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‘New York is dead. Don’t come back’: Billboards mock 3.57 MILLION people who left the city

New billboards installed in Los Angeles and Miami are urging New Yorkers who fled the city during the coronavirus pandemic never to return. 

The adverts read: ‘New York is dead. Don’t come back’ and were taken out by a Williamsburg-based art collective, The Locker Room. 

The messages are targeted towards the estimated 3,570,000 people who fled the Big Apple between January 1 last year and December 7, according to data from Unacast, leaving a reported income loss of $34billion.

They joined the exodus of millions of Americans from expensive and populous cities like New York and San Francisco, for places like Miami, in Florida, Austin, in Texas, and Boulder, in Colorado.  

Including one father-of-seven sales executive, Brett Alder, who moved his family from San Diego to Austin in 2015 before moving back to California during the pandemic and was panned in January for his scathing op-ed complaining about the rude locals, the oppressive heat, the rain and the ‘bland’ culture. 

A billboard from New York art collective The Locker Room popped up in Los Angeles warning New Yorkers who left during the pandemic not to return

The message was also flown via plane over beaches and swimming pools in Miami, one of the locations that wealthy New Yorkers fled when the city became the virus epicenter

The message was also flown via plane over beaches and swimming pools in Miami, one of the locations that wealthy New Yorkers fled when the city became the virus epicenter

The art collective from Williamsburg said it was part of its winter exhibition

The art collective from Williamsburg said it was part of its winter exhibition

Although migration out of New York city was up by 187,000% in 2020, it was replaced by an equally large influx of largely lower-income individuals, leaving the city with a net loss of just 70,000 people. Half of the number who left the city in 2019, according to data from the US Census and Unacast.

Although migration out of New York city was up by 187,000% in 2020, it was replaced by an equally large influx of largely lower-income individuals, leaving the city with a net loss of just 70,000 people. Half of the number who left the city in 2019, according to data from the US Census and Unacast.

A report found that 44 per cent of New Yorkers earning $100,000 or more annually have considered moving from the city over the past several months. Pictured: A mover puts belongings into a moving truck following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Manhattan borough of New York City

A report found that 44 per cent of New Yorkers earning $100,000 or more annually have considered moving from the city over the past several months. Pictured: A mover puts belongings into a moving truck following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Manhattan borough of New York City

Some factors for the mass exodus include economic stressors related to the coronavirus pandemic, an uptick in crime this summer and cost of living

Some factors for the mass exodus include economic stressors related to the coronavirus pandemic, an uptick in crime this summer and cost of living 

Millions have moved home during the pandemic, with Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona, in the top ten places to set up residence

Millions have moved home during the pandemic, with Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona, in the top ten places to set up residence

The Locker Room called the installations a ‘love letter to those doubling down in New York and choosing to rebuild’, as reported by The New York Post.

Samara Bliss, the collective’s founder, said: ‘We had an idea to say to the New Yorkers who have left that ‘we’re doing OK without you’. 

She added: ‘We joke in our art collective that New York has trimmed the fat … it’s just the real, gritty New Yorkers that are left here. We’re totally fine without everyone else here.’  

The phrasing was inspired by debates over whether, at the virus peak in the city in spring and summer, whether the city was ‘dead forever’ as wealthy residents packed their bags for second homes in the Hamptons, Hudson Valley and further afield.  

The Locker Room’s message was also allegedly flown in the sky over South Beach in Miami, with people stopping to stare at the banner.   

In rebuttal of the discussion, comedian Jerry Seinfeld wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled: ‘So you think New York is Dead? (It’s Not).’  

Locker Room member Graham Fortgang posted on Instagram: ‘While the headlines read ‘New York is Dead’, the cultural flame of this city burns late into the night. The truth is, the city has finally been reclaimed by its citizens, as hundreds of thousands leave the city and it begins to feel smaller and smaller.’

He added: ‘The ‘New York is Dead’ installation is a love letter to those doubling down in New York and choosing to rebuild and a golf clap to those on their way out. As Jerry Seinfeld said: ‘We’re going to keep going with New York City if that’s all right with you. Because of all the real, tough New Yorkers who, unlike you, loved it and understood it, stayed and rebuilt it.’

He said the installation would take place across Los Angeles, Miami and New York on the streets, in the air and underground as part of their winter artist residency program.  

Manhattan is seen in a view from Midtown. New York City tax revenue totaled $1.9 billion in 2020, representing a 38 percent decline from 2019

Manhattan is seen in a view from Midtown. New York City tax revenue totaled $1.9 billion in 2020, representing a 38 percent decline from 2019

Property sales in New York City totaled $47 billion last year, down nearly half from the 2019 sales volume of $86 billion

Property sales in New York City totaled $47 billion last year, down nearly half from the 2019 sales volume of $86 billion

Where New Yorkers moved from by zip codes

Between March 1 and October 31:

