Take It From Junot Diaz: New York Is “Almost Impossible” For Poor, Freak Artists

04/16/2012 9:48 AM |


  • Darryl Bush/AskMen.com

Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz finally said what the Craigslist housing section has been shouting at us for ages: Dammit, New York is expensive. “For a poor, freak artist, New York is almost impossible now,” Diaz told the Brooklyn Paper. “The kind of marginal artists that made New York a place that people wanted to run to is vanishing rapidly.”

Diaz, who will be coming to CUNY’s City Tech campus for a reading of his new work on April 26, spent the early ’90s living in Boerum Hill, a neighborhood whose pre-gentrification was famously memorialized in Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn. Now, according to the last quarterly report from Rent Juice, Boerum Hill beats out Williamsburg’s average rental cost per square foot, tallying in at $3.16 for the month of December.

Not a price tag that’s particularly artist-friendly, and not by a long shot. However, we’d like to draw attention to the author of The Brief And Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao‘s use of the word “almost” in that original quote: Brooklyn is still home to some thriving art scenes, even if landlords are increasingly asking for first born children as security deposits.

[via the Brooklyn Paper]