For artists New York City has always had unaffordable neighborhoods. Now it has an unaffordable borough, Manhattan. There, in the past, blue-collar areas like Greenwich Village, SoHo and the Lower East Side offered cheap living for the no-collar day-jobbers that most artists were and still are. Rents were such that they could make their work upstairs and show it downstairs.

Art was a cottage industry.

Then came the 2000s and money and Chelsea, which is the equivalent of a suburban mall: a business district, a consumer zone.

A few artists went there to show; most went to look and then go home. Increasingly, in the past decade, home has been Brooklyn, starting with Williamsburg, then moving outward ahead of the real-estate cash tide. For a while now the buck has stopped at Bushwick, a scrappy, ethnically manifold, postindustrial jumble of a place abutting onto Queens. At street level it’s mostly bodegas, fast-food shops and auto repairs. But artists are there, lots of them. [Read More]