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Charles Murray posted his “social bubble” quiz from Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010 on PBS.com to find the zip code most insulated from white working class zip code in America. While his sample sizes aren’t enormous, the winner seems pretty plausible:

Zip code 10023

As seen above from Central Park, this zip code is Manhattan’s Upper West Side between 59th St. and 76th St. The roof of The Dakota, where John Lennon was murdered in 1980, is peeking over the trees in the center-left. The twin tower apartment on the right is the San Remo, where composer Stephen Sondheim grew up.

It was started in 1929 and finished in the hard times of 1931.

I sometimes wonder what the styles of the 1930s would have looked like if the prosperity of the 1920s had continued. Judging by the handful of relics finished in the 1930s like the San Remo, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and Augusta National Golf Club, the answer is: amazing.

 
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  1. Let me guess: Gozer worshippers?

  2. If the prosperity od the 20’s went on then suburban sprawl, and the whole consumer society that came with it, would have come 15 years earlier than it did. The racial strife of the 60’s would have started in the 40’s.

    • Replies: @Antonymous
    I wouldn't say suburban sprawl was an inevitable byproduct of wealth -- black violence was more a catalyst for suburban growth than anything else.

    The racial strife of the 60's followed the Civil Rights Act and subsequent reluctance of the police to stem black violence. This era birthed the suburbs as an escape from crime and dysfunction. Earlier decades -- the 20's, late 40's and mid-50's in Detroit for example -- had seen racial riots, but by the 60's police were on the defensive, a direct result of the Civil Rights Act. Otherwise I suspect American cities would have continued to look like European cities, with expensive cores and a near-core of working and middle class.

    See the original patterns of white settlement in Detroit, Chicago, and other former industrial giants -- mainly near-core housing with the occasional Levittown for those who couldn't afford the city. But put safety at home and school in question, and these families pulled roots, lost money and moved (not happily) to the newly-built suburbs.
  3. Is that Spieth laying sod over his approach on 12? Not cool, Steve.

    • Replies: @FactsAreImportant
    I was wondering how Steve was going to work Spieth's performance at the 12th into a post. This was a pretty sly way of doing it. I'm still waiting for Steve's insight into how Spieth's 12th tells us something important about America today.

    This year's Masters has been very encouraging for me. I putted better than Ernie Els and I chipped better than Jordan Spieth. If Dustin Johnson had topped a few off the tee, my game would be perfect now.

    Oh ... and we need to commemorate what happened. I propose we call that stretch of Raes Creek "Jordan River." They could put a plaque on the bridge leading to the 12th green so players would see it as they "cross Jordan River." It would become a custom that you don't cross Jordan River alone.

    , @e
    It's not called an "approach" on a par three nor on a drop + penalty on such a hole.
  4. I have two friends who live in that ‘hood, off of Columbus Circle. They are both lawyers. Rent for a 1BR w/ security, 600 sq feet, is roughly $3k/month.

    They got pregnant and upgraded to a 2BR (1000 sq) in the same building. Cost: $4600/month.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Friends of my parents bought a 2-bedroom in the UWS (West End Ave in the '80s) for $11k or something like that. That was in 1973.
  5. White working class (which in NY means mostly Catholic ethnic – Italian, Irish) youth used to come into Manhattan from the outer boroughs once a year, on St. Patrick’s Day. I remember it was jarring to see them on 5th Ave on that day because otherwise you never would. Saturday Night Fever in part concerns the distance between the world of Manhattan and that of the working classes in the outer reaches of Brooklyn – so close and yet so far.

    Rockefeller Center was built in the ’30s (Rockefeller had the money even if no one else did and labor was cheap and plentiful) and gives you a pretty good idea of what ’30s grand architecture looked like. And later when the WPA got going, the Federal government built a lot of post offices and such in ’30s style. So we have a pretty good idea of what stuff would have looked like – it exists, there just isn’t a lot of it. Housing built in the ’30s is particularly lacking.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Saturday Night Fever in part concerns the distance between the world of Manhattan and that of the working classes in the outer reaches of Brooklyn – so close and yet so far."

    The same for Welcome Back Kotter.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    One Sunday I drove in to visit my father when he was in Memorial Sloan Kettering. It was a nice day, so I decided to take the West Side Highway and then drive through Central Park. It took a half hour to get through the park. I had forgotten that it was day of the Puerto Rican parade.
  6. I’ve wondered the same thing about 30s architecture; what did we miss out on? I’m a big fan of neo classical and art deco so I suspect we missed quite a lot. The 20th century started out right architecture-wise, a combination of old forms with new building methods really worked for the early skyscrapers (I’m thinking downtown Birmingham AL) while art deco was innovative without being degenerate.

    The lack of investment appetite cut down on new construction in the 30s, and then the victory of the Soviet Union in the 40s sealed the deal on doing anything beautiful or enduring. Architecture has rebounded a bit from the dark days of 1960s-1980s but it’s still a far cry from the glory days of the late 19th and early 20th century.

    • Agree: MEH 0910
  7. Greatest neighborhood in the world.

  8. Ed says:

    My understanding is that the Depression in fact had quite a bit to do with both suburban sprawl and crappy architecture in general post World War 2. So little got built during the 1930s that veterans returning from the war in the 1940s faced a serious housing shortage. It became a major political issue. The solution turned out to be to build a lot of cheaply constructed housing in areas on the fringes of the city, and the lack of mass transit or existing economies out there was OK because the US was the biggest oil producer in the world and people could just drive back towards the older city centers to work. The federal government may have also wanted to get people living beyond the atomic bomb radius of that time.

    In an alternative history without the Great Depression, suburbs would have most likely continued to develop along the lines of the streetcar suburbs of the 1920s. There is also a reason why “prewar” architecture in places where it exists like New York commands a premium.

    On the larger point, its correct that a majority of Americans live in car suburbs constructed after World War 2. Census data indicates that a majority of people live in metropolitan areas outside of city centers, which means suburbs. You get a very different experience with the norm growing up in places that were in existence before World War 2, of which Manhattan is the most visible example.

    • Replies: @Kyle
    "The federal government may have also wanted to get people living beyond the atomic bomb radius of that time."

