Sorry for my absence, I’ve been getting my ‘third nipple’ removed. Actually it was some kind of cyst that got infected, thankfully non-cancerous but inflamed and very painful; I felt like I’d gotten shot in the chest. Thankfully the procedure was quick and able to be done in the office and I felt much better almost immediately. The only disconcerting thing was two days later when I had taken off the band-aid too soon, and a little stream of coagulated blood dribbled out in the shower. In all my years of taking antipsychotics my doctors would always ask me if I was lactating (on Risperdal, a common side effect); and I never was. Blood is not something you expect to see dribbling out of the general chest area. But I count my blessings, it could be so much worse, it could have been so many other things.
Then I was thinking about New York City for a while, and affordable housing, and how expensive that city has gotten in particular, and how I could never afford to live there again. How the average apartment rent is $3,000 per month, and the cost of contemporary art museum admissions is in the range of $20 and up, with no optional pay what you want. I did some binge reading about young artists leaving the city (which they’ve been doing for years) or not even going there to begin with, going to other cities that have more reasonable cost of living expenses. I tried to remember the last time I had even been to New York, and I can’t remember. I think it has been about five years now. Hopefully my lack of mobility does not hobble my mind to parochial limits.
But I went off on this mental tangent about skyrocketing housing costs, because no one is building affordable housing (not really) in New York City or San Francisco, not like in the grand old days of urban renewal planning—granted with what a mess they made in some cases. Locally the Newburgh Community Development Agency no longer exists, state-wise the NY Urban Development Agency has morphed into the Empire State Development Agency which basically gives away cash to businesses for economic development purposes. Years ago NCDA and NUDA collaborated and built Lake Street Housing Complex, for example.
For all the city council meetings I’ve attended over the past ten years I’m not sure how the responsibility for affordable housing gets overseen or if it is just left to the market, and the forces of capitalism prevail. That certainly sounds like what is happening in NYC and San Francisco at the moment. I guess what I am wishing for is some kind of more active encouragement on government’s side for affordable housing where it is needed, although I think this would be something wildly unpopular with the “taxpayers/with an ax to grind crowd.”
It’s interesting that Mill Street Partners got their project. Personally I liked the former planner Ian MacDougall’s idea of the combined Police/Fire station on that block, although it was sort of an impossible dream given so many approvals already in place for Mill St.