the rate of a rental. I would say they would love to have the same affordability many of you lifelong NYers enjoy as long time homeowners and rent controlled tenants. BTW- real estate taxes in NYC are quite low compared to other parts of the tri-state area and lower than many other major cities in US because the commercial properties foot much more of the bill. The word gentrify itself is a class laden dog whistle which does not belong in our vocabulary.

  38. @Suburban Cowboy. Property taxes in NYC are quite low only for those who live outside Manhattan. My Manhattan condo is worth roughly the same as Mayor deBlasio's home in Brooklyn, yet my taxes are 3 1/2 times higher even though living in a building with 300 units, I put far less strain on city infrastructure than he does. If residents in outer boroughs paid their fair share, there'd be billions to build more affordable housing.

  39. Sparky, you educated me as did this article I found after reading your post. https://gothamist.com/news/fixing-nycs-unfair-property-tax-system-how-hard-could-it-be. Nonetheless I think we both stand against the nasty wedge words of Mr Adams. If fairness were enacted by City Council, of which Adams and Johnson are members, their outer borough constituents would be in an fury. But it would be just for the large apartment building dwellers such as you and your neighbors.

  40. When Midwesterners like me moved to the city, it was to escape the confines of tiny, too-traditional minds, where different was bad. In New York City, different is good! It's celebrated! There are places in Small Town America where the wrong type of different will get you killed. Thank the gods for NYC: It's sometimes the only place one can be oneself. I don't think lifelong New Yorkers can understand until they try to live elsewhere.

  41. @e w I think you'd find Chicago as welcoming and diverse a city as New York. You'd also find it becoming as expensive a place to reside as New York. It's the high cost of living that ensures diversity dies. Same as California.

  42. I’m a recent transplant to NY originally from Iowa (with interludes in Nebraska and DC). I’m also a white man, so no doubt that comment was aimed at me and people who look like me. I’m also gay and if I were to move back to Iowa, I would have virtually no opportunity for a social or personal life. I would made to feel out of place with my community on a daily basis. I would have to be constantly vigilant of my surroundings and careful of revealing to strangers who I am. As much as everyone talks about NY being a welcoming city, in my experience, it is the least welcoming place I have ever lived. And then you see a comment like that from a leader of the community. It’s hard to not feel rejected by a place where I’m just trying to find a place to fit in.

  43. @Mike D "One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years." Tom Wolfe The secret to belonging to New York is that you don't need anyone's permission to belong.

  44. @Mike D I invite you to try Portland, Oregon. Rents are cheaper than New York, you'll be accepted as you are. Sure, there's less going on then a major city like New York, but still plenty of night life, culture, book stores. It's a major foodie scene, with tons of great restaurants for any tastes you have, lots of micro breweries, micro distilleries, local coffee shops, big music scene. AND you get to be in close proximity to some of the most stunning nature in the world. The Columbia River Gorge has endless amazing hikes and waterfalls. Mt Hood has endless amazing hikes and skiing. The Oregon Coast is stunning. All within a short drive. Then there are fantastic parks within the city, including a massive forest and an extinct volcano, and two rivers. Yes, we too have a gentrification thing going on, with a homeless problem, but that won't be any different than where you are. It's a dark blue liberal city where being gay is not an issue. Try the West Coast! If you want a grittier city city, try Seattle. If you want soon and beaches, try LA.

  45. You fond it "hard to fit in?" Blacks have been locked out for 400 years. How do you think they feel?

  46. Blame the landlords, zoning restrictions, NIMBYism, and our federal government which stopped funding affordable housing for the rising rents. Cities are meant for everyone. That's what makes a city a city and not some suburban, gated community.

  47. @Paul Thomas and the city whose budge is mostly comprised of real estate taxes. REAL ESTATE runs this town and everyone's fingers are in the pie unfortunately.

  48. read Fed reserve working paper w19-30 published last year. they did an analysis of 100 densest inner city neighborhoods with 3million data points. entitled "The Effects of Gentrification on the Well-Being and Opportunity of Original Resident Adults and Children" dispels commonly held myths and suggests positive opportunities. Eye-opening and first broad and evidence-based research on this often emotion-laden topic.

  49. @morris Adams has never been interested in facts, as witness his recent diatribe against a new building for LGBTQ seniors, a high percentage of them members of minority groups. He ranted about how he couldn't support the idea of a new building that was nicer than the high rises next door to it, also occupied by predominantly minority tenants, and implied that the new structure was not "inclusive." He's catering to what he thinks is his voting base, and if he's elected, will discriminate blatantly against any people whose skin color is different from those in his imagined base. He doesn't even realize that he can't take that base for granted when he indulges in what's basically hate speech - as is made clear from the quotes in this article.

  50. They're not Adams's "imagined" base. It's a real base. After all, Sharpton and Farrakhan have real bases too. And none is particularly different in kind from Trump's base, only in color.

  51. I have lived in NYC my entire life. It has always been a place people come for various reasons and it constantly changes through social, economic and various other forces. There is no one who should be telling others to go back where they came from. Not one of us owns the city or any other place for that matter. The tenor of the ideas that are the basis of this article smacks of bias. I have no idea what “disrespects their neighborhood” means? Does that mean that people from Iowa and Ohio move in to neighborhoods and engage in crime and deface property? What does it mean to disrespect a neighborhood? Who owns what? Neighborhoods, places and people change.

  52. As a transplanted Iowan, I am sorry to hear that Mr. Adams has become a Trumper, telling others to "go back where they came from." New York City has always been a city of immigrants and newcomers.

  53. New York is a city of immigrants, and not just from abroad.

  54. Adams does have a point- in my neighborhood Bloomberg priveledged the tourists over the needs of the locals- am now overrun and my real estate taxes are going through the roof. My husband's family has been here since the 1650s and has relatives in both Greenwood and Woodlawn cemeteries - but don't feel like we are welcome either...just our tax dollars are.

  55. Where? Paris, France? Because that’s your location stamp.

  56. "Priveledged the tourists." The way to remember how to spell "privilege": two eyes and a leg. Something my mother, educated at her elementary school, junior high, and Eastern District High in Williamsburg, learned in the 1930s. You're welcome. Please remember that tourists help pay for our municipal and social services.

  57. @Vote For Giant Meteor In 2020 lived there a year and kept the name as i continued to read the NY Times in Paris. Let me add that Bloomberg's vision for NY was in some ways fulfilled with Hudson Yards that was meant to accommodate rich foreigners whether Saudi's, Chinese or Russians and their LLC's not people that actually live here- he said as much. Bloomberg didn't build public schools - who could forget Cathy Black- he did improve the parks though.

  58. MLK this man is not. He shouldn't even try. MLK understood the power of words and action - AND how to use them to get results. This guy is just ignorant, rude and insulting. That said, yes, people should invest in their neighborhoods - whether they are newcomers or have been there for generations. And investing means more than money - it means friendly greetings between incomers and longstanding residents, supprting local buisnesses and neighborhood endeavor and being in that old fashioned term, a good neighbor. it does not mean being rude and insulting. Please raise the bar.