    Wow, wow, that makes more sense than anything I've ever read or heard. What do you call that occams razor or something or other?
    , @Steve Sailer
    My San Fernando Valley is a good/bad example of post-WWII expedience of construction. The San Gabriel Valley (e.g., Pasadena) was started earlier, and was built more for the long haul with the expectation that future people would want nice amenities. Pasadena's dry river flood control channel, for example, is lined with golf courses and the Rose Bowl and hiking paths. The Los Angeles River in the SFV in contrast is just a ditch.
  9. The comments on the PBS page with the quiz are really enlightening. They’re mostly from people who live in the bubble and do or do not realize it, but are outraged at the quiz, and that the Evil Racist Charles Murray is allowed to show his face in public.

    • Replies: @neon2
    Yes, they are funny. The more knee-jerkly (jerkily?) leftist the comment, the more nerdy the commentator looks.
    Speaking of the quiz though: why are not we comparing scores?

    I got a 5.
  10. What’s the most insulated neighborhood on the dark side ?

  11. 1/ Trump Tower’s zip code is 10022.

    Loser.

    2/’… Judging by the handful of relics finished in the 1930s like the San Remo, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and Augusta National Golf Club, the answer is: amazing…’

    Aren’t there any Randians here left to complain?

  12. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apoclaypse"] says:

    Racist article on Quartz:

    http://qz.com/656159/the-scientific-way-to-train-white-people-to-stop-being-racist/

    Talks about training white people as if they were dogs.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    FTA:

    “We’ve taught similar anti-oppression trainings at tech companies, where we worked as in-house psychotherapists and emotional intelligence educators”
     
    Any first hand accounts from iSteve commenters of being subjected to/resisting such defamatory indoctrination? To the effect of shutting down the exercise/getting dismissed/or getting an apology? Ideally, the only way for a white person to address the institutional aspersion of all whites being racist is to tell the truth:

    “Every sentient adult human being is racist and makes racist observations. That includes you, me, everyone of all races. And that’s OK. I don’t feel guilty in the least, nor should you. However, in a workplace setting, the singling out of any race is wrong and illegal. I insist that you stop this anti-white attack at once.”

    Now that’s a wordy keyboard warrior monologue, but y’all get the point. A man or woman resisting in this way has got to have some balls (and maybe alternate sources of income). This kind of umbrage should be calibrated to be used full force against the most arrogant, insulting SJWs: The dumb ones will double down, and blatantly label you a white person who refuses to acknowledge your (race) privilege.

    That’s when you stop them right there and threaten to make a complaint to the EEOC against both them and the company/institution “if this racist defamation” continues. Hint that you have a large following on Social Media and that you will name their name(s). Loudly demand an apology. Go directly to HR if the SJW doesn’t back down. Explain your objection in a calm manner to the “concerned” HR associate/honcho from a victim’s standpoint (rather than trying to argue the finer points of HBD).

    On the other hand, you may have already been escorted from the building. This is when having money and/or making good on your bad publicity/legal threats comes into play, if you can swing it. All/some/none of the above may or may not have happened to yours truly…

    “I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.”

    Antonio Raimundo “Tony” Montana

    1940 — 1983

    VAYA CON DIOS, MANG


     

    , @Harry Baldwin
    Using the same methods, would it be possible to train black people to stop acting in ways that make white people racist?
  13. I lived in this neighborhood for 10 years starting in 1987 and worked at a used bookstore. It did have a very high concentration of famous people and of homeless people. Less in the middle than is typical, that’s for sure.

    The Dakota was completed in the 1880’s.

  14. @Danindc
    Is that Spieth laying sod over his approach on 12? Not cool, Steve.

    I was wondering how Steve was going to work Spieth’s performance at the 12th into a post. This was a pretty sly way of doing it. I’m still waiting for Steve’s insight into how Spieth’s 12th tells us something important about America today.

    This year’s Masters has been very encouraging for me. I putted better than Ernie Els and I chipped better than Jordan Spieth. If Dustin Johnson had topped a few off the tee, my game would be perfect now.

    Oh … and we need to commemorate what happened. I propose we call that stretch of Raes Creek “Jordan River.” They could put a plaque on the bridge leading to the 12th green so players would see it as they “cross Jordan River.” It would become a custom that you don’t cross Jordan River alone.

  15. Ha! I had ONLY lived in the listed bubble ZIP codes (5 of them) of the SF/SV area my entire life. That was, of course, until I actually bought a house.

    I was lucky to find one of the vanishingly rare pockets of diversity-unblessed affordable neighborhoods. A nice mix of tradesman/blue-collar supervisor types and competent mid-level managers of public utilities. Very much its own sort of bubble. Y’know, just the sort of hateful place that Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing has in its crosshairs.

  16. @Danindc
    Is that Spieth laying sod over his approach on 12? Not cool, Steve.

    It’s not called an “approach” on a par three nor on a drop + penalty on such a hole.

    • Replies: @Danindc
    I thought about that. What's it called? Tee shot was the first. What's a shot from 80 yards to a green called?
  17. Oddly, this is where Jonah Goldberg grew up. Might explain his odd ideas on conservatism.

  18. You left out the Chrysler Building; most distinctive of the bunch. Built with Detroit money, when Detroit was the place to make money. Today, not so much.

    I turned on the TV just in time to see the massacre at the 12th hole. Hard to believe what he did there compared to the last year…..

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Yes, that one was completed in 1930. As spectacular as it is from the outside, some of the Chrysler Building's interiors make Trump's aesthetic seem subdued (e.g.,: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HbncrFHluuY/Tp2qG2FKM4I/AAAAAAAAFrg/Zz3DarSP7Rw/s1600/Chrysler+Building+Lobby+6.JPG ). There's a sign near those elevator doors detailing the rare kinds of rainforest wood they were inlaid with.

    You'll need an appointment with an office in the building to get to the elevators (unless there's some tour I'm unfamiliar with), but there's a great mural to industrial progress you can see from the lobby if you stop in: https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6113/6278818200_7503547f92_z.jpg

    An odd thing about the Chrysler Building is how little love its architect, William Van Alen, seems to get. I wouldn't be surprised if more New Yorkers think of the photographer Margaret Bourke-White ( https://adamunderhill.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/eagle.jpg ) than the architect when they look at the Chrysler Building.
    , @Justpassingby

    Built with Detroit money, when Detroit was the place to make money.
     
