I moved to Williamsburg from the East Village in 2016 because I wanted to pay less rent, shorten my commute and be around a lot of bars and restaurants. After a year of living Williamsburg, I’ve heard more than my fair share of hipsters gentrifying jokes. What is interesting about the area is the sense of new-ness in the area. Looking around, some areas are nothing but apartment building made out of the same metal and glass facade.
Building a time machine with Google
I didn’t live in NYC in 2007, but I am lucky enough to have the next best thing, Google. By using Google Maps’ time machine function. When in street view, move your cursor to the top left of the screen until you hover over the grey box (in the picture below it says 250 Bedford Ave). In the bottom part of my box, I can see a clock that labeled, “Street View – August 2007”. This will open a timeline of every time that Google Street Car has passed by your location.
Note: My goal was to use jQuery to make a before/after effect of the image, but jQuery and WordPress don’t play well together (it caused my entire site to stop loading), so I published this In a format similar to Business Insider (one big list with next to no insight).
Bedford Avenue is now the heart of Williamsburg, but before that it was full of decaying building. In the ten years since that photo was taken, an Apple Store, Equinox, Whole Foods and Duane Reade were built in this exact location.
McCarren Park Area
This area would be unrecognizable if it weren’t for the houses on the right hand side of the screen. In eight years, three huge apartment buildings were built in the empty lots and warehouses of East Williamsburg.
No major architectural changes here, but we can see the cities move to make NYC streets more pedestrian friendly.
This was an amazing picutre. Before most of the major development we could see the Manhattan skyline between the old buildings covered in graffiti. In the following eight years, there were new building on every block going all the way to the East River.
I wanted this post to go out to show people how much this area changed in a short timespan. What I would love to look at next is the affect on real estate prices, rent and GDP of the area.