  59. When has it become a god given right to live in ny while being subsidized by someone else’ s tax money? It’s artificial. Immigrants (legal and illegal) made NY. Manhattan was founded by the Dutch it’s only purpose, commerce. The reality of NY is constant change hence we continue to be an economic power house. There is very little manufacturing industry left, however there is a plethora of jobs in tech, medical, banking and skilled service. Maybe we need more of this skilled “Ohio” people as opposed to non skilled people. Gentrification cuts down crime. 1970’s NY is nothing to gloat about. I love these progressive politicians - bias does not apply to them would a white politician (even de Blasio) have said “go back to ... “ that would be major uproar - rules of civility and anti bias should apply to everyone. If someone wants to come to NY and work - our only answer should be WELCOME.

  60. The headline asks: "In a Crowded New York City, Should Newcomers ‘Go Back to Iowa’?" The smart ones will. :-)

  61. @Errol The smart ones already have.

  62. New York is made up of people from everywhere including Iowa. The "original" New Yorkers were given some beads by the Dutch who bought Manhattan and then "gentrified" it by kicking out the native American Indians. Blacks came up after abolition of slavery and moved into neighborhoods. The issues Adams raises are the history of change as well as wealth-transformation. It's impossible to freeze in place cities and neighborhoods. Public policy and the public sector needs to invest in affordable housing even while gentrification happens. It is stupid to have no places for middle and lower income residents who are the backbone of commerce and prosperity.

  63. What a surprise! Mr. Adams agree's with far right nativists! AS HuffPost says "Over 37 percent of New York City residents were born in another country, according to a new report, the highest percentage in over 100 years. " And he wants them to go back where they came from! Immigrants helped make NYC great! They work hard and obey laws! Accept it!

  64. It's shocking and regrettable to hear a Democratic candidate for mayor use precisely the same rhetoric against his potential constituents as the President has used against Reps. Omar, Tlaib, Pressley, and Ocasio-Cortez, especially given his background in law enforcement.

  65. "There goes the neighborhood" has been, and thanks to BP Adams, continues to be the rallying cry of earlier arrivals against later arriving groups. What makes Mr Adams' position any different then that of those who bemoaned the arrival of African-Americans to "THEIR" neighborhoods

  66. The play Clybourne Park looks at this. In the first act, White people in the 1950s organize to keep Blacks from moving into the neighborhood. In the second act, Blacks in the 21st century organize to keep White gentrifiers from moving into the same neighborhood.

  67. Circle of life SImba, I mean Mr. Adams. No doubt some, if not many, of the existing residents whose turf Mr. Adams presumes to protect were themselves disrupters of the lives of other residents when they moved to their respective neighborhoods. And disruption itself is neither intrinsically good or bad; rather, it is merely is a change in the current state of being,

  68. I remember once being asked by a cab driver where I was from, and I said I had been born here, in Manhattan. He told me I was the first "native" New Yorker he had ever met! This flourishing wonderful city is made up of people, mainly, from elsewhere, who have made this city--well, wonderful. It's a shameful remark. But equally unfortunate is the idea that certain sections of the city are 'for' certain populations. Once you start with that, you are back to the days when people of color couldn't live on Park Avenue. The city is vibrant because it keeps changing and welcoming different people, in every neighborhood and borough. And neighborhoods are complicated. My grandparents, Jewish immigrants from Russia, settled in Harlem, blocks from where I live now.

  69. @Concerned Mother To add: they settled in Harlem 1918--so our family history in the neighborhood is a century old.

  70. I think its important for people to realize that when you are new to an area, you shouldn't demand things go your way, or become convenient/comfortable just for you... as the residents already in the area are still looking to keep, make better or strengthen what they made around them. Almost everyone agrees gentrification is bad.. That being said, everyone endorsed Manifest Destiny, and rode ram-shod over every Native Americans' culture, land and rights.... USA does it world wide now as you can see by the way we treat other cultures.... That being said, why wouldn't we do it to each other?

  71. Everyone endorsed manifest destiny? Speak for yourself. My family, even extended branches that I know of, never lived south or west of New York State until the 1960s. For my nuclear family, about 2000 or so.

  72. @Ed P - "when you are new to an area, you shouldn't demand things go your way, or become convenient/comfortable just for you... " Open border Dems would argue differently.

  73. Good lord. New York was one of the original colonies. “Bought” for a bag of beads.

  74. When I moved from Iowa to Brooklyn over a decade ago, I remember an older person in my new neighborhood telling me to "Go back to where you came from." (I was with my young daughter, which stung even more.) Anyone who uses the hurtful rhetoric of "Go back to where you came from" is engaging in divisive politics and in my eyes has become part of the problem. I have spent my whole adult life trying to figure out how to live my life in a way that helps to make the world a better place. In the last ten years, I have paid over a quarter million dollars in rent to the old school families who own homes in my neighborhood, and I am a devoted supporter of local business (and in fact originally chose my neighborhood because I abhor chain stores.) I don't always get it right, but I am trying hard to be a part of the solution. I am appalled that I voted for this guy, who sees me as the enemy and cares so little about me as to treat me like a throw-away caricature. We are virtually all immigrants here in New York, and would be well served to treat each other like the fascinatingly different and mostly good-hearted humans that we are.

  75. Exactly, there are plenty of multi-generation old school property and business owners who are making a fat living on the newly arrived while they also pay more taxes than the old folks who shout them down.

  76. I believe you become a New Yorker the day you move here. No intergenerational tests (like some parts of the country), no language test, just a willingness to jump in to a too-often difficult yet rewarding place to make your life.

  77. No, you have to be born here. My wife is from San Francisco. Even though she has spent more than half her life here (including years in the Bronx) she will never be a New Yorker.

  78. @10009 there is no other city in the world where you get to claim it as your identity on day one- or even on day 1000000000. The arrogance and entitlement of someone ( who must be a transplant) is exactly why I agree with Mr. Addams. Being a New Yorker is a title that is earned. And just because you’re here living your “Sex in the City” fantasy doesn’t mean you get to claim it with any never of plausibility.

  79. Isn’t NYC a Sanctuary City?

  80. Go back to Iowa, go back to Africa: same difference. This is a racist comment. Resign.

  81. It's telling that Mr. Adams delined to be interviewed for this article. Can we expect the same lack of transparency if he is elected our mayor? I do appreciate however that faced with a crowded field of interesting candidates I can cross at least one off my list.

  82. Shocking rhetoric, but not surprising. I actually moved from Manhattan to Des Moines Iowa in the late 90’s for my job and was warmly welcomed to the area. The quality of life, high education levels, beauty of the land, etc. is something everyone should experience. The people who have a picture of all Iowans in overalls outside their barn are guilty of the same discrimination others have of big cities like New York being overrun by criminals and unsafe. I would think anyone who actually wants to move to New York City right now should be ushered in on a red carpet. Exorbitant taxes, crumbling infrastructure, unaffordable rents, etc. are certainly no draw for me to return.....I’m happy to visit but will never be tempted to live in New York ever again!

