Artifact: Long Island Bohemia

Could it be that Long Island is not a place young people would choose to live? Such fears have prompted Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi to strategize on how to make his downtowns cool. Earlier this month, he hosted a conference on the subject; the agenda, slides, and excerpts from his cri de coeur, below.

Nassau County Executive Thomas R. SuozziPhoto: Richard B. Levine / Newscom

“Young people are moving to Manhattan. They’re moving to Brooklyn. Why aren’t they coming here? Because we’re not designed to be an environment for young people. People don’t want to move into a single-family home in a suburban neighborhood when they’re young and they’re single and living in their parents’ basement.”

“We love suburbia. That’s why we stay here. That’s why we fight for this place. We don’t want to become urban. We don’t want to become post-suburban. We want to be new suburbia. We want to take the great things that we love about suburbia and enhance it, and make it better.”

“If for any reason you think that you should be a cool downtown, we’ll be happy to put you on the list—the more cool downtowns the better. But not every community can be a cool downtown—if we created all cool downtowns throughout the county, we probably would be a sprawling, overdeveloped mess.”

Artifact: Long Island Bohemia