    I would have said, "a place to make money."

    There was a time when you could make big money almost anywhere in America. The first armored car to make an appearance in the U.S. made it in...Peoria, IL.

    Today big wealth it's almost impossible (yes, there are exceptions that prove the rule) to make big money outside of Wall Street, Hollywood, or Silicon Valley.
  19. Bet the denizens of THIS neighborhood don’t send their kids to the NYC public schools!

  20. 10023: Moscow on the Hudson. The upper west side has been left-loony land since long before I moved here in 1987. Broadcast networks/publishing/fashion/theatre have all been at midtown west (5th Ave is E/W divide) locations, with those engaged in those businesses finding residence in the UWS. Lincoln Center is technically UWS (above the south border of the Park).

    Wall St. that moved to midtown during the ’70s congregated in the Park Ave, corridor above Grand Central (Metro North RR commuter terminal), so finance types not in CT/Westchester tend to the upper east side. Any Republicans in Manhattan (GWB garnered 50,000 votes in Manhattan in 2004 IIRC) will be on the UES.

    • Replies: @SFG
    Wikipedia's not infallible, but it gives Bush 107,405 to Kerry's 526,765 .

    Even in one of the most stereotypically liberal places around, the Republican gets one in six voters.
  21. @Mike Zwick
    If the prosperity od the 20's went on then suburban sprawl, and the whole consumer society that came with it, would have come 15 years earlier than it did. The racial strife of the 60's would have started in the 40's.

    I wouldn’t say suburban sprawl was an inevitable byproduct of wealth — black violence was more a catalyst for suburban growth than anything else.

    The racial strife of the 60’s followed the Civil Rights Act and subsequent reluctance of the police to stem black violence. This era birthed the suburbs as an escape from crime and dysfunction. Earlier decades — the 20’s, late 40’s and mid-50’s in Detroit for example — had seen racial riots, but by the 60’s police were on the defensive, a direct result of the Civil Rights Act. Otherwise I suspect American cities would have continued to look like European cities, with expensive cores and a near-core of working and middle class.

    See the original patterns of white settlement in Detroit, Chicago, and other former industrial giants — mainly near-core housing with the occasional Levittown for those who couldn’t afford the city. But put safety at home and school in question, and these families pulled roots, lost money and moved (not happily) to the newly-built suburbs.

    • Replies: @utu
    "Otherwise I suspect American cities would have continued to look like European cities, with expensive cores and a near-core of working and middle class." - Nonsense. The destruction of American cities came because of prosperity after WWII and not because of Great Depression. Public transportation was destroyed, cities were remade for cars, suburbia was built... It was all part of the Plan.
  22. @Jack D
    White working class (which in NY means mostly Catholic ethnic - Italian, Irish) youth used to come into Manhattan from the outer boroughs once a year, on St. Patrick's Day. I remember it was jarring to see them on 5th Ave on that day because otherwise you never would. Saturday Night Fever in part concerns the distance between the world of Manhattan and that of the working classes in the outer reaches of Brooklyn - so close and yet so far.

    Rockefeller Center was built in the '30s (Rockefeller had the money even if no one else did and labor was cheap and plentiful) and gives you a pretty good idea of what '30s grand architecture looked like. And later when the WPA got going, the Federal government built a lot of post offices and such in '30s style. So we have a pretty good idea of what stuff would have looked like - it exists, there just isn't a lot of it. Housing built in the '30s is particularly lacking.

    “Saturday Night Fever in part concerns the distance between the world of Manhattan and that of the working classes in the outer reaches of Brooklyn – so close and yet so far.”

    The same for Welcome Back Kotter.

  23. 10023 seems to be the Zip Code from which the various Law & Order TV series draw their episodes’ hugely disproportionate percentage of white snob power structure privileged Haven Monahanesquire villains.

  24. @Dee
    You left out the Chrysler Building; most distinctive of the bunch. Built with Detroit money, when Detroit was the place to make money. Today, not so much.

    I turned on the TV just in time to see the massacre at the 12th hole. Hard to believe what he did there compared to the last year.....

    Yes, that one was completed in 1930. As spectacular as it is from the outside, some of the Chrysler Building’s interiors make Trump’s aesthetic seem subdued (e.g.,:). There’s a sign near those elevator doors detailing the rare kinds of rainforest wood they were inlaid with.

    You’ll need an appointment with an office in the building to get to the elevators (unless there’s some tour I’m unfamiliar with), but there’s a great mural to industrial progress you can see from the lobby if you stop in:

    An odd thing about the Chrysler Building is how little love its architect, William Van Alen, seems to get. I wouldn’t be surprised if more New Yorkers think of the photographer Margaret Bourke-White () than the architect when they look at the Chrysler Building.

    • Replies: @neon2
    I lived just two blocks south of the Chrysler Building around 1990; in other words in Murray Hill.
    I would go back tomorrow, and I live now in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
    New York is uniquely wonderful, and even dinosaurs like me can't deny it.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    An odd thing about the Chrysler Building is how little love its architect, William Van Alen, seems to get.
     
    At least his building gets attention. Few notice its rival (literally, in a race to construction), at 40 Wall Street. One who did was Donald Trump. He bought and renamed it.

    40 Wall was completed shortly before the Chrysler, and was the world's tallest for about three weeks. For a reason-- van Alen had hidden the Chrysler's spire inside the building only to pull it out at the last minute to claim the title for himself.

    It was designed by H Craig Severance and Yasuo Matsui. Of the eight straight NY buildings to hold the "world's tallest" title, Matsui was the first non-native American architect. Later, Minoru Yamasaki became the last native American to hold the title. Fazlur Khan, Cesar Pelli, and Daniel Libeskind are immigrants.
  25. @DCThrowback
    I have two friends who live in that 'hood, off of Columbus Circle. They are both lawyers. Rent for a 1BR w/ security, 600 sq feet, is roughly $3k/month.

