Sunday, August 16, 2015

There Goes the Neighborhood

By Tom Phillips

When one has lived a long time in one place, any kind of change is worrisome.  Home is ideally the most stable part of your world, but all around, other people are messing with it, never asking your permission.  Morningside Heights, where our family has lived for 35 years, is in a continual process of change, and nothing new happens without a frisson of fear.  Even the plunge in the crime rate, which began in the 1990s and continues today, is cause for concern -- it's one of the factors that have driven real estate prices to astronomical heights, and brought in a whole new demographic and life-style.

Some day, we'll reach the tipping point where the old neighborhood is no longer recognizable.  And it may be just around the corner.  A block and a half from our house is rising an ultra-luxurious rental residence, a colossus of conspicuous consumption.  And it's rising on the very grounds of our most hallowed neighborhood institution, the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.  They call it the Enclave.