Trend Watch! ____ Is The New Bank Branch!

With JP Morgan Chase's announcement that it will shutter dozens of Washington Mutual bank branches around the city, we mourn the passing of a perennial trend piece: the story about all those bank branches around the city. (The Observer wasn't immune.)

The bank-branch-explosion trend piece was as reliable as a Yankees post-season the last few years, and that's stopped, too. Why was the piece a perennial? Well, because the explosion was real.

But, more importantly, because it encapsulated so well two realities about New York since 2001.

First, the cost of real estate has gone way up. Apartment rents, office rents, retail rents, building prices--all increased significantly over the past seven years, and ordinary New Yorkers felt it every day.  read more »

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