    They got pregnant and upgraded to a 2BR (1000 sq) in the same building. Cost: $4600/month.

    Friends of my parents bought a 2-bedroom in the UWS (West End Ave in the ’80s) for $11k or something like that. That was in 1973.

    • Replies: @Triumph104
    Your parents' friends pay a jaw-dropping amount for monthly maintenance fees.

    Lauren Bacall reportedly purchased her Dakota apartment for $48K in 1961. In 2015, the New York Times said that it sold for $21M; monthly maintenance fee was about $13,595.

    A rent controlled apartment is the way to go. Nora Ephron had a rent-controlled apartment on the Upper West Side at the Apthorp (10024) that cost $1,500 a month in 1980. She was paying $2,000 a month for the 8-room apartment into the early 2000s. After a few years of $10K+/month, she bought a $2.47M co-op and ceremoniously moved out.

    Interesting look back at celebrities with rent-controlled apartments. Cyndi Lauper $989/month in 2005 for an Apthorp apartment. http://therealdeal.com/2008/07/15/decoding-new-york-city-s-rent-stabilized-mysteries/

  26. @Dave Pinsen
    Yes, that one was completed in 1930. As spectacular as it is from the outside, some of the Chrysler Building's interiors make Trump's aesthetic seem subdued (e.g.,: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HbncrFHluuY/Tp2qG2FKM4I/AAAAAAAAFrg/Zz3DarSP7Rw/s1600/Chrysler+Building+Lobby+6.JPG ). There's a sign near those elevator doors detailing the rare kinds of rainforest wood they were inlaid with.

    You'll need an appointment with an office in the building to get to the elevators (unless there's some tour I'm unfamiliar with), but there's a great mural to industrial progress you can see from the lobby if you stop in: https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6113/6278818200_7503547f92_z.jpg

    An odd thing about the Chrysler Building is how little love its architect, William Van Alen, seems to get. I wouldn't be surprised if more New Yorkers think of the photographer Margaret Bourke-White ( https://adamunderhill.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/eagle.jpg ) than the architect when they look at the Chrysler Building.

    I lived just two blocks south of the Chrysler Building around 1990; in other words in Murray Hill.
    I would go back tomorrow, and I live now in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
    New York is uniquely wonderful, and even dinosaurs like me can’t deny it.

  27. You know who lives in the Dakota now? Billy Squier. Possibly the only Yankee rock star, ever.

    He engages in one of the most WASPy pursuits imaginable– volunteer gardening in Central Park. He also had a long-running feud with another celeb (I forger whom) in the Dakota over some quality-of-life issue. Squier was on the side of quality.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    Also Buddy Fletcher and Ellen Pao
    , @Brutusale
    Squier lives in the San Remo, and his dispute, along with some of the other residents with fireplaces, was with Bono, who bought a penthouse unit from Steve Jobs and complained about the smoke from the fireplaces.

    Squier was an upper-middle class kid from Wellesley, MA.
  28. @Ed
    My understanding is that the Depression in fact had quite a bit to do with both suburban sprawl and crappy architecture in general post World War 2. So little got built during the 1930s that veterans returning from the war in the 1940s faced a serious housing shortage. It became a major political issue. The solution turned out to be to build a lot of cheaply constructed housing in areas on the fringes of the city, and the lack of mass transit or existing economies out there was OK because the US was the biggest oil producer in the world and people could just drive back towards the older city centers to work. The federal government may have also wanted to get people living beyond the atomic bomb radius of that time.

    In an alternative history without the Great Depression, suburbs would have most likely continued to develop along the lines of the streetcar suburbs of the 1920s. There is also a reason why "prewar" architecture in places where it exists like New York commands a premium.

    On the larger point, its correct that a majority of Americans live in car suburbs constructed after World War 2. Census data indicates that a majority of people live in metropolitan areas outside of city centers, which means suburbs. You get a very different experience with the norm growing up in places that were in existence before World War 2, of which Manhattan is the most visible example.

    “The federal government may have also wanted to get people living beyond the atomic bomb radius of that time.”

    Wow, wow, that makes more sense than anything I’ve ever read or heard. What do you call that occams razor or something or other?

    • Replies: @SFG
    Didn't Ike say as much at one point? I can see the logic in the 50s.
  29. @Dave Pinsen
    Yes, that one was completed in 1930. As spectacular as it is from the outside, some of the Chrysler Building's interiors make Trump's aesthetic seem subdued (e.g.,: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HbncrFHluuY/Tp2qG2FKM4I/AAAAAAAAFrg/Zz3DarSP7Rw/s1600/Chrysler+Building+Lobby+6.JPG ). There's a sign near those elevator doors detailing the rare kinds of rainforest wood they were inlaid with.

    You'll need an appointment with an office in the building to get to the elevators (unless there's some tour I'm unfamiliar with), but there's a great mural to industrial progress you can see from the lobby if you stop in: https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6113/6278818200_7503547f92_z.jpg

    An odd thing about the Chrysler Building is how little love its architect, William Van Alen, seems to get. I wouldn't be surprised if more New Yorkers think of the photographer Margaret Bourke-White ( https://adamunderhill.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/eagle.jpg ) than the architect when they look at the Chrysler Building.

    An odd thing about the Chrysler Building is how little love its architect, William Van Alen, seems to get.

    At least his building gets attention. Few notice its rival (literally, in a race to construction), at 40 Wall Street. One who did was Donald Trump. He bought and renamed it.

    40 Wall was completed shortly before the Chrysler, and was the world’s tallest for about three weeks. For a reason– van Alen had hidden the Chrysler’s spire inside the building only to pull it out at the last minute to claim the title for himself.

    It was designed by H Craig Severance and Yasuo Matsui. Of the eight straight NY buildings to hold the “world’s tallest” title, Matsui was the first non-native American architect. Later, Minoru Yamasaki became the last native American to hold the title. Fazlur Khan, Cesar Pelli, and Daniel Libeskind are immigrants.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Severance and Van Alen were partners for a while.
  30. @Cloudbuster
    The comments on the PBS page with the quiz are really enlightening. They're mostly from people who live in the bubble and do or do not realize it, but are outraged at the quiz, and that the Evil Racist Charles Murray is allowed to show his face in public.

