Tagged: strollers

Gentrifixation

In light of the kerfuffle over the Cereal Killer Cafe:

People move around. Sometimes other people don’t like it. It’s not that complicated.

Complaints about gentrification and gentrifiers are not new. Trendy hipsteria is predictable and stale (like the air inside Farrell’s).

I have more problems with strollers than skateboarders.

Free popcorn is better than free wifi.

I think the rule of thumb in the Slope is that if you’re not pushing a Maclaren Techno XT or if you don’t have a pacifier in your mouth, you’re persona non grata.

The Pavilion and Farrell’s are bookend institutions in terms of quality of service and experience.

I leave Park Slope occasionally to see how regular folks live. I always regret it.

LA is great, especially the Valley. Everyone is beautiful and there are few strollers.

Veselka and  Joe (the art of coffee) should open an outpost in Park Slope.

Upscale Hooters: silicon and gluten free.

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I have no doubt that gentrification is not a pleasant process for people who suffer from rising property taxes and obnoxious new neighbors. Usually, these negatives are only slightly mitigated by things like an increase of services (including police service) and amenities (including restaurants) that would not otherwise have flowed into the area.

Let’s say that one finds that the negatives outweigh the mitigating factors and gentrification should be fought against. One could b*tch and moan hipsterically about rude bicyclists and skinny neighbors who play The Sounds at high volume. Or one could face that fact that as long as our economic system allows residential areas to be spaces from which wealth is extracted, there will be gentrification and displacement. If one takes the second point of view, one might seek to join a local community organization to help local residents who face displacement and other forms of alienation to claim their “rights” to residential space. This latter course of action, while not the only one possible, is at least rational.

As for myself, I’ve moved around quite a lot and I am undisturbed by experiencing new things and new people. I suspect part of the heightened emotional cathexis towards gentrification/gentrifiers is an age old antipathy for “outsiders” and “newcomers.” When all else fails, it is easy to simply plant one’s flag and say “get off my turf.” Unfortunately, the myth of ownership over one’s infantile home is shattered by the reality principle. Are all gentrifiers obnoxious and pretentious? No. Are all “original residents” (whatever that might mean in Brooklyn) nice people? No. It seems to me that rather than point fingers at individuals, it would be more profitable (but apparently less psychically satisfying) to amend the institutional patterns that exacerbate the worst aspects of gentrification.

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