Public eye: Brett Thompson, 29

New York street interviews: Stories from the sidewalk as told by real New Yorkers about their lives in the city that never sleeps.

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Photograph: Alex Strada


E 13th St between Broadway and University Pl

What are you up to? I'm about to have lunch with my wife and my son, who's six. Just a regular Sunday.

You're young for a dad of six years. It's true, I know. I feel young. Though I'm turning 30 in a few weeks.

Are you going to celebrate in a big way? Probably not. I just came back from a big vacation, so I don't think I'm going to do anything crazy. We were in Puerto Rico visiting my wife's family.

Is she Nuyorican? Yeah. Well, no, actually. She's real-deal Puerto Rican; she came to New York ten years ago. Me, I'm from New York. Well, I mean, I've been in Manhattan for 12 years, but I was raised in Rockland County, 20 miles north. So it depends on who you talk to if I'm a real New Yorker.

I think 12 years here qualifies you. Plus, the pocket square. Do you get flak for wearing a pocket square on a regular Sunday? No, I don't. I travel around the city for my job, so I'm always looking at clothing stores and thrift shops for things.

You wear it with confidence. I only feel awkward if I'm not wearing anything that stands out.

Spoken like a true modern dandy. I guess so, yeah. It all started when I came to the city for college and was suddenly exposed to so much more than I had been before.

What do you do? I'm a real-estate broker.

Enjoying the bubble that never pops? Well, I have experienced some poppage.

From a consumer's perspective, there's not much apparent poppage. Well, there was a short period of time when no one could get loans. But things do still go for a lot of money per square foot. Like, places are selling in Bushwick for over $400 per foot for a condo. This is in a neighborhood that a decade ago some people wouldn't dream of even setting foot in.

So where's the frontier these days? That's one of them. I think it'll continue to develop along the L line, as far as the DeKalb stop. Prospect Heights has changed a lot. And Ditmas Park. As for Manhattan...well...everything is already there.

More from Brett

"I live on Roosevelt Island. You can't beat it for a young kid."

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