    Yes, they are funny. The more knee-jerkly (jerkily?) leftist the comment, the more nerdy the commentator looks.
    Speaking of the quiz though: why are not we comparing scores?

    I got a 5.

  31. @Forbes
    10023: Moscow on the Hudson. The upper west side has been left-loony land since long before I moved here in 1987. Broadcast networks/publishing/fashion/theatre have all been at midtown west (5th Ave is E/W divide) locations, with those engaged in those businesses finding residence in the UWS. Lincoln Center is technically UWS (above the south border of the Park).

    Wall St. that moved to midtown during the '70s congregated in the Park Ave, corridor above Grand Central (Metro North RR commuter terminal), so finance types not in CT/Westchester tend to the upper east side. Any Republicans in Manhattan (GWB garnered 50,000 votes in Manhattan in 2004 IIRC) will be on the UES.

    Wikipedia’s not infallible, but it gives Bush 107,405 to Kerry’s 526,765 .

    Even in one of the most stereotypically liberal places around, the Republican gets one in six voters.

  32. @Kyle
    "The federal government may have also wanted to get people living beyond the atomic bomb radius of that time."

    Wow, wow, that makes more sense than anything I've ever read or heard. What do you call that occams razor or something or other?

    Didn’t Ike say as much at one point? I can see the logic in the 50s.

  33. 17. Which makes me, amusingly, above average for the zip code I grew up in…10023. Yup, that’s it.

    Funny thing is, it wasn’t nearly so nice as recently as the 80s. It’s really gentrified.

    Honestly, my score should probably be a little higher; I tend to ignore both the standard upper-middle-class stuff like Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad and the masscult stuff. I’d love to say I’m more refined, but I doubt Cthulhu Mythos fiction counts as anything good. 😉

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    Well, I got 65, which is almost exactly the score of 66 Murray predicted I should get, i.e. as someone who grew up in a rural blue collar family, but who's now middle class.
  34. @Reg Cæsar

    An odd thing about the Chrysler Building is how little love its architect, William Van Alen, seems to get.
     
    At least his building gets attention. Few notice its rival (literally, in a race to construction), at 40 Wall Street. One who did was Donald Trump. He bought and renamed it.

    40 Wall was completed shortly before the Chrysler, and was the world's tallest for about three weeks. For a reason-- van Alen had hidden the Chrysler's spire inside the building only to pull it out at the last minute to claim the title for himself.

    It was designed by H Craig Severance and Yasuo Matsui. Of the eight straight NY buildings to hold the "world's tallest" title, Matsui was the first non-native American architect. Later, Minoru Yamasaki became the last native American to hold the title. Fazlur Khan, Cesar Pelli, and Daniel Libeskind are immigrants.

    Severance and Van Alen were partners for a while.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Yes. Made the rivalry even juicier.
  35. @Antonymous
    I wouldn't say suburban sprawl was an inevitable byproduct of wealth -- black violence was more a catalyst for suburban growth than anything else.

    The racial strife of the 60's followed the Civil Rights Act and subsequent reluctance of the police to stem black violence. This era birthed the suburbs as an escape from crime and dysfunction. Earlier decades -- the 20's, late 40's and mid-50's in Detroit for example -- had seen racial riots, but by the 60's police were on the defensive, a direct result of the Civil Rights Act. Otherwise I suspect American cities would have continued to look like European cities, with expensive cores and a near-core of working and middle class.

    See the original patterns of white settlement in Detroit, Chicago, and other former industrial giants -- mainly near-core housing with the occasional Levittown for those who couldn't afford the city. But put safety at home and school in question, and these families pulled roots, lost money and moved (not happily) to the newly-built suburbs.

    “Otherwise I suspect American cities would have continued to look like European cities, with expensive cores and a near-core of working and middle class.” – Nonsense. The destruction of American cities came because of prosperity after WWII and not because of Great Depression. Public transportation was destroyed, cities were remade for cars, suburbia was built… It was all part of the Plan.

    • Replies: @Antonymous
    “'Otherwise I suspect American cities would have continued to look like European cities, with expensive cores and a near-core of working and middle class.' – Nonsense. The destruction of American cities came because of prosperity after WWII and not because of Great Depression. Public transportation was destroyed, cities were remade for cars, suburbia was built… It was all part of the Plan."

    Both could be true. Developers, auto manufacturers, and city planners did intend to spread cities out. Removing the Red Line trolley in L.A., freeways criss-crossing residential Detroit -- these show intent, but *getting families to move*, that's the tricky part. It's expensive, uproots communites, and there's lots of public inertia. Which is why I suspect, in part, the cities had a muted response to black uprising and violence after the Civil Rights Act. Plenty stood to gain from the mass exodus. But the reason people moved wasn't the existence of freeways, it was fear of violence.
    , @neon2
    particularly and infamously true for Los Angles, which had a model tram system before the war.
    It was bought by a front for the auto and oil interests in 1945 and deliberately run down.
  36. @Ed
    My understanding is that the Depression in fact had quite a bit to do with both suburban sprawl and crappy architecture in general post World War 2. So little got built during the 1930s that veterans returning from the war in the 1940s faced a serious housing shortage. It became a major political issue. The solution turned out to be to build a lot of cheaply constructed housing in areas on the fringes of the city, and the lack of mass transit or existing economies out there was OK because the US was the biggest oil producer in the world and people could just drive back towards the older city centers to work. The federal government may have also wanted to get people living beyond the atomic bomb radius of that time.

    In an alternative history without the Great Depression, suburbs would have most likely continued to develop along the lines of the streetcar suburbs of the 1920s. There is also a reason why "prewar" architecture in places where it exists like New York commands a premium.

    On the larger point, its correct that a majority of Americans live in car suburbs constructed after World War 2. Census data indicates that a majority of people live in metropolitan areas outside of city centers, which means suburbs. You get a very different experience with the norm growing up in places that were in existence before World War 2, of which Manhattan is the most visible example.