  83. As a longtime former NYer who moved there from OH, I respect the sentiment of Adams’ point. I lived in a 5th floor walk-up in Bklyn in a building that eventually converted to a co-op (as did many bldgs around ours). As apartments in the bldg were sold and resold for higher and higher prices and renovators worked from dawn to dusk, the few of us who were left knew our days were numbered. My two neighbors, two elderly African-American ladies who had lived in the bldg for decades lived in fear that they would be priced out of their homes. The tone of the bldg and neighborhood, once friendly, changed completely to crowds of hip 20-somethings glued to their phones, oblivious to passersby. We lost our corner bodega, the grocery store went upscale ($$$), no more diner, only pricey crowded restaurants and hip bars. Here’s the thing: as a relatively young white person, I had no trouble finding plenty of other apt. options, but my African-American neighbors on fixed incomes? One had to leave NY entirely to move to Atlanta to live with her son and the other moved further out to E. New York. They lost their homes, the neighborhoods they knew, the church families they were members of, their daily habits and routines. While I don’t think we should be telling ppl to “go back”, I do think we need to be aware of who we’re telling, through our actions and attitudes, to “get out.”

  84. I can no more fathom that "Staten Island often attracts people from the [NYC] suburbs" (or so much as seldom, from anywhere) than I can afford to leave my Upper Eastside high-rise to return to Park Slope … where I was born in 1949, and 'raised' until one dark day in 1963 when, against my will, I was removed by my parents to Flatlands (ferry-free, but as Staten Island-like a neighborhood as Brooklyn ever 'offered').

  85. After watching how some transplants behave, I couldn’t agree with Mr. Addams more.

  86. Then come to Flatbush. You can learn how some of Mr. Adams's preferred people behave.

  87. Sorry Mr. Adams, but if you make New York City a better place, it doesn't matter where you came from. And newcomers who can't afford to live in already established rich neighborhoods and move to places like Harlem, Washington Heights, LIC and Bushwick should not be demonized. These newcomers are simply trying to find a place to live in an already crowded city.

  88. So now telling someone to 'go back to where you came from' is 'sparking a conversation'?! Do you just not see the hypocrisy or just not care? Inclusion is inclusion. Citizens in this country can live wherever they want regardless of race, gender, family, status, religion, sexual preference. No one is breaking any laws here. That's a basic civil right. To tell people to get out and stay out because they are not the same race or class as long time residents, on Martin Luther King Day, is not 'sparking a conversation'. It's bigotry plain and simple.

  89. No. He is telling them to leave if they do not respect the people that are living here. Don’t make it a race, religion, class thing. Trump tells people to leave if they do not respect the people already living in this land. So for the European settlers and all immediately after they should leave too for what they have done to the native people of this land.

  90. @As American As You Can Get Actually you see the same pattern, a group of people believe they were here first a.k.a. "natives", there's a scarcity of resources and because of that they blame the latest group of new arrivals. This is the xenophobe pattern that powers the Trump supporters and the anti-Gentrification movement.

  91. @As American As You Can Get And, you aspire to be like Trump???

  92. As a native Iowan who came to NYC 17 years ago (by way of Texas, Connecticut, the University of Iowa, Southern Florida, and then Chicago)...I would happily move back. I would love to be back in a place where people make eye contact and are genuinely friendly, where a seven mile commute doesn't take 75 minutes, where the cost of living isn't so suffocating, where fighting crowds almost never happens. There is a lot to love about New York, of course! Tons of diversity and arts, great music, great food, and you can always find your tribe in a place this big. But with rents and home prices and traffic out of control, and deteriorating public transit, the city is rapidly becoming unlivable for anyone except the ultra-privileged. Unfortunately packing up and moving isn't in the cards for me now, but some day Mr. Adams will get his wish. In the meantime I'll continue to go to work, pay my taxes, contribute to the economy and the community, not be a jerk, and hope that's enough to earn my keep here.

  93. @Andrea Go Hawkeyes! Check out the University of Iowa alumnae magazine. There are frequent ads encouraging moving back to Iowa, and the U of IA has a rep to help alumnae find jobs. Do I mean alumni? My Latin is rusty.

  94. As a life-long New Yorker, the idea of anyone having a "right" to live in New York is anathema. Any law-abiding person who is in the United States legally should have the "right." And Mr. Adams and other City Council members shamelessly seeking votes and publicity by putting "conditions" on this is grotesque. The neighborhood I grew up in has little resemblance today to the way things were in my youth and that's the way things are. Get used to it!

  95. @SR Yes! I lived in the city for the better part of thirty years, from 1977 - 2007. My feeling was - when you step off the train or plane or bus, and decide to make this your home, then you are a New Yorker too. Mr. Adams sounds a whole lot like Mr. Trump - and that is not good! Many millions of people made NYC what it is today and every day new people arrive and make it over again. That's what it means to live in the City - it's like living on the face of an active volcano - always changing. Live it or live with it.

  96. @SR You must be able to afford the rent increase. Good for you. (sarcasm)

  97. You can buy or rent an apartment wherever you want. And nobody can do anything about it. The end.

  98. @Michael Not the end. Only if you’re rich here in NYC, and that is disgusting.

  99. Read "The Myth of Middle-Class Liberalism" also in today's NYT! Alas all too true as this story demonstrates...super liberal NYC, until my rent might go up, then I revert to tribalism.

  100. Fear not..the rising crime rates due to "criminal justice reform", the ever rising taxes, and general incompetence of the dangerous children poised to run the city and state over the next few years will drive any out any sane person. The one billion dollars taken by our first lady for her homeless yoga programs is all you need to know about our city's future.

  101. This is a classic case of people getting hung up on surface appearances as a way of avoiding a hard look at the real problem. So a white couple with a kid moves into Bed-Stuy, maybe they have "middle-class" jobs (by New York standards). We get mad because they walk around innocently, ask for toasted bagels, and talk loudly in Iowa accents. All this is "disrespecting" the neighborhood. Meanwhile the forces driving New York real estate—that carve up neighborhoods and wring every cent out of every New York square foot--sit back, altogether elsewhere, and count the money. The billionaire class does not care if you get angry at some bourgeois Iowa couple. It knows that if they get "uncomfortable" and leave, some other one will immediately take their place (for a somewhat higher rent). The answer to every mystified question about "the soul of New York" is real estate.

  102. @Jim I am an old man, grew up in NYC, as did my parents, and their parents before them. No one ever thought about "Real Estate". Now it's all that is talked about. The soul of NYC has been sold to real estate, but it wasn't always so.

  103. Sounds to me like Republicans aren't the only ones engaged in divisive politics. Things are turning into "Gangs of New York"; and not much different from the movie.

