No New Neighborhoods

By Megan McArdle

Apparently, that's what a New York City Councilmember wants . . . at least without permission.  He's sick of real estate brokers creating imaginary new neighborhoods, and he wants it to stop:

Dumbo. NoLita. Tribeca. New York City is full of neighborhood-identifying portmanteaux and acronyms; some clever, most faintly ridiculous (the South Bronx as SoBro?). But Brooklyn Assemblyman Hakeem Jefferies, providing further evidence that only the dumbest people pursue careers in politics, wants local government to intercede and stop real estate brokers from "raising rents" with their stupid new neighborhood names. You want to call the intersection of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights "ProCro" in a real estate listing? Jefferies' bill would require city approval:

As someone whose beloved Eckington is threatened by absorption into the "NoMa" fantasy recently created by developers to our immediate south, I certainly sympathize with the sentiment.  But the idea that gentrification can be meaningfully slowed by refusing to let real estate brokers change neighborhood names . . . words rather fail me.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/04/no-new-neighborhoods/237866/