    My San Fernando Valley is a good/bad example of post-WWII expedience of construction. The San Gabriel Valley (e.g., Pasadena) was started earlier, and was built more for the long haul with the expectation that future people would want nice amenities. Pasadena’s dry river flood control channel, for example, is lined with golf courses and the Rose Bowl and hiking paths. The Los Angeles River in the SFV in contrast is just a ditch.

  37. @Jack D
    White working class (which in NY means mostly Catholic ethnic - Italian, Irish) youth used to come into Manhattan from the outer boroughs once a year, on St. Patrick's Day. I remember it was jarring to see them on 5th Ave on that day because otherwise you never would. Saturday Night Fever in part concerns the distance between the world of Manhattan and that of the working classes in the outer reaches of Brooklyn - so close and yet so far.

    Rockefeller Center was built in the '30s (Rockefeller had the money even if no one else did and labor was cheap and plentiful) and gives you a pretty good idea of what '30s grand architecture looked like. And later when the WPA got going, the Federal government built a lot of post offices and such in '30s style. So we have a pretty good idea of what stuff would have looked like - it exists, there just isn't a lot of it. Housing built in the '30s is particularly lacking.

    One Sunday I drove in to visit my father when he was in Memorial Sloan Kettering. It was a nice day, so I decided to take the West Side Highway and then drive through Central Park. It took a half hour to get through the park. I had forgotten that it was day of the Puerto Rican parade.

  38. I think it was Nora Ephron who said in an interview (paraphrasing) that she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else than New York City.

    Hard to believe a sentiment could be more provincial than that.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    I used to live in the mirror-image bubble on the other side of the park, 10021. I guess we had a little more diversity (Brazilians and other third-world elites who parked their money in that neighborhood, while the UWS was indeed much more liberal local). Friends would ask if I wanted to join them at XYZ, and too often my response was along the lines of, "That's below 72nd street, right?" I used to run around the CP Reservoir, and occasionally see Jackie O, among others. I would sometimes look at the wall on the western edge of CP and wonder if there was life beyond CPW (my Dentist was across the street from the Dakota, so I kind of treated CPW as the beginning of the event horizon). Funny thing, but a decade of living in 10021 conditioned me to expect ATMs with $1,000 as one of the withdrawal choices, and I get a bit of a laugh and am annoyed when confronted no choices above $200. I had a love-hate relationship with NYC, but would go back in a New York minute.
  39. @Reg Cæsar
    You know who lives in the Dakota now? Billy Squier. Possibly the only Yankee rock star, ever.

    He engages in one of the most WASPy pursuits imaginable-- volunteer gardening in Central Park. He also had a long-running feud with another celeb (I forger whom) in the Dakota over some quality-of-life issue. Squier was on the side of quality.

    Also Buddy Fletcher and Ellen Pao

  40. @Dee
    You left out the Chrysler Building; most distinctive of the bunch. Built with Detroit money, when Detroit was the place to make money. Today, not so much.

    I turned on the TV just in time to see the massacre at the 12th hole. Hard to believe what he did there compared to the last year.....

    Built with Detroit money, when Detroit was the place to make money.

    I would have said, “a place to make money.”

    There was a time when you could make big money almost anywhere in America. The first armored car to make an appearance in the U.S. made it in…Peoria, IL.

    Today big wealth it’s almost impossible (yes, there are exceptions that prove the rule) to make big money outside of Wall Street, Hollywood, or Silicon Valley.

  41. “I think it was Nora Ephron who said in an interview (paraphrasing) that she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else than New York City.

    Hard to believe a sentiment could be more provincial than that.”

    It is noteworthy how provincial ostensibly sohpisticated people often are.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I wonder what time of year it was when she said it. Edward Norton's character has a similar line in the movie Keeping The Faith.

    A lot of New Yorkers complain about the weather in the winter and the summer. I suspect it's because the weather is harsh enough to make people complain, but not harsh enough to attract hardier folks weather-wise.
  42. @Dave Pinsen
    Friends of my parents bought a 2-bedroom in the UWS (West End Ave in the '80s) for $11k or something like that. That was in 1973.

    Your parents’ friends pay a jaw-dropping amount for monthly maintenance fees.

    Lauren Bacall reportedly purchased her Dakota apartment for $48K in 1961. In 2015, the New York Times said that it sold for $21M; monthly maintenance fee was about $13,595.

    A rent controlled apartment is the way to go. Nora Ephron had a rent-controlled apartment on the Upper West Side at the Apthorp (10024) that cost $1,500 a month in 1980. She was paying $2,000 a month for the 8-room apartment into the early 2000s. After a few years of $10K+/month, she bought a $2.47M co-op and ceremoniously moved out.

    Interesting look back at celebrities with rent-controlled apartments. Cyndi Lauper $989/month in 2005 for an Apthorp apartment. http://therealdeal.com/2008/07/15/decoding-new-york-city-s-rent-stabilized-mysteries/

  43. @The most deplorable one
    Racist article on Quartz:

    http://qz.com/656159/the-scientific-way-to-train-white-people-to-stop-being-racist/

    Talks about training white people as if they were dogs.

    FTA:

    “We’ve taught similar anti-oppression trainings at tech companies, where we worked as in-house psychotherapists and emotional intelligence educators”

    Any first hand accounts from iSteve commenters of being subjected to/resisting such defamatory indoctrination? To the effect of shutting down the exercise/getting dismissed/or getting an apology? Ideally, the only way for a white person to address the institutional aspersion of all whites being racist is to tell the truth:

    “Every sentient adult human being is racist and makes racist observations. That includes you, me, everyone of all races. And that’s OK. I don’t feel guilty in the least, nor should you. However, in a workplace setting, the singling out of any race is wrong and illegal. I insist that you stop this anti-white attack at once.”

    Now that’s a wordy keyboard warrior monologue, but y’all get the point. A man or woman resisting in this way has got to have some balls (and maybe alternate sources of income). This kind of umbrage should be calibrated to be used full force against the most arrogant, insulting SJWs: The dumb ones will double down, and blatantly label you a white person who refuses to acknowledge your (race) privilege.

