In New York City right now, the rent is too damn high, especially in Brooklyn. But what about in Kings County in 1940? An incredible map from the Brooklyn Historical Society offers some perspective. Drawn from census data for average monthly rent, most of the borough's housing ranged from $20 to $49 per month (where the blocks are orange, green and light blue). Where was living the most expensive? Look for the darker colors. Around the waterfront between the Navy Yard and Fulton Terminal, and then, surprisingly (!), in Bay Ridge. It cost more to reside around Prospect Park, which makes sensebut there are also parts of southern Brooklyn, as well as swaths of Coney Island, where rents were an extremely pricey $50-$100 back then, but aren't nearly so prized today. One hundred dollars in 1940, by the by, comes out to $1,677.22 today.
The print is on display as part of an exhibition called Mapping Brooklyn, on view till May 3 at BRIC House. Go ahead, get lost in the halcyon days when rents didn't even come close to the thousand-dollar mark.
Click on the map to see it much larger, and in a new window: