Bohemia Blog by Agent Michaela Boyd
I was born in Brooklyn, bred in Miami and moved back to New York in 2010 after completing my undergraduate degree. Having lived in both Brooklyn and Manhattan during a transitional period of sorts, I started to see both sides of the gentrification coin. It wasn't until my return to NY that I truly understood what and how rapidly gentrification happens and what was causing all this conversation. Slowly, but surely, I noticed my favorite and affordable mom & pop stores being replaced by national vendors like Starbucks.
Gentrification is a word that became colloquial during my time here, and although I understood its definition, its connotation seemed conditional based on the perspective of natives versus newcomers. Unbeknownst to even myself, being a newcomer, I faced a new reality that even I was part of the problem. Until recently, when I listened to NPR's "There Goes the Neighborhood" I thought that all native New Yorker's believed that gentrification was a bad word, but that isn't the case. I implore general readers and Real Estate agents alike to listen and assess their role in defining its meaning because there are two opposing sides to this conversation. It wasn't until pursuing a career in Real Estate that I began to research the resistance to the changes because I became an active agent of said change.
The bottom line is gentrification is happening uptown, downtown and all around in every borough. Predatory landlords are pushing out poor residents who have lived and developed communities of entrepreneurs and artists; which marginalizes certain ethnic groups serving the rich while displacing the poor. Bohemia is aiding the affordable housing stay by working with non-predatory landlords to ensure that everyone can have the opportunity to live and create the next generation of their community. Understanding the shift and finding a way to contribute is the reason why I haven't relinquished my license and disassociated from my firm. Bohemia is for the people, by the people. Bohemia's objective isn't to make (insert neighborhood here) great again; we understand that these neighborhoods which we serve are already great, and so we are vested in the roots of each of the communities we serve.
Our company's demographic is comprised mostly of artists; artists who understand how gentrification displaces lower socio-economic classes because as creatives we usually are amongst the working class being displaced. I chose to work for and associate with Bohemia after visiting various open houses, reading several Yelp reviews and meeting agents that were sincere in their love for the communities they serviced and more often than not resided. Since becoming a Bohemia agent, I can confidently say that Bohemia is about community first, and our commitment to integrative changes is indicative of the integrity with which we choose our agents and service our clients.
Whatever borough you opt to live in, choose Bohemia and trust that the essence of what makes your neighborhood unique will be respected, preserved and celebrated. Also, if you have a license and love where you live, come to work with us, because we are for the people, by the people. We are artists, we are entrepreneurs, and we have all been where you are now as you try to find an affordable place to begin your pursuit of the "New York Dream."
[Pictures throughout this article picture Uptown Manhattan throughout the ears]