Brownsville: Blessed with a Bad Location

The More Things Change the More they Stay the Same

While fancy coffee shops dot many city streets, neither chic restaurants nor glass-covered high rises have made their way into the far edges of Brooklyn. In a neighborhood where boarded windows remind residents of hard times, a little gentrification in Brownsville may not be that bad.

Gang life a reality for Brownsville residents.
Gang life a reality for Brownsville residents.

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Economic Blues on Pitkin Avenue

Small Businesses Feel the Effects of the Slump in Spending

By 2 pm, Pitkin Communications had only serviced three customers from the moment the cellular phone store opened at 10 am. The customers came in to buy minutes for their cell phones; a transaction that only brought in five percent per card and did not, by itself, help meet business expenses. To make sure that they could pay the overhead, the business owners, George Wolinsky and his wife Daisy, have stopped going out to eat and on this day they ate leftover soup.

“I told her to dress warm,” said Wolinsky, who had a $400 dollar electric bill the previous month. “Because I wasn’t going to turn the heat on.”

Stores on Pitkin Avenue, like others across the city,
suffer from a decrease in consumer spending.

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Brownsville, under a different light

Another way to look at Brownsville: