An upcoming guided tour of Ridgewood‘s new bars and restaurants is raising eyebrows among members of a local tenants organization.
Brooklyn Based, a culture and events blog for Brooklyn residents, is making its way into Ridgewood for the first time this June as they bring their “Immersion Tour” series over the Bushwick border into Queens. Partnering with Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Based is hosting their Total Ridgewood Immersion tour as part of their Immersion Tour series which, for the last seven years, has brought people to explore new neighborhoods and visit some of the area’s bars and restaurants.
While some see the tour as a great way to get people spending money at local Ridgewood establishments, others like the Ridgewood Tenants Union feel the Immersion tour is adding to the ongoing gentrification of the neighborhood and the displacement of long-term residents and business owners.
The Ridgewood Tenants Union — which has been fighting the displacement of Ridgewood residents and the increase of high-rise buildings in the neighborhood — has dubbed the walking tour “The Total Ridgewood Gentrification Tour,” and has a meeting scheduled for the same time as the tour (Saturday, June 3, from noon to 6 p.m.) to campaign against the 17-story “Ridgewood Tower.”
“As a long-time resident of Ridgewood and as someone who sees every day the negative impact that gentrification has on the people of our neighborhood, I find it deplorable that Brooklyn Based and Ridgewood Social have organized this tour,” said Raquel Namuche of the Ridgewood Tenants Union. “This event directly connects to the efforts of real estate companies who are helping to displace families due to the influx of new young residents craving the Brooklyn they may have left behind but within our ‘sleepy, family-oriented’ neighborhood. Just like the real estate companies, Brooklyn Based and Ridgewood Social only care to serve their self-interests. The fact that Ridgewood Social is spinning this event as if it was originally organized with the goal of supporting small and immigrant owned businesses is pathetic — we know this is only a ploy to further their brand and make our neighborhood marketable for their target audience.”
Although Ridgewood Social wrote about the Immersion tour, they had no hand in organizing it, Davis said. Brooklyn Based and Brooklyn Brewery are the only organizers for the event.
Okay, Ridgewood Social not only wrote about the tour, but they have a huge ad for it on their page. The person behind Ridgewood Social was appointed to Queens Community Board 5 by Liz Crowley, which kind of tells you the direction that the Queens Machine wants to see Ridgewood go in.
We also know what wonders Brooklyn Brewery has brought to Williamsburg.