I came across this blogpost by Alley Valkyrie, “An Outsider at the Crossroads”, about her move to a different neighborhood in New York in the early 2000s.
Since I enjoy reading about New York since I’ve lived there in the late 1990s, I read the whole piece, even if the blogpost is long. Alley describes her experiences moving from a more or less white neighborhood in Brooklyn to a black one, as “the white girl”. Often, her descriptions remind me of expat experiences – even though she simply moved from one neighborhood in Brooklyn to another.
Her reasons for moving were money. Already in the late ’90s, when I was living in New York, rent was 1k to 2k dollars per month for one room in a shared apartment. I lived in a women’s dorm for my time in New York City, because I couldn’t find anything affordable. Alley cites a number from the NYC Comptroller’s office, stating that rent in New York City went up from 2000 to 2012 by 67 percent, on average. In Brooklyn, it even went up by 77 percent in the same time. It really boggles the mind.
The blogpost is a lengthy read and the (subtle) magic undertones might not be something for all of you. Just ignore those if they don’t speak to you — and enjoy the very detailed and crisp descriptions of living at the edge of questions regarding race/gentrification/city-living – something not only relevant for all of us expats.
Brida Anderson’s novel, Hedge Games, released in December. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.