Notes 6.5.17: Escape From Hipsterville (AKA Gentrificationopolis)


Ah, Brooklyn….

The love affair once burned bright, but alas, died a gradual and disappointing death. Such promise you once held with your brownstones, coffee houses, unique shops and general sense of excitement and promise, yearning to be fulfilled.

But then money ruined you. You were corrupted by a mix of greedy landlords, real estate agents and the gentrifier class. The artists that were the initial spark behind the revitalization of neighborhoods long neglected by city agencies, started to be replaced by a seemingly endless stream of non-New Yorkers from other states, with a seemingly endless supply of money. They come in droves and destroy the very things that attracted them. Brooklyn, "oversaturation" be thy middle name! Oh, their politics may seem progressive, but they don’t mix with the population that they are replacing, and the “play dates” they arrange for their kids, don’t include kids from that population either (the same population that had been there for decades, the same population whose skin color yielded decades of willful neglect by officials and investors).

And as disturbing as it was to watch those changes in you Brooklyn, there was more.  The constant and intrusive noise seemed to become worse. The dramatic increase in construction, ever present and never ending, was only half of that auditory assault. The urban blight, which honestly on some level once seemed charming, seemed to just become depressing. And the people…so many more people than there had been before. Most of all it was the space, or lack thereof, in the apartment you provided for us, Brooklyn. Too small, for too much money. Something close to robbery, in fact.  Rent raised yearly, with no regard to the cost of living whatsoever, for the same shitty space. Everything else, for even more money! Renting in NYC, is the new serfdom.

So you see Brooklyn, it is you, but it is also me. We’ve both changed. I want more than you can provide me. Our new home will provide me with an actual dedicated workspace!  I will still visit you of course, but nothing committed. It’s time to move on.