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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tough times for trustafarians

Posted By on Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Sunday's New York Times has a hilarious, infuriating (hilariously infuriating? infuriatingly hilarious?) about how the recession is affecting the parental-supported "creative class" in Brooklyn:

For the past five years, Ernie DiGiacomo has been able to count on parents to guarantee the $1,500 to $2,500 rents he charges for the 15 apartments he owns in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When he called renters who had missed payments, he often heard, “My parents will send you a check.”

But in the past six months, the parents are pulling back financial help, he said, and as a result, he has watched more renters move out.

“Most of them are moving back with parents,” Mr. DiGiacomo said.

Luis Illades, an owner of the Urban Rustic Market and Cafe on North 12th Street, said he had seen a steady number of applicants, in their late 20s, who had never held paid jobs: They were interns at a modeling agency, for example, or worked at a college radio station. In some cases, applicants have stormed out of the market after hearing the job requirements.

“They say, ‘You want me to work eight hours?’ ” Mr. Illades said. “There is a bubble bursting.”

Then there's This Guy:

Eric Gross, 26, a construction worker, was going to buy, with help from his father, a $600,000 one-bedroom condo with city views at Northside Piers, a luxury building, he said.

But his father, who works in the auto industry, said he had to reduce his contribution. “He’s pulling back the lifeline,” Mr. Gross said.

So Mr. Gross is scaling back, shopping for a $300,000 apartment....

What do you think? Does New Orleans embrace the trustafarian class? Despite the rising cost of everything since the storm, we're still cheap down here -- just not dirt-cheap. And we certainly have enough artistic types, but the notion of a self-satisfied "creative class" just doesn't seem to have taken root here ... at least, not yet.

Are we in danger of turning into the next Brooklyn or Portland -- a destination for people in their 20s whose parents buy them half-million-dollar condos?

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