Photo Caption: Hyper-segregation in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood.
Witnessing the exorbitant distinction between areas within a single neighborhood can leave a stranger quite befuddled. After casually walking through Manhattan, I came across an enigma in the Lincoln Square neighborhood that left me flabbergasted. In the matter of a few minutes, I went from seeing a homeless man sleeping on the floor, to luxury buildings, to a sector of public housing commonly referred to as “The Projects”.
Generally, we’re quick to assume that an affluent population exists in a city independently to that of one in poverty. However, poverty and affluence can be expressed right before our eyes, as I witnessed this when noticing a luxury building across the street from a sector of public housing. In order to gain a broader sense of the disparities between the buildings across the street from each other, I took the initiative of exploring its elements.
The luxury building greets its habitants and visitors with a doorman on both sides of the building. The architecture was comparatively superior in its design to that of the public housing buildings. Upon entering the luxury building, the dim lights in a lobby comprised of high quality furniture quickly grabs ones attention. As far as rent expenses, prices start at nearly $3,000 for a studio apartment.
Contrasting from that of the luxury building, the public housing sector doesn’t have a doorman or anything upon entrance; the buildings lacked cleanliness and creativity with doors of poor quality, bright lighting, and damaged gates. Because these subsidized buildings provide assistance to households of low income, rent falls more or less around $800 for a one-bedroom apartment. The difference in cost of living for both buildings are as apparent as the demographic distinction of their tenants; mostly Hispanic and African American (minorities) individuals reside in the public housing structures whereas Caucasians reside in the other.
Those who do not have enough money to afford either types of living unfortunately can be seen on the street struggling for change. It is quite alarming that we can walk around NYC, witness these individuals suffer and beg, yet walk by such scene as if it is the norm or should be. It is much gloomier that essential resources, such as foods and water, are overpriced at local deli’s, pizzerias, and brand shops such as Starbucks. However, a Western Beef supermarket can be spotted a few blocks away, which is known for its great deals and prices.
Considering the demographics of the neighborhood, it is almost unfair that besides John Jay College, the Abraham Joshua Heschel private high school is the only source of education for youth found around the area. Moreover, affordable childcare services were not spotted within the neighborhood; River School, although known for its high quality childcare, comes with great costs at amounts many families within the area may not be able to afford.
All of these factors help to demonstrate the unfortunate hyper-segregation within the Lincoln Square neighborhood along with its evident concerns.