  104. When I was visiting my son who lives in Brooklyn over the holidays I ran into 2 men at a popular bakery who talked with disdain about the gentrification of Brooklyn by outsiders. Then come to find out they both had immigrated from the DR.

  105. Harsh, but completely valid. Don’t feel too bad for Iowans. In Iowa City and other Iowa “cities”, Iowans grumble about “people from Chicago”. I have heard people share a very similar sentiment “People from Chicago should go back”. To clarify, “People from Chicago” is a euphemism for black people. It is important to point out that poor people of all races are being priced out of Chicago because young Iowans and other Midwesterners are flocking there. Gentrification, skyrocketing rents, changing neighborhood cultures, and the breakdown of neighborhood support systems are the results of the exodus of young professionals from rural states to large urban epicenters like Chicago and New York. It is ok for people to openly talk about this. It is okay for people to share their anxiety about these population shifts.

  106. To clarify, I do not think telling anyone to “Go back to X” is appropriate. It is ignorant of history at best. I recognize that some people have a narrower view of their world and do not understand the relationship between systemic issues and push-and-pull population factors. I don’t think people should feel bad for Iowans many of whom may understand the sentiment better than they’d be willing to admit. I believe when people (who aren’t elected officials because they should know better) share the “Go Back” sentiment they open the door to conversation—or many conversations—about race, class, identity, etc. Flat-out marginalization of a sentiment you don’t agree with and isn’t overtly offensive doesn’t seem conducive to conversation. Without a conversation how can we get to understanding?

  107. No, the statement by Mr. Adams isn't valid, and the fact that Iowans and Chicagoans also say "Go back to X" doesn't make it valid. No, skyrocketing rent happens when housing is viewed as a financial instrument and not as a place for people and families to live. New York and Chicago (and even Iowa City too) are enriched by the people who move there. But these people, along with the long-time residents, must be accommodated in housing they can afford.

  108. Would all those folks who decry gentrification and the rise of the price of real estate agree to having their wages frozen and the upside of the value of their home capped at 1980 levels ? If not they must accept the fact that the newcomers are very much the engines of the old timers’ wealth growth.

  109. Reading through the comments I can’t help but (once again) note the casual racism and overwhelming sense of entitlement from the obviously white readers. They take umbrage at a perceived slight while completely ignoring the very real truth of Black and Brown bodies being pushed out, and the Disneyfication of what used to be vibrant neighborhoods. These are the same people who prefer a 7-11 to a local bodega and fight to keep schools segregated. One used to move to NYC to be a part of the city, finding themselves changing to meet its demands & pleasures. But these new people expect the city to change for them, and what we gave gotten us a whiter, less vibrant, less artistic facsimile. So nope. I miss the old New York. And I agree. Iowans should go back home!

  110. @Bigkimnyc - so white people only experience "perceived" slights, not flat out reverse racism. Thanks for clarifying.

  111. You are going further out on that limb Kim. Assuming skin color, assuming you and your shared identity neighbors own the city. I like the ‘original’ fabric of the city which is our melting pot. That bodega is owned by someone who immigrated from Dominican Republic I bet. I love the ethnic diversity of that Russian restaurant in Brighton Beach run by someone who fled the USSR. Sylvia’s is a fine joint in Harlem’s Main Street district which is probably founded by folks who came from Africa by way of Georgia. Unless you live in a teepee, pull oysters from the tidal marsh beds and speak Delaware, Algonquian or Lenape as the Indians of Manhattan once did, you are us and we are you in NYC.

  112. @Bigkimnyc As a native New Yorker I completely agree with you. I am sickened by the Disneyfication of NY. It all started with Guliani and has continued. One example is Bleecker Street. You used to go to Bleecker to browse the bohemian shops. It was so unique and New York. Now it is ruined. There areoverpriced designer boutiques and underwhelming restaurants. Everything is plain and boring. The vibrancy of the area is gone. The shopkeepers knew you and there was a sense of neighborhood. I also, in my own strange way, miss the old 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Aves. Yes, it was a bit sleazy with the men handing out cards advertising the peep shows but it was real. I actually felt safer on that street than many other places in the city. When I watch movies from the 50's and 60's that feature NY it saddens me because many of the things that made NY unique are gone. I too miss the old New York.

  113. He is wrong. The problem lies with NYC and NY state govts. Since they seem to prefer allowing present residents to be displaced by greedy landlords, the politicians cannot then blame newcomers who can afford the preposterous rents. Or present residents who feel resentful, quite understandable. Affordable rents should NOT be market driven but government regulated, and not just in name but in practice.

  114. This is a disgusting comment. Everyone has the right to move to New York. Also rising rents is because of insufficient housing construction due to zoning restrictions placed by the long time residents of New York. If we acted like Singapore and just built 20 story apartments everywhere all the time, then rents would actually plummet, like it does in Singapore where everyone has affordable housing. It’s not the newcomers’ fault. It’s the fault of whoever decides zoning policy (long time property owners who object to and veto every new development, including ones that include a lot of affordable housing).

  115. @NewYorkResident Interesting that you compare NYC to Singapore which has a population of 5.7 million and is listed as more expensive than 91% of cities in the world. So the answer here is that we should cover New York City with 20 story apartment buildings everywhere? Would that really work without the draconian government in Singapore? Would pandering NYC government officials really accept $300 fines for first-time litterers?

  116. @NewYorkResident I really dislike when people use the density argument, because it doesn't work out this way. It isn't working out here in NYC with the neighborhood rezoning. Look at Hong Kong with their increased density- there are people there living in coffin-like spaces because they can't afford to live there. Rents aren't going down.

  117. @NewYorkResident in Singapore and HK the government owns most of the land and leases it. A legacy of the British empire.

  118. Adams is a pandering, populist, fool. If he wanted respect for the people who built neighborhoods like Harlem, or Crown Heights, or Bedford Stuyvesant or a host of now-'gentrifying' areas, then he would do well to keep in mind that the builders of these neighborhoods were not the poorer folk who moved in after the wealthier left. Economics dictated the earlier change and economics will govern future changes—except to the extent that government puts its thumb on the scale by freezing change for lucky winners through rent control and such. Respect, indeed.

  119. Apparently Mr. Adams doesn't know much about the history of NYC. I had relatives who lived in Washington Heights in the 1950s and 1960s, my mother grew up on the Grand Concourse in the 1930s, and my father lived in Bed-Stuy in the 1920s and 30s when all were primarily Jewish neighborhoods. One can argue that they "built the neighborhoods." I wonder if Mr. Adams will state that the African-Americans, many from southern states and people from Puerto Rico and Latin American who now largely populate those now shouldn't have come. It wasn't like NYC was underpopulated when they did. No one is saying they shouldn't have come. It's just that Mr. Adams has no right to ignore history and pretend that those in those neighborhoods now were always there. For good or bad, it's been part of the long history of NYC for neighborhoods to go through cycles. There's absolutely nothing new in any of this.

