At its heart, I think Million Dollar View by Silver Krieger is a romance. Yes, it’s a romance between characters, but it’s also about a deeply-held love for a city. And in that respect, it’s also about loss.
The city is New York, and while much of the book takes place in the changing landscape of Brooklyn (Park Slope, to be exact), many of the feelings expressed about the gentrification taking place in the local neighborhood depicted, can be said about what has been taking place in the city for more than a decade. That, in fact, is something I witnessed first-hand as I trudged through Times Square to catch a train downtown during the last years of my New York work life.
The story follows Flynn, an out of work financial analyst who turns to real estate in hopes of regaining some financial stability, who is tasked with emptying out a Park Slope building so that his boss can redevelop the neighborhood. What Flynn doesn’t anticipate is the passion of the owners of a lesbian bar who create a safe-haven/community that they aren’t eager to see destroyed. And he definitely didn’t anticipate the painter, and self-identified rebel, Nicole, who lives above the bar and uses some of the last affordable space in NY for studio space. Flynn is basically a stand-up guy, and it’s not any wonder that his attempts at subterfuge in order to disguise his intent end up dramatically backfiring.
Krieger deftly covers many issues of the day while weaving in humor, and, yes, love into the mix. It’s a quick read full of insider detail, and I think if you’ve ever spent real time working or living in New York, or lived in any neighborhood that has undergone significant gentrification, you may find yourself relating to the book on an even deeper level.