Read or re-read Marvin Taylor's essay in The Downtown Book "The Downtown Scene and Cultural Production"...for the socio-economic realities behind the art explosion of the 80s.
There's a reason the "Downtown Collection" at NYU spans 1974-1995. When the loft laws died, when the real estate was given carte-blanche, and landlords could charge whatever they want and the economic underpinnings for young (and old) poor artists disappeared.
How could we have come to New York in the 1970s, or 80s, gotten A Room Of Our Own, worked a few hours a week and spent the rest of the time writing, painting, etc ---
without cheap rent?
As poor people we had something to prove.
Rich people have only their couture to 'prove'
Paris (FRANCE) though very expensive still has reasonable laws concerning how much a landlord can charge. Most cities do. So working class people and artists can inhabit the city and enrich it thereby. So much the worse for NYC.
AREA was genius and perfection and fuelled by a staff of creative people who didn't need to be paid a thousand dollars for a night of artistic endeavour. In order to buy groceries and pay rent. You could actually work for free, or a pittance, and get alot more out of it than money.
Well I've written some version of this at least a hundred times on these Boards so I'll shut up now.