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    These Images Show the Harsh Reality of NYC's Income Inequality

    Written by

    Tatiana Baez

    Wealth distribution throughout Manhattan

    These images could have changed the sound of the viral tune of New York. You know, the one playing in every Forever 21 in which Alicia Keys croons about New York being a "concrete jungle where dreams are made of" and where "there's nothing you can't do." No offense to Alicia, but there are some things you can't do, especially if you don't have the funds.

    Income inequality is a very real problem here in New York. New York State had a greater level of income inequality than any other state, while New York City had a higher level than any other metropolitan area in the country, according to a 2011 Census report.

    Nickolay Lamm, the blogger from MyDeals.com who created these awesome wi-fi illustrations in a similar project, wanted to show the crushing realities of income inequality in a way people couldn't ignore. Lamm began the project after gazing at the skyline atop Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh.

    "I thought to myself, 'what if you could actually see inequality,'" Lamm told me. "I chose to do Manhattan instead of Pittsburg because I know that, for many people, moving to New York City is the start of their journey to achieve the American Dream." But the American Dream is a dream for a reason, and there are plenty of hopefuls who never make it a reality because of the widen income gap.

    To generate the images, Lamm used a map of net worth in different sections of the city and created bars that corresponded with the amounts. For example, if one section had a net worth of $500,000, the height of the bar would be 5 cm. The map’s data shows the 2012 median household net worth in the United States (if you type in New York City, you’ll see the specific map Lamm used).

    Central Park

    Wealth distribution surrounding Central Park
    Wealth distribution of Harlem

    Lower Manhattan

    Wealth distribution of Lower Manhattan

    Upper West Side

    Wealth distribution of the Upper West Side

    Kind of scary, isn't it? Here are all of Lamm's photos.