Young Join the Rich Fleeing America’s Big Cities for Suburbs

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Desiree Duff lost her bartending job in late March when the New York restaurant where she worked closed along with the rest of the city. Duff, 29, an aspiring actress, left her apartment in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood and moved back in with her parents in South Carolina. She’s using unemployment checks to pay her $1,200 monthly share for the now-empty apartment and said she may still return. But the ordeal has left her rethinking the city’s appeal. “Not knowing what my future there looks like does make me reconsider,” Duff said. “Maybe after my lease is done I should move elsewhere, to a smaller city that was less infected, as much as that breaks my heart.” As cities from New York to San Francisco have locked down in recent months to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, many residents have decided they’d rather wait out the pandemic elsewhere. While the wealthy have settled into their second homes in the Hamptons or Lake Tahoe, many young people are leaving expensive shoe-box apartments to shelter with their parents in the suburbs.