Brooklyn, home in 1950 to 2,738,175 souls and only 2,300,664 by 1990, just after we landed on her shores, has been, a la Star Trek II/III, terraformed with the rush of new peoples and activities and uses mostly blotting out, consuming and transforming or replacing what came before.
There is a lot of handwringing about whether this process is/was bad or whether it is/was necessary.
What is rarely addressed is that it was inevitable from a combination of factors including the death of American Industry freeing up wide swaths of industrial land to new uses, the final cratering and resurgence of neighborhoods due to white flight and urban abandonement to the suburbs in generalb, the wholesale abandonment of neighborhoods like Bushwick after the blackout, a complete abandonment of the educational system, rezoning for higher density and the defibrilative shock to the system that was the removal of lead from paint and gasoline in starting roughly in the mid1970's.
Brooklyn would be the first NYC Boro to break free of the Self-imposed "lead coma"(http://www.ethyl.environmentalhistory.org/?page_id=27):
Meanwhile, automakers equipped new cars with pollution-reducing catalytic converters designed to run only on unleaded fuel starting in 1975 and 1976, and new unleaded gasoline pumps began appearing at filling stations nationwide. At that time, the average blood lead level in children under age 6 was 16.5 μg/dL. By 1985, 40% of all gasoline sold was still leaded, but in July of that year, the refinery pool standard of 1.1 grams per gallon dropped to 0.5, then dropped further to 0.1 grams per gallon on January 1, 1986. Over all, the 1986 standard represented a drop of more than 98% in the lead content of U.S. gasoline from 1970 to 1986.
With the phase-out of leaded gasoline, the average blood lead level had dropped by 1996 to 3.6 μg/dL, and it continues to decline. Similar declines in blood lead levels corresponding to leaded gasoline phase-outs have been observed in many other nations.102 Lingering public health threats to children from leaded gasoline are still associated with residual lead in urban soils.103
Lead content in gasoline peaked in 1973 at an average of 2.2 grams per gallon, which amounted to about 200,000 tons of lead used per year in the United States. In 1995 leaded fuel accounted for only 0.6% of total gasoline sales and less than 2,000 tons of lead per year. Effective January 1, 1996, the Clean Air Act banned the sale of the small amount of leaded fuel that was still available in some parts of the country for use in onroad vehicles. (Fuel containing lead was still permitted for some off-road uses, including aircraft, racing cars, farm equipment, and marine engines)..
Quite simply, people in NYC before 1980 were essential handicapped or addled by the presence of lead in both gasoline and paint. That it took a few decades (1976-2006) for Brooklyn to wake from her slumber induced in search of profits for the oil industry is of no moment. Brooklyn awoke and immediately began gasping for air and remaking herself, often with the sweat of the brow of those not quite so addled from the fly-over states.
Brooklyn became a magnet such that this country had never seen in terms of attracting youth dissatisfied with their lots elsewhere.
Locals can argue about it all they want as they sell their family homes and relocate to lesser areas on those checks. No one blames them for cashing out and/or running away.
What they lose the right to do is to complain about those who stayed or those who build where they watched the collapse.