  120. As an Asian-American woman from Ohio who has lived in NYC for 15 years, I take offense at this. Growing up in Ohio, everyone would always ask me where I was from. I was from there! Here in NYC, no one questions that I’m an American, that I belong here, that I don’t necessarily have to be from somewhere else. This is my home. Adams may call himself a New Yorker but he doesn’t understand what this city is about.

  121. This discussion is pertinent to real problems happening in real time. A Real Example I Have witnessed over and over. Young people relocate to NYC. Meet their spouse. Buy their first starter apartment or pied-a-terre. Make decisions in cosmetically improving their apartment building or neighborhood. Have a kid. Sell for an enormous profit and leave the city for more room. All in the space of five to ten years. The born and bred New Yorkers in the building and neighborhood are left behind with the higher taxes, higher prices, and with the costs of longer term expenses of building upkeep like re-pointing, roof repair, and the higher costs of maintenance for the frivolous improvements the gentrifiers left behind. That is why they are not New Yorkers!

  122. Politicians sometimes say dumb things. This is an example.

  123. He’s unfortunately using racist rhetoric, but his concern is that Black people are being priced out of New York just as they were removed from San Francisco a decade ago. It’s sometimes called blue lining, like red lining in the 1950s, but now anybody who isn’t wealthy will be priced out of New York. The term “urban” used to be a euphemism for Black, but now it will be like “country” and describe where the people used to live. Time marches in, neighborhoods change, but the loss of the Black community in New York is something to mourn.

  124. Rent is too high, rent is too high, rent is too high. The idea that rent is too high because some of the tenants are from Ohio is ridiculous. People who own real estate in NYC are bleeding the city dry, making in unlivable, and impossible to run a small business in. Someone needs to stand up to the landlords and force them to lower the rents.

  125. @Mccactors Yes! This statement says it all. It is more about apartments staying empty while the current population becomes homeless than people moving in. NYC has always been a city of migrants and immigrants... as well as clashes between communities (not a part to be proud of).

  126. @Mccactors I totally agree. Some years ago I wanted to move to Berlin. I watched as " investors " moved in. Raising rents, to the point that my dream of living there was gone. I finally moved here to Leipzig, where the same thing is beginning to happen. It's not about the newcomers. It's all about greedy property owners!

  127. white politician would not have gotten away with this. Being a Chicagoan for 30 years, even Iowans and Mexicans and many others have made both NYC and Chicago great.

  128. Ok, to be clear, no one should be 'kicking subway rat(s)." Just had to say it.

  129. I would imagine there would be plenty of room for those who remain--native or not--among the frustrated New Yorkers who hate the NYC quality of life.

  130. Blame capitalism, not the people.

  131. @Casey S Yeah, lets blame the engine that creates the prosperity that makes people want to move to NYC. Far better to have a stagnant economy where people want to move out. Also, who needs the diversity of culture that newcomers bring with them and an economy that supports that?

  132. @John Diversity is nice, so long as it includes the people who are already there! As a newcomer to Leipzig, I see this happening here. The people who already live here, being displaced by newcomers with money. Gentrification is a two edged sword. On one had it is good for the infrastructure. On the other hand, it often displaces the people who made the place what it is!

  133. @Old Expat That gentrification is typically what’s needed to prevent neighborhoods from becoming run down. People come in when they see something transformed into shiny and new and leave when it becomes dated, which allows the process to start again.

  134. A good part of my Dad's family was from Inwood - or Good Shepard parish as they would have said. It was a very Irish American neighborhood. Then it became a very Hispanic neighborhood. How does go back to the Dominican Republic sound? It doesn't sound right to me.

  135. Inwood is being gentrified. Go back and take another look.

  136. ugh, at least now we know how Adams truly feels, but I think he can kiss his mayoral run goodbye. Recently in Bushwick, where I have lived for 21 years, I was told "I don't belong here" by my next door neighbors (I was born and raised in CA). I wonder if they realize that Bushwick has always been in flux, with certain populations rising and shrinking, whether from Meso-America, the south, the Caribbean, art school, Poland, Germany, Indo-China, the Netherlands, the first peoples and everything in between.

  137. The only constant in the world is change. It’s a waste of time to fight it. When people move into a neighborhood they are going to bring their culture with them. The mix of residents will always change and bring with it changes in the community. This isn’t just true of people who move in. There also generational changes as younger people displace older people. Nothing ever stays static permanently, nor should that be the goal.

  138. @John No one is fighting change. What Eric Adams said is: “I welcome all people of good will to New York City — no matter who they are and where they come from,” Mr. Adams said in a statement. But Mr. Adams, who declined to be interviewed, reiterated his larger point that newcomers should invest in their neighborhoods. New Yorkers have a right to be angry with anyone who “disrespects the people who have built the neighborhoods they enjoy.”

  139. @dannyboy That’s the circle of life of how a city is revitalized. Without that process, everything becomes stagnant. This isn’t unique to NYC. Without investment neighborhoods become run down. While some communities grow, opportunity usually presents itself in another part of the city until that becomes popular and grows.

  140. @John But you repeatedly think this is about resisting change. It is about ensuring that change takes place within the context of the neighborhood.

  141. I'm happy he said this because I love the ensuing mud fight it has provoked. Holds a mirror up to the conflicting and conflicted selves and souls of not just people with any connection to NYC, but any American city. I see validity in just about all of the comments. Yes, I'm aware of that paradox. The city has always been a row. Thy will be done.

  142. FYI Mr. Adams- My family has lived in Brooklyn since the 1800's. BedSty, Williamsburg and Bushwick were predominately Italian, Irish, German and Jewish neighborhoods until the late 1950's & early '60's. All New Yorkers face the cycles of neighborhood changes- we are all effected by wealthy buyers and developers.

  143. There’s reason why he said what he said ... if you are offended then so be it. I remember moving to Brooklyn in 1999 being able to rent a studio for 800.00 a month. Early 2000’s I saw the coming of what we have now - boring Brooklyn. Old neighborhoods done due to influx of “roommate,” situations. There’s a lot he’s not saying but his statement says a lot.

  144. @Keith I don't live in New York - but one can argue the same thing is happening here in Toronto. I'm not offended by his comments - have a thick skin. Some people like 'boring' (which is a subjective opinion in any case) - even if it means less 'diversity' (whether it's economic/racial/occupational).

  145. @Keith I’m not offended. I am just sad about the narrow mindedness of the sentiment.

  146. Gee, it’s almost as if he failed as a leader and ignored the development needs of his district which limited supply and drove up prices. This is blatant passing the buck by an obviously inept leader.

