Monday, May 14, 2007

Ethnic cleansing

This is about Williamsburg, but you can substitute that Brooklyn neighborhood name with "Long Island City," "Sunnyside" or "Astoria" and tell an identical story:

The two sides of Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Wander away from the center of the hipster universe -- North 7th Street and Bedford Avenue -- and another Williamsburg is revealed, a Williamsburg that existed long before the first struggling artist arrived.

But the neighborhood known for its diversity in ethnic groups and economic strata is absorbing a steady stream of young, white, middle-class professionals as more and more luxury developments go up and long-time residents are squeezed out.

We had one site we hoped to acquire for senior housing that now has 80 luxury units going on it. We couldn't beat the developer's price. The number of people being displaced is pretty scary, and there's really no place for them to go."


Pretty ironic that a city that prides itself on its diversity is looking to get rid of anyone who isn't white or doesn't make 6 figures, isn't it?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

yep, similar to bloomberg's plans for willet's point. why should the mayor care about a few auto body shops and construction companies who'll lose their facilities and have to lay off their employees, when there are water view "luxury condos" to be had by hipster yuppies?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that you can say the people who will be inhabiting the super-rises around Bedford will be hipsters. Most of the hipsters I know aren't six-figure income folks.

Anonymous said...

Most hipsters seem to be yellow, not white.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to be live in the Balkan region etc. to witness ethnic cleansing. It is certainly going on ....and not quite so covertly....right here in NYC!

Hey.....I'm old enough to have seen "hipsters" move into some previous shit hole (if you will) neighborhoods before.

They may not be supreme 6 figure earners.....but those high rollers usually follow the!


SOHO was one of those shit hole areas in the late 1950s/early1960s, for example!

The real estate market is just like the antiques market. When all the good stuff is gone the crap commands high prices!

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about mass murder or gentrification? Last time I check, those were two largely different things.

Anonymous said...

The movement of people out of their neighborhood is ethnic cleansing (usually of people of color) or clearing....if you prefer!

That neighborhood has.....yes....been killed by invading hordes of yuppies.

Gentrification may not be out and out genocide....but it does murder the hopes of families who have been able to make a good life in their former homes!

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure that you can say the people who will be inhabiting the super-rises around Bedford will be hipsters. Most of the hipsters I know aren't six-figure income folks."

how much do you think a new condo in williamsburg goes for? you need a six figure income to support that mortgage & maint.