 1. Upper West Side, 10023: 3,368

 2. Upper West Side, 10025: 3,000 

3. Murray Hill, 10016: 2,889 

4. Upper West Side, 10024: 2,708 

5. Chelsea/Greenwich Village, 10011: 2,520 

6. Upper East Side, 10128: 2,165 

7. Downtown Brooklyn, 11201: 1,836 

8. Gramercy/East Village, 10003: 1,677 

9. Upper East Side, 10028: 1,631 

10. Midtown East, 10022: 1,410 

11. Midtown West, 10019: 1,484 

12. Upper East Side, 10021: 1,506 

13. Chelsea, 10001: 1,222 

14. West Village, 10014: 1,192 

15. Park Slope, Brooklyn, 11215: 1,006 

16. Rose Hill/Peter Cooper Village, 10010: 1,002 

17. Midtown, 10018: 987 

18. Tribeca/Chinatown, 10013: 899 

19. Midtown, 10036: 837 

20. East Village, 10009: 728

Source: New York Post 

Where New Yorkers moved to by zip codes

 Between March 1 and October 31:

1. East Hampton, NY, 11937: 2,769

2. Jersey City, NJ, 07302: 1,821

3. Southampton, NY, 11968: 1,398

4. Hoboken, NJ, 07030: 1,204

5. Sag Harbor, NY, 11963: 961

6. Scarsdale, NY, 10583: 812

7. Water Mill, NY, 11976: 577

8. Greenwich, CT, 06830: 558

9. Yonkers, NY: 10701, 567

10. Jersey City, NJ, 07310: 434

11. Port Washington, NY, 11050: 414

12. Westhampton Beach, NY, 11978: 409

13. Princeton, NJ, 08540: 395

14. Woodstock, NY, 12498: 392

15. New Canaan, CT, 06840: 389

16. Great Neck/Manhasset, NY, 11021: 380

17. Hampton Bays, NY, 11946: 344

18. Darien, CT, 06820: 326

19. Mount Vernon, NY, 10550: 325

20. Long Beach, NY, 11561: 323

Source: New York Post 

 

In May, a report by The New York Times suggested that nearly 420,000 New York City residents fled the city.

The US Postal Service said last year that 300,000 people in the city had requested a change of address.  

But data from Unacast, compiled using cell phone records, suggested in December that the total figure was closer to 3,570,000. 

But they also suggested that those who left had been replaced by around 3,500,000 largely lower-income residents, leaving a net loss of just 70,000 people.

In 2019 200,000 were reported to have left the city, and were replaced by 60,000, a net loss of 140,000. 

But the influx of largely lower income residents has had a large impact on the city’s finances with a reported loss of $34billion. 

They claimed that in one neighborhood, Tribeca, residents averaging $140,000 were replaced by persons earning around $82,000. 

New York City has recorded 591,000 cases of the novel coronavirus disease since the pandemic gripped the US in March, leading to the deaths of 26,850, as of today.  

Gov Andrew Cuomo recently lifted restrictions in most hot spots across New York state, declaring an end to the post-holiday surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations. 

‘Douche’ exec slammed for complaining about Austin move 

Brett Alder (pictured) who moved his family from California to Austin has been slammed for penning an op-ed in which he complained about the Texas city

Brett Alder (pictured) who moved his family from California to Austin has been slammed for penning an op-ed in which he complained about the Texas city 

A father-of-seven sales executive who moved his family from San Diego to Austin before moving back to California was panned in January for his scathing op-ed complaining about the rude locals, the oppressive heat, the rain and the ‘bland’ culture.

Brett Alder, a director of semiconductor business development at Japanese firm Hamamatsu, has been branded ‘entitled’ and a ‘douche’ for writing in Business Insider that his relocation in 2015 was an ‘expensive mistake’ when he joined the near-700,000 Californians who have upped sticks to move to Texas in the last 10 years. 

Alder described Texas with its lower income taxes as a ‘conservative dystopia’ and said he felt cramped – even though his house was twice the size.

Brett Alder, a director of semiconductor business development at Japanese firm Hamamatsu, pictured with his family. He has been called 'entitled' and a 'douche' for writing in Business Insider that their relocation from California to Texas in 2015 was an 'expensive mistake'

Brett Alder, a director of semiconductor business development at Japanese firm Hamamatsu, pictured with his family. He has been called ‘entitled’ and a ‘douche’ for writing in Business Insider that their relocation from California to Texas in 2015 was an ‘expensive mistake’

AUSTIN, TEXAS: Alder lived in this home before moving back to California. Among his complaints, Alder said the heat was one of them, calling it 'oppressive'

AUSTIN, TEXAS: Alder lived in this home before moving back to California. Among his complaints, Alder said the heat was one of them, calling it ‘oppressive’

AUSTIN, TEXAS: An aerial view of his home in Bee Cave. Alder also detailed other issues he has with Austin, including what he said were militaristic schools and sports, a monoculture and there being nowhere to go, but was quickly slammed for his opinions

AUSTIN, TEXAS: An aerial view of his home in Bee Cave. Alder also detailed other issues he has with Austin, including what he said were militaristic schools and sports, a monoculture and there being nowhere to go, but was quickly slammed for his opinions

He listed a litany of ‘problems’ explaining why he decided to return West to the Bay Area including bad driving, the ‘lame’ car washes, the cost of living, the ‘monoculture that doesn’t seem to be aware of it’s own blandness’ and the fact he took his kids out of school because it was a ‘micro-managed military academy’.  

Such is his grievance with the Texas city that his ’10 reasons that Austin is not the ‘California of Texas” rumbled on into number 11 which was what he called the ‘big luxury home obsession’ – before he moved to a $1.8 million property in San Jose.


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