  147. As a lifetime New Yorker who lives in one of the most gentrified neighborhoods in NYC, I understand where Mr. Adams is coming from. When the neighborhood started changing I had an open mind, until I saw the types of people who moved in. Completely self-entitled, self-absorbed, and dare I say- rude. One example- I was walking up to a line at the drug store and there was a woman in the aisle on the phone. I asked if she was on line and she stopped her conversation, looked at me up and down, and said- "You mean, IN line. Yes, I am IN line." She then continued her phone conversation about flying to LA for a party. Another time, I was sitting at a bar in the neighborhood. Two women with Southern accents who had just moved to the neighborhood sat next to me. They were joined by a friend who stood behind them. There was a big soccer match on and the friend was blocking the TV. An Asian man at the other end of the bar asked the manager to adjust the TV so he could see better. The manager then asked the friend to sit. After that happened, the women started complaining about how the man "should go back to China". I spoke up about how rude they were and they ignored me. The woman next to me even turned her chair so her back faced me. I definitely understand why there's a lot of resentment towards the attitudes of many of the transplants and it doesn't help when they're also the ones who contribute to the displacement of longtime residents.

  148. @NYC Would you say you also understand the sentiment if, say, white people objected to non-English speaking immigrants in their neighbourhood because these immigrants don't fit in, can come across as self-absorbed and living in their own cultural bubble, etc? Just to be consistent of course. Your anecdotes that some newcomers are rude in some instances is based on a very limited sample and is not necessarily representative of many newcomers. Bottom line is this: no neighbourhood has the 'right' to remain unchanged. Nothing is static.

  149. @Wonderer No one is saying there shouldn't be any change. The world changes, NYC changes. I'm sure your hometown (London?) changes. I realize my experiences are anecdotal, but I have friends in the neighborhood who have had similar experiences. And I've personally experienced or witnessed many other instances where people just don't seem to get it. The point is, the newcomers should respect the city, the neighborhood, the people. Become a bit more self-aware and less entitled.

  150. Very unfortunate language and ironic as he was addressing the African-American residents of Wast Harlem, or as it was called in my adolescence, Spanish Harlem or El Barrio, or in my infancy Italian Harlem. Changing ethnic demographics is not just the rule in NYC history, it is the lifeblood if the city—the churn of the melting pot as it were. I have lived I. The same NYC home all my life and I have seen my neighborhood shift in population and character many times. And I am not always pleased with the results, but I am aware some of my neighbors may be. (One invariable pattern is that each group quickly comes to talk with confidence about how “the neighborhood has always been,” and will be ruined by changes with no self-consciousness that the current state is only a couple of decades deep and the same apocalypse was once attributed to them and their friends.) The loss of affordability and habitability (of services as well as homes) for “ageing in place” residents is a very real problem in NYC and requires serious solution finding, not cheap racial dog-whistles.

  151. @Cormac In your infancy Spanish Harlem was Italian Harlem, you must be 100 years old because Spanish Harlem has been Spanish since Puerto Ricans started migrating to New York in the 1920s up to 1950s.

  152. Italians still lived in Harlem when I lived there in 1968.

  153. I left New York many years ago, even though I grew up there. I cannot believe how things have changed. I grew up in a five floor walkup, in Park Slope. It was an affordable neighborhood back then. I remember friends of my parents who bought a Brownstone in the late sixties for $16,000. That same Brownstone now is worth over 5 Million. Too bad they sold it! They would be rich now. Our $65 a month apartment, is now a condo and recently sold for $600k. Unbelievable! I could never afford to live in NYC anymore. Same thing for San Francisco, where I lived for twenty years. Got priced out in the early 90's. The city I loved, turned into a cold heartless place. I have no desire to ever return to either!

  154. @Old Expat Your comment rings true for me. My husband grew up in Park Slope but no longer recognizes it. And certainly we can’t afford it. More needs to be reported on about people being forced out of their “hometowns” by people disinterested in integration and landlords/developers driven by greed.

  155. What a tone-deaf comment. He is blaming individuals who are collectively making the best choices for themselves and their families, rather than the governmental policies that shape those choices. Step up and make changes, Mr. Adams, if you care so much about economic opportunity and equity. Pitting groups of ordinary people against each other while real estate developers count their billions is a move straight from the GOP playbook.

  156. MLK was an eloquent orator. When I read what Adams said: "New York City belongs to the people that was here...." Adams loses all credibility in my eyes. Further, I have lived in New York City for 30+ years and am still asked "where are you from". I think I may call myself a New Yorker after putting in the time and effort to establish myself here.

  157. New York has had many immigrants over the years, from many places. The only ones I have a problem with are the wealthy entitled ones, from wherever they come.

  158. Because rich people are so deserving of hate by the people that did become successful.

  159. Name one other group that you can identify with a pejorative like “Robber Baron” these days. There isn’t one.

  160. The "go back to where you came from" sentiment is not unique to NYC. As the number or people who eschew the suburban life and move to urban areas increases the same problems, particularly housing prices, are cropping up all over the country. You'll hear the same complaints in places like Nashville, Portland and even Boise.

  161. I sympathize with Mr. Adams' sentiments, and I say this as a white woman and coop apartment owner in a Brooklyn building where we have seen gentrification within our own walls as well as around the neighborhood. For the past few decades, this has been a mixed-race area, with a lot of black folks. Now, there are more white people. I couldn't help noticing at my MLK Day-themed yoga class on Monday that not a single person of color was in the room, and there were 26 of us there, downward dogging and listening to a speech by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  162. @gingersnap Does this mean you'll leave NYC?

  163. @anna Nope.

  164. You can't have it both ways -- criticize Trump for trying to keep 'brown people' out, and also want to keep white people out of certain neighborhoods. I agree the city needs to manage growth so it happens in a humane and fair way, but don't blame people just looking for an apartment.

  165. What do the descendants of Lenape and Rockaway tribes think. I/ We all have to remind ourselves of our place in line. This is human nature and why the Biblical mandates to welcome the stranger, immigrant, alien in our land are repeated over and over.

  166. New York is New York because in 1668 the English invaders cut a deal that let the sensibilities of the New Netherlanders remain in place. Thus NYC is not New England or even upstate.

  167. What ? No matter how you spin it, this is bigotry, plain and simple. This kind of message has no place in NY or any other American city. It goes against everything N.Y. is. Adams is more Matteo Salvini and less M.L.K. A vote for Adams will be a vote for bigotry. #StopAdamsNow.

  168. All new comers are welcome but don’t love the neighborhood food but despise the people that make them!!! That’s what Adams is saying!!!

  169. Adams: "New York City belongs to the people that was here and made New York City what it is." Does NY need a mayor who can't conjugate the most common verb in the English language? One has to ask why he is so deficient. Dumb? Lazy? Illiterate? Language skills--the ability to read it, understand it and use it effectively, are crucial for one who would be a civic leader. We have a non-reader in the White House who demonstrates daily that poor policy emerges from the poorly educated.

  170. I thought we were supposed to not like it when neighborhoods and schools are segregated. So isn’t it a nice thing that blacks and whites are living and learning alongside one another? Would you rather those Iowans come here and tell their real estate broker, “oh no, I don’t want to live in THAT neighborhood, too many blacks”?

