The man had lived in his apartment for 45 years, since before it was a co-op. The surrounding neighborhood had been designed as Brooklyn’s answer to Paris, with its wide tree-lined boulevards and twin landmarks of the public library and the Brooklyn Museum book-ending the grand Botanic Garden. But the city’s fiscal decline in the ’70s had left Brooklyn bereft of the kind of investment power that kept Manhattan prosperous.
Change is the only constant in a city like New York. It keeps popping up like Anthony Weiner on a smart-phone. Now, the neighborhood my elderly neighbor knew is populated by people with money in the bank and their whole lives ahead of them. And by people like us, looking for a little comfort as we grow older.