The Rich and The Bleak-Knightsbridge and Belgravia

The New York Times reported in an article on April 1 that tony London sections of Knightsbridge and Belgravia are emptying out not because they lack property owners but because they lack residents of those properties who use them more as hotels for their occasional stopovers than places to live. ?( ?I forwarded this article to a London friend who wrote back unsympathetically: “I never really liked Belgravia and Knightsbridge much – not very interesting areas with a feeling of transience and dirty money for many years now – but now they? are becoming quite barren.” ?There is, however, the unwanted knock-on effect of raising prices elsewhere, he noted. ?True, and is it ever a good thing to have empty buildings in the middle of town not to mention that other knock-on effect to the service industries that rely on these residents for their living? ?As the NYT article points out London is but one stop on the global trek of the super wealthy. ?Manhattan is another. ?It’s an interesting contradiction that the wealthiest may be turning parts of our greatest cities into bleak markers of their excess.

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