  171. @AGJ - I think you are being disingenuous. This issue is about class as well as race. We know that many whites fled neighborhoods as soon as black or Hispanic people started moving in (this happened in my predominantly- Jewish working-class Brooklyn neighborhood, Brownsville, in the early 1960s). It’s only recently that upper-middle-class whites want to move into longtime black neighborhoods — and in doing pay the very high rents landlords can get away with charging. I can understand the resentment of native New Yorkers, of any race (I, too, at times resent these well-off, privileged newcomers who seem often ruder and less friendly than do we longtime natives — I realize that I’m stereotyping all of us in feeling this anger, but I still feel it at times. I miss the old New York when everything was far less expensive.

  172. This would have worked better on April Fools Day. “Build a Wall Around NYC” would make a nice joke.

  173. New York "belongs to the people that was (sic) here"? Unfortunately, the native Americans (American Indians) who were here originally aren't around to reclaim their property. And why doesn't the Times use the traditional "sic" when quoting an ungrammatical usage or misspelling? I'm tired of seeing something like "Megan and me are" repeatedly, with no (sic). Are there a lot of people who say "Me am?"

  174. Give it up, Linda. Mr. Adams's grammar and diction are appalling and always have been. What he lacks in grammar he makes up with vicious, counterproductive pandering.

  175. This guy has gall and apparently zero self awareness. Newcomers ‘investing’ in there neighborhoods is the exact definition of gentrification which makes the neighborhood nicer and drives up prices. Do African American leaders really want to start playing the ‘go back where you came from’ card? Because plenty of racist white folks would be more than happy to throw that right back in his face, and he frankly would deserve it. It’s an extremely ugly sentiment. And it betrays the fact that he has not actually delivered anything of value to his constituents.

  176. What are you going to do, build a wall?

  177. I live in Central Texas. I hear the same thing almost everyday about Californians moving here.

  178. Replace Iowa and Ohio with Mexico and Syria. If his comments are not right then they are not right now.

  179. Not everything has an equal opposite. Adams’ call out is no different than calls to keep Inwood a Dominican neighborhood. It’s simply self-defense. Had the same been said 30 years ago to keep it Irish, that would have been racist.

  180. No doubt, From Where I Sit, the Irish in Inwood went into defense mode too. Crime finally drove them out. And a city that was going bankrupt and became almost unlivable.

  181. While he's at it, he should also ask the newcomers from Mexico, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Syria, Ethiopia, China, Portugal, Poland and India to go back to where they came. NYC is just getting too crowded so let's be equitable when keeping out newcomers.

  182. It only took three years for President Trump's nativist rhetoric to spill over into the Mayor's race. Sad!

  183. @JC Scrap Chandler Somehow, I don't think the Democratic Brooklyn borough president is a supporter of Trump.

  184. It is not the same thing. Trumps goal to to retain white privilege while Adams’ is meant to keep that same privilege from overrunning people of color. The same point was made by AOC when she said “The Bronx is ours” when she complained that people were taking selfies on the steps where The Joker was filmed.

  185. The closing quote - regarding “protection for tenants” - completely deflects from the issue of ELA’s “go back to Iowa” comments. It’s a red herring. It’s also a tired exercise in blaming landlords for the housing supply crisis. NYC’s laws are the most tenant friendly in the nation (without exception) so please find another scapegoat. Or don’t bother with the scapegoat and address the real issues - advice Adams should probably heed as well.

  186. The real issue which no one can discuss because of terror of being viewed a racist is population growth in general, especially in our urban areas such as New York. This has resulted in a more than doubling of our national population, from around 150 million to over 320 million since the 1950’s. This has been driven by immigration and will have, and is having, enormous environmental implications. That no one will discuss this most major of issues is a sad reflection on our political system, where anyone who questions this mad growth of population and development is viewed as a Trumpism supporter. Anyone who does not question large scale immigration cannot be considered an environmentalist.

  187. There are nearly a MILLION foreign-born residents of Brooklyn. A few U.S. citizens moving from other states in the U.S. (who have a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to travel according to the U.S. Supreme Court) is NOT the reason why Brooklyn is overcrowded. Maybe we need Donald Trump to do something about too much immigration.

  188. Is it really the case that nobody understands supply and demand, the most basic concept in Economics 101? Prices rise when demand is high and supply is low. People hate real estate development and then complain that prices rise when a million people move in and no new housing is built. High population growth trends for NYC have been clear for more than a decade, and yet basic non-luxury housing has not been a government priority and has largely not been built. This city is governed by absolute fools and Adams takes the fool cake today.

  189. Being a hick from the midwest 40+ years ago and not exactly from wealth more like a runaway kid I loved the city it was NY of art, advanced ideas, a place for the unwanted. The influx of the suburbs and their ideals did drastically change the city then greed ruined it. There was little respect for the past by many of the newcomers they just kinda took over remaking it into there playground, even opening midwestern theme bars. If a person comes from extreme privilege this might be your kinda town for the rest of us it is very depressing. The change was not good and just makes the city seem hypocritical.

  190. Blame the thousands of rich people with impractically expensive apartments that stand empty 3/4ths of the year. Blame the prospecting real estate developers. Blame inadequate rent related policies. Don’t blame the people moving to NYC.

  191. Politicos will say whatever their voter base want to hear, that’s how they win the popularity contest called ‘elections’. But once elected they seldom do a thing about whatever they said on the campaign trail. Just look at Obama, he sold Change you can Believe in to any Latin who would listen, and then changed nothing on immigration in 8 years of Democratic Party power in DC. Same here, he’s saying what the potential voters want to hear, not that he will actually make a rule that Ohio people should be deported back to Cleveland. It’s all politics from a potential Mayor, that’s all.

  192. Sound like reverse racism to me. Adams wants to red line Brooklyn to keep white people out in an attempt to limit gentrification. In other words, Adams does not want the standard of living in his own neighborhood to improve. What would the reaction be if a white politician said the same thing about blacks moving into a predominately white community?

  193. You and like minded comments make a fair point. However, we should also understand that younger white and mostly college educated transplants from outside NYC are relatively privileged and have more options than the blue collar and working poor people of color displaced by market forces and gentrification. (Yes, it's a complicated issue with no easy answer).

  194. @JNC The solution seems simple to me. Let's ban white college-educated people from moving to New York City and deport those now living there.

  195. @paul Not "reverse" racism but racism pure and simple.

  196. Why not call out government policies and wealthy developers? Because Adams didn’t want to offend his real estate industry campaign donors. He should be ashamed of having invoked Dr. King’s name in a self-serving rant.

  197. I applaud Mr. Adams for wanting to prevent Manhattan from becoming the next San Francisco, but I have a hard time believing a man who so misunderstands the causes of the crisis can find a solution to it.

  198. A truly disgraceful comment akin to something Trump would say about immigrants. And from the Brooklyn Borough President !!!! What would have happened if Branch Rickey made such a comment in 1947!!!? Adams must publicly retract and apologize.

  199. What shameful and bigoted rhetoric! Brooklyn is for everyone, Mr. Adams. There is no excusing or equivocating his comments.

  200. Mr Adam’s comment is pure racism. It’s as offensive as the original inhabitants of Brooklyn telling his relatives to go back to Mississippi.

  201. Mr. Adam's comments are flat out racism. Donald Trump was widely and fairly condemned for his supporters "send her back" chants, which were at best thinly veiled racism. How is this different? Attacking the presumably white hipsters moving to Brooklyn from the mid-west and telling them to go home is no better than a Trump ploy. And that he is saying these at an Al Sharpton event is no surprise. Sharpton, the Chief Instigator of the Crown Heights and Freddy's Fashion Mart pograms must have been proud.

  202. New York doesn't "belong" to anyone. People come to New York for the same reason they have always come here; to make a better life for themselves and their families. There has always been a certain amount of animosity (prejudice, racism, bigotry) from those already here, but notwithstanding the city has offered opportunities to newcomers. These people from Iowa or Ohio, or other places where the shift from a manufacturing to a service economy has reduced employment opportunities, are coming for the same reason. This tone deaf divisive comment is right out of Trump's playbook. I would hope for better from someone seeking to be mayor of New York.

  203. Gentrification arises from many factors. I’m a native, elderly, white native-Brooklynite who moved to a rent-stabilized studio apartment in Brooklyn Heights in the early 1970s and never left. I wasn’t at all wealthy (still am not!), but back then, apartments were affordable to people not making high salaries. A few years ago, my building was bought by new landlords; they refused to renew the leases of existing non-rent-stabilized tenants, and bought out several of the remaining rent-stabilized tenants until only ten or so of those tenants still remain. Rents of non-stab apartments were increased (some “improvements” were added to entice new tenants to pay high rents). My point is that all over our city, poor and working-class tenants are now in precarious situations when it comes to living here where’d they’d been born and grew up. It’s not about race only. I sometimes feel the anger Borough President Adams expresses. I feel it for black longtime residents of Harlem (and other areas that were once affordable to non-rich black people and avoided by most whites), and I feel it for neighborhoods that were once affordable by non-rich white people, etc.

  204. Here's a newsflash-- things evolve. People come and go. Cities change. Embrace it or get out of the way.

  205. I’m white and grew up in NYC. It’s been a long time since I’d be able to afford to live there. The minority population of NYC is much higher now than when I lived there; don’t think it’s necessarily whites pushing out people of color. It is a class issue, people with money making it unaffordable for those with much less. I doubt very much it’s due to people from Iowa though.

  206. The thing is, many, many people ARE going back to Iowa, and they're taking their tax dollars with them.

  207. Sweet!

  208. As a life long Brooklynite I am disappointed by Mr. Adam's remarks. Our diversity and welcoming attitude is one of the defining characteristics of New York City. Perhaps Mr. Adams would join Mr. Trump in erasing the words from the Statue of Liberty. I am afraid that Mr. Adams has lost my support for his current position or any other he might seek to hold.

  209. When thinking about the 'haves and have nots' and who's welcome in NYC let's look at the upcoming congestion tax. If you are a 'have' and "have" a nice, new apartment in what used to he Koreatown then you are welcome. Don't worry about driving to work in Lower Manhattan because you don't pay to enter - you are already in the club. Wait, drive? It's ridiculous for a 'have' to drive when they have lots of MTA options or can easilly afford an Uber. Let's not forget the Ubers & Lyfts who now "have" more of New Yorkers money - BTW, California's taxing authority is very appreciative. Good thing the ride hailing companies haven't created any congestion problems... oh, I forgot, once an Uber is in the zone they don't have to pay any more - a bigger chaching! for California. If you are a 'have not' and live in a borough then you are not welcome to the city unless you pay to enter. Soon you will "have not" $11-$13 a day in your wallet because it will go to help support MTA infrastructure that you can't use because you "have not" any train lines near you. But the 'haves' are very appreciative of the 'have nots' for fixing their MTA infrastructure. I picked on the congestion tax but I could have easilly used other examples. They all point to one thing; the 'have nots' are being pushed out due to short sighted policies that benefit the 'haves'.

  210. I was seriously considering voting for Eric Adams, until I read this article. Telling people to go back is not a policy - it is playing off the anger in your base - whether you are a Democrat or Republican. Demonizing young people from Ohio will no more help NYC, than demonizing people from Central America has helped the USA. Where are Mr. Adams' policies to help people in the neighborhoods which are becoming over-priced?

  211. As an Iowan from a small town who moved to New York 13 years ago and fell in love with this city and the people here, I recognize that affordability is a huge issue in NYC and disproportionally affects communities of color. However, an over-simplification of the issue and a reinterpretation of the “Go back to...” language that plays off of a divide between native New Yorkers and everybody else doesn’t feel at all like the solution. Also (as a secondary note), these comments just seem misdirected. Are there really that many people moving from Iowa to NYC?? I’m the first Iowan most of my friends here had ever met. One of the qualities that makes this city so wonderful is all of the opportunities it provides for conversations and connections between people who otherwise might never have met.

  212. @Sarah The only reason I would want you to go back to Iowa would be to vote against Trump there. Then please hurry back here.

  213. Yes there are! And when they finally wake up and do the math, they move to NJ! So, if you promise to never move to NJ, then stay in NYC. But, DO NOT decide to move to NJ when you and your partner decide the city is too expensive, crowded, loud, annoying, etc., etc. At that point, please go back to Iowa.

  214. @Phil As a former New York who also spent some time in the Midwest, near Iowa, I'd welcome people from Iowa. Probably friendlier than a lot of the New York City transplants or native New Jerseyans, a variety is the spice of life. Why don't you move to Iowa?

  215. What so many readers here fail to realize is that Dr. King would have been against the racisim that has allowed Whites to gain economic power to the degree where, through genterfrication, the hard-earned homes of Blacks are being stolen. Where are these native unhabitants suppose to go? Would these Whites want Blacks to use their skin color as a basis to run Caucasians out of their neighborhoods? I think not. Thank you, Eric Adams for telling the truth.

  216. I very much doubt that white New Yorkers are racists and thieves. People who come here from, say, Iowa, and get jobs and pay taxes are doing what normal people have always done when they come here. Education and birth control: easily obtained, at least here in New York City, and invaluable in the pursuit of a living wage and a decent life. Adams is focusing on the wrong problem, something in fact that is decidedly not a problem, because it's easier and more popular to do so.

  217. Hard earned homes being stolen? You can’t steal a home fully paid for and owned by somebody else. You can buy it, if it’s for sale and your offer is accepted, but no one is obliged to sell or to accept any offer they don’t like. So what are you talking about, hard earned homes being “stolen”? Pure nonsense.

  218. What??? Sounds a lot like "America is full"

  219. No it doea not. There is plenty of room in America - back in Iowa!

  220. Imagine if he had said "go back to Honduras, go back to Mexico" instead of saying "go back to Iowa, go back to Ohio"!