It all began with a Hasidic.
This isn’t to say that I mind those of the Jewish faith or culture, no matter how fundamentalist. In fact, I find them rather charming. Walking through Williamsburg often feels like a random visit to an indiscriminant European town in northeast Europe rather than northeast Brooklyn. One gets the feeling that the political perspectives, languages, and decorum are so far removed and perceptively advanced from Americans, one simply capitulates himself to a egregious spectator, shamelessly staring at outfits so like the normative Madison Avenue attire, but then again, so unlike anything one has ever seen. The Slavic hats with no dearth of fur on austere men with a general pomp about their gait as they assess local real estate—this is something one must come to New York City to see. Further, if we were considering the incidence of this within the last five years, a likely area to witness it would be in Bed-Stuy.
Located conveniently between Fort Greene and Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy has such an appeal to those interested in purchasing real estate the area that it has even resulted in some changes in Bushwick and an amendment to what a large percentage of Bed-Stuy is now known as—Clinton Hill—in order to assuage some lingering assumptions about the area. It’s only logical. In an area begging to introduce new profitable business around bustling and hipster-ripe Pratt Institute as well as beautiful and charming Fort Green Park, it would be an opportunity foolish to shirk upon. And thus, our wise and business savvy local Hasidism took a look, liked what they saw, and began business.
Like all businesses a new catch phrase had to be used, found, leaked, embraced, and it was. That word is gentrification—words like gesticulation, fornication, all manner of excitable and extravagant activity comes to mind—has been hitherto such a dirty word. An impossible mix of sweet, salty, and sour, gentrification is the shadow cast by newly renovated brownstones, media centers, and restaurants. But how could it be so wrong?
The style, panache, drugs, bars, and cleanliness only improve in tandem with such urban development. Streets are repaved, signs are reposted, the train lines improved, the restaurants suddenly important and the cool quotient goes up, way up. Call them trend setters, call them hipsters, models, visionaries, illustrious, good looking, too good looking or just the new wave of gentrification.
Dr. Lance Freeman in his book There Goes The Hood: Views on Gentrification from the Ground Up conducted various statistical analyses in order to determine the extent of which gentrification were a natural occurrence, and the degree by which it is contrived. Contrived? Isn’t that an oxymoron?
Exploring and analyzing trends in Harlem, developments were unveiled akin to those by the Nazi regime in the 1930s. Through systematic exclusionary tactics, certain demographics are forced to concentrate themselves in areas that are thus neglected by the city. Ghettoes they call them, the antithesis of gentrification, except when they suddenly aren’t. Untouched, unloved and not one hipster in sight save for some weird artist. Forever abandoned or so you thought you fool…Let’s take a history lesson together…
1970- Soho? Are you crazy? 1989- Upper West Side Columbus Avenue– pram city these days, but before that it used to be called Needle Park. 1995- Alphabet City, are you a crack head? 1997- Meat packing district– shit the only blood on the streets is the veal capriccio they now serve you- 1998- Tribeca, off into the strato sphere, never mind the drag queens, JFK JUNIOR just moved in. Okay slight dip after 9/11 but my gosh it really rebounded a year and a half later…
Anyone notice the shorter years that it took to move from slum, ghetto to object of desire? Of course you did, you’re the one paying through the nose…
Contrived by necessitation, organic by proxy… and resuscitated by greed. Now let’s get back to the Hasidic, let’s follow his line of thinking, forget his looks, it’s religion sure, but it’s also an act, just follow the money…you always follow the money.
fto Lately I was lacking in $$ and debts were killing me from all angles! that was UNTIL I learned to earn money on the internet! I went to surveymoneymaker d.o.t net, and started filling in surveys for straight cash, and really i have been really more able to pay my bills!! I’m so glad that I did this!!! With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. – qvAn
How, pray tell, was this at all anti-Semitic? Politically provocative? Yes. Degrading? No. When should truth ever take the backseat to political correctness? Also Bed Stuy has not been gentrified holmes. Take a nice little walk down Ralph ave. Clearly you must be talking about those blocks bordering Clinton hill, I know it can be confusing. All that shimmery hipster pleather does disrupt sense of direction.
I am so sorry to have offended you, my dear readers, but apparently such sensitive subjects require much more than a cursory review.
Bed Stuy is not already gentrified, it’s about a quarter of the way there. And, this is largely due to the perspectives of this society, not of due to the Jewish community. Actually, I made that rather clear. On the other hand, they do in fact support local businesses because that raises land value. And really, there is nothing wrong with that.
You can walk around with your eyes closed and verbally accost a writer you’ve never met all you like… and please, base it on completely unfounded arguments, because otherwise, it might compromise my credibility.
But do realize that there are not very many so foolish as to deny that these facts are true… especially when there’s a sign on the Williamsburg Bridge heading toward Manhattan that reads:
“Now leaving Brooklyn — Oy Vey!”
It is anti-semitic, really? I mean, quite possibly, the author might be but the article is so meandering, stuttered and pointless that I could barely discern a coherent thought, much less a bias.
If you take his assumption, ridiculous that it is, that Hasidim are somehow responsible for ghetto-fication then, that would be anti-semitic. But, obviously Robert Moses was no Jew.
If you take his assumption that Hasidim support local business, education, and pretty Pratt students. Well, it is equally ridiculous but not anti-semitic.
If you take his convoluted argument that Jews are somehow planning whole neighborhood transformation, then, I guess the general tone of “plotting Jew” is anti-Semitic and I vote we beat this gentleman to death with his over-used thesaurus.
But, really,why not let him drive himself crazy in his paranoia and those writing classes he takes that are advertised in boxes next to the Village Voice.
P.S. Desmond – BedSty been gentrified, holmes. And, if you look at the voting records of the zoning board of the city council, you’ll see a whole lot of dark-skinned folks who were responsible for it. Study your math, you shmeil.
I’m really surprised and disappointed at how anti semitic the tone of this is. WTF? REALLY? I can only assume this was done in some mad bid to stir up controversy but OMG. I usually really enjoy reading the articles on this site, especially Christopher’s humourous take on society. The