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Reader Rant: 'Ruthlessly Priced Out of FiDi'

For as long as we can remember, Curbed commenter and angry e-mailer Brian Van has been the defender (and occasional critic) of all things Financial District. In fact, he may be the only person who regularly uses the neighborhood name NoBatt. Could those days be coming to an end, due to the hot downtown residential market? Brace:

Since everyone knows of my love/hate affair with NoBatt, I thought you should know:

My lease is up on 12/31/07, and my renewal letter came in. They want $2900 next year for a 550-sq-ft (convertible) one bedroom neighboring the former Deutche Bank tower! I literally screamed "WHAT?" when I read it. We started at $2350 in 2005 and now we live in toxic construction hell. Our rent went up over 20% in the last 2 years alone, which is the signature move from the Stuy Town playbook. There are no regulated apartments in the building, and all leases are 1-yr, so they're just gouging people.

I'm so 'effin outta here. I am not decamping to BPC proper, that's sort of like moving to Jersey City. Nor will I stay in the Battery Tunnel DMZ, it's like Iraq down there. I have 3 1/2 months to find what I'm looking for, which I'm not even sure of yet. Scary! Rental! Market! I'm wondering if it'll crash before December. I could try my luck by getting a 6-month sublet and seeing if next summer brings a softened market. Meanwhile, my Park Slope friends are calling, my Hipster Brooklyn friends are chirping about Greenpoint and Bushwick (though I commute to a job where I can't be regularly late, so that seems like Bad Idea Jeans), and my far UWS friends are singing to me about cheap rents up at 96th Street and beyond. Someone mentioned it's only a 20 minute ride from 145th Street to Delancey. Closer to the action, a friend in the West Village (on Abingdon Square) has a cozy 2br 4th floor walkup for $2200 coming on the market soon.

I may even be able to afford to... LIVE ALONE! Feel the excitement!

Time to go out and get a 6-foot tall map of the boroughs, along with a box of pushpins.

Did Brian Van help contribute to his own demise via nonstop neighborhood pimping? After all, it's like Tribeca down there!
· Props for FiDi on Sept. 11 [Curbed]