    That’s when you stop them right there and threaten to make a complaint to the EEOC against both them and the company/institution “if this racist defamation” continues. Hint that you have a large following on Social Media and that you will name their name(s). Loudly demand an apology. Go directly to HR if the SJW doesn’t back down. Explain your objection in a calm manner to the “concerned” HR associate/honcho from a victim’s standpoint (rather than trying to argue the finer points of HBD).

    On the other hand, you may have already been escorted from the building. This is when having money and/or making good on your bad publicity/legal threats comes into play, if you can swing it. All/some/none of the above may or may not have happened to yours truly…

    “I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.”

    Antonio Raimundo “Tony” Montana

    1940 — 1983

    VAYA CON DIOS, MANG

  44. @SFG
    17. Which makes me, amusingly, above average for the zip code I grew up in...10023. Yup, that's it.


    Funny thing is, it wasn't nearly so nice as recently as the 80s. It's really gentrified.

    Honestly, my score should probably be a little higher; I tend to ignore both the standard upper-middle-class stuff like Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad and the masscult stuff. I'd love to say I'm more refined, but I doubt Cthulhu Mythos fiction counts as anything good. ;)

    Well, I got 65, which is almost exactly the score of 66 Murray predicted I should get, i.e. as someone who grew up in a rural blue collar family, but who’s now middle class.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I scored 32 or 33, which Murray defined as upper middle class child of a middle class family, which is quite accurate.

    Judging from neighborhoods that scored low, it looks like Old Money and Jews and especially Old Money Jews, especially German Jews like Stephen Sondheim (who lived in the San Remo in the 1930s), would average the lowest score.

  45. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Well, I got 65, which is almost exactly the score of 66 Murray predicted I should get, i.e. as someone who grew up in a rural blue collar family, but who's now middle class.

    I scored 32 or 33, which Murray defined as upper middle class child of a middle class family, which is quite accurate.

    Judging from neighborhoods that scored low, it looks like Old Money and Jews and especially Old Money Jews, especially German Jews like Stephen Sondheim (who lived in the San Remo in the 1930s), would average the lowest score.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    I scored 32 or 33, which Murray defined as upper middle class child of a middle class family, which is quite accurate.
     
    I'm upper middle of middle, and scored a 70. Big extended family/geography has an effect as well.
  46. @Mr. Anon
    "I think it was Nora Ephron who said in an interview (paraphrasing) that she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else than New York City.

    Hard to believe a sentiment could be more provincial than that."

    It is noteworthy how provincial ostensibly sohpisticated people often are.

    I wonder what time of year it was when she said it. Edward Norton’s character has a similar line in the movie Keeping The Faith.

    A lot of New Yorkers complain about the weather in the winter and the summer. I suspect it’s because the weather is harsh enough to make people complain, but not harsh enough to attract hardier folks weather-wise.

  47. @Steve Sailer
    I scored 32 or 33, which Murray defined as upper middle class child of a middle class family, which is quite accurate.

    Judging from neighborhoods that scored low, it looks like Old Money and Jews and especially Old Money Jews, especially German Jews like Stephen Sondheim (who lived in the San Remo in the 1930s), would average the lowest score.

    I scored 32 or 33, which Murray defined as upper middle class child of a middle class family, which is quite accurate.

    I’m upper middle of middle, and scored a 70. Big extended family/geography has an effect as well.

  48. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I was born NYC, Queens in 1955. While today the place represents hell on earth for me, I don’t live there, it was at a time a wonderful city. I’ve always known of the distinction of “pre-war” NYC buildings. It’s merely a term that’s used in real estate. But I’ve always believed there was an enormous societal distinction lurking in that designation. I’d love to know more about that.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    The female creative director of the ad agency where I worked posted a brief bio on the company website. In it, she mentioned that she lived in a prewar building on Grammercy Park. I thought it was revealingly arriviste to mention that in such a context.
  49. @The most deplorable one
    Racist article on Quartz:

    http://qz.com/656159/the-scientific-way-to-train-white-people-to-stop-being-racist/

    Talks about training white people as if they were dogs.

    Using the same methods, would it be possible to train black people to stop acting in ways that make white people racist?

  50. @Anonymous
    I was born NYC, Queens in 1955. While today the place represents hell on earth for me, I don't live there, it was at a time a wonderful city. I've always known of the distinction of "pre-war" NYC buildings. It's merely a term that's used in real estate. But I've always believed there was an enormous societal distinction lurking in that designation. I'd love to know more about that.

    The female creative director of the ad agency where I worked posted a brief bio on the company website. In it, she mentioned that she lived in a prewar building on Grammercy Park. I thought it was revealingly arriviste to mention that in such a context.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    It's Gramercy, but you're right.
    Such details are for wedding announcements and obituaries only.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    It's Gramercy, but you're right.
    Such details are for wedding announcements and obituaries only.
    , @Ivy
    That prewar apartment comment is part of the Received Toolkit, akin to Received Pronunciation.

    In other words, that is a refined type of Virtue Signaling for the Right People, whether aspirational or not.

    Elsewhere in New York, such as on Madison Avenue and in the media areas there is plenty of Vice Signaling.
  51. @Reg Cæsar
    You know who lives in the Dakota now? Billy Squier. Possibly the only Yankee rock star, ever.

    He engages in one of the most WASPy pursuits imaginable-- volunteer gardening in Central Park. He also had a long-running feud with another celeb (I forger whom) in the Dakota over some quality-of-life issue. Squier was on the side of quality.

    Squier lives in the San Remo, and his dispute, along with some of the other residents with fireplaces, was with Bono, who bought a penthouse unit from Steve Jobs and complained about the smoke from the fireplaces.

    Squier was an upper-middle class kid from Wellesley, MA.

  52. @Justpassingby
    I think it was Nora Ephron who said in an interview (paraphrasing) that she couldn't imagine living anywhere else than New York City.

    Hard to believe a sentiment could be more provincial than that.

    I used to live in the mirror-image bubble on the other side of the park, 10021. I guess we had a little more diversity (Brazilians and other third-world elites who parked their money in that neighborhood, while the UWS was indeed much more liberal local). Friends would ask if I wanted to join them at XYZ, and too often my response was along the lines of, “That’s below 72nd street, right?” I used to run around the CP Reservoir, and occasionally see Jackie O, among others. I would sometimes look at the wall on the western edge of CP and wonder if there was life beyond CPW (my Dentist was across the street from the Dakota, so I kind of treated CPW as the beginning of the event horizon). Funny thing, but a decade of living in 10021 conditioned me to expect ATMs with $1,000 as one of the withdrawal choices, and I get a bit of a laugh and am annoyed when confronted no choices above $200. I had a love-hate relationship with NYC, but would go back in a New York minute.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "a decade of living in 10021 conditioned me to expect ATMs with $1,000 as one of the withdrawal choices"

    That was my main impression of visiting NYC in 2014: as if I was handing a $20 bill to somebody every $10 minutes the whole time I was there.

    , @Dave Pinsen
    I dated a girl once who lived in the UES. She had a friend who lived in Harlem, and she'd tell her, "Call me when you're in Manhattan".
  53. @utu
    "Otherwise I suspect American cities would have continued to look like European cities, with expensive cores and a near-core of working and middle class." - Nonsense. The destruction of American cities came because of prosperity after WWII and not because of Great Depression. Public transportation was destroyed, cities were remade for cars, suburbia was built... It was all part of the Plan.

    “’Otherwise I suspect American cities would have continued to look like European cities, with expensive cores and a near-core of working and middle class.’ – Nonsense. The destruction of American cities came because of prosperity after WWII and not because of Great Depression. Public transportation was destroyed, cities were remade for cars, suburbia was built… It was all part of the Plan.”

    Both could be true. Developers, auto manufacturers, and city planners did intend to spread cities out. Removing the Red Line trolley in L.A., freeways criss-crossing residential Detroit — these show intent, but *getting families to move*, that’s the tricky part. It’s expensive, uproots communites, and there’s lots of public inertia. Which is why I suspect, in part, the cities had a muted response to black uprising and violence after the Civil Rights Act. Plenty stood to gain from the mass exodus. But the reason people moved wasn’t the existence of freeways, it was fear of violence.

  54. @utu
    "Otherwise I suspect American cities would have continued to look like European cities, with expensive cores and a near-core of working and middle class." - Nonsense. The destruction of American cities came because of prosperity after WWII and not because of Great Depression. Public transportation was destroyed, cities were remade for cars, suburbia was built... It was all part of the Plan.

    particularly and infamously true for Los Angles, which had a model tram system before the war.
    It was bought by a front for the auto and oil interests in 1945 and deliberately run down.

  55. @Harry Baldwin
    The female creative director of the ad agency where I worked posted a brief bio on the company website. In it, she mentioned that she lived in a prewar building on Grammercy Park. I thought it was revealingly arriviste to mention that in such a context.

    It’s Gramercy, but you’re right.
    Such details are for wedding announcements and obituaries only.

  56. @Dave Pinsen
    Severance and Van Alen were partners for a while.

    Yes. Made the rivalry even juicier.

  57. @Harry Baldwin
    The female creative director of the ad agency where I worked posted a brief bio on the company website. In it, she mentioned that she lived in a prewar building on Grammercy Park. I thought it was revealingly arriviste to mention that in such a context.

    It’s Gramercy, but you’re right.
    Such details are for wedding announcements and obituaries only.

  58. @Harry Baldwin
    The female creative director of the ad agency where I worked posted a brief bio on the company website. In it, she mentioned that she lived in a prewar building on Grammercy Park. I thought it was revealingly arriviste to mention that in such a context.

    That prewar apartment comment is part of the Received Toolkit, akin to Received Pronunciation.

    In other words, that is a refined type of Virtue Signaling for the Right People, whether aspirational or not.

    Elsewhere in New York, such as on Madison Avenue and in the media areas there is plenty of Vice Signaling.

  59. @The Alarmist
    I used to live in the mirror-image bubble on the other side of the park, 10021. I guess we had a little more diversity (Brazilians and other third-world elites who parked their money in that neighborhood, while the UWS was indeed much more liberal local). Friends would ask if I wanted to join them at XYZ, and too often my response was along the lines of, "That's below 72nd street, right?" I used to run around the CP Reservoir, and occasionally see Jackie O, among others. I would sometimes look at the wall on the western edge of CP and wonder if there was life beyond CPW (my Dentist was across the street from the Dakota, so I kind of treated CPW as the beginning of the event horizon). Funny thing, but a decade of living in 10021 conditioned me to expect ATMs with $1,000 as one of the withdrawal choices, and I get a bit of a laugh and am annoyed when confronted no choices above $200. I had a love-hate relationship with NYC, but would go back in a New York minute.

    “a decade of living in 10021 conditioned me to expect ATMs with $1,000 as one of the withdrawal choices”

    That was my main impression of visiting NYC in 2014: as if I was handing a $20 bill to somebody every $10 minutes the whole time I was there.

  60. @The Alarmist
    I used to live in the mirror-image bubble on the other side of the park, 10021. I guess we had a little more diversity (Brazilians and other third-world elites who parked their money in that neighborhood, while the UWS was indeed much more liberal local). Friends would ask if I wanted to join them at XYZ, and too often my response was along the lines of, "That's below 72nd street, right?" I used to run around the CP Reservoir, and occasionally see Jackie O, among others. I would sometimes look at the wall on the western edge of CP and wonder if there was life beyond CPW (my Dentist was across the street from the Dakota, so I kind of treated CPW as the beginning of the event horizon). Funny thing, but a decade of living in 10021 conditioned me to expect ATMs with $1,000 as one of the withdrawal choices, and I get a bit of a laugh and am annoyed when confronted no choices above $200. I had a love-hate relationship with NYC, but would go back in a New York minute.

    I dated a girl once who lived in the UES. She had a friend who lived in Harlem, and she’d tell her, “Call me when you’re in Manhattan”.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Love it!
  61. @Dave Pinsen
    I dated a girl once who lived in the UES. She had a friend who lived in Harlem, and she'd tell her, "Call me when you're in Manhattan".

    Love it!

  62. @e
    It's not called an "approach" on a par three nor on a drop + penalty on such a hole.

    I thought about that. What’s it called? Tee shot was the first. What’s a shot from 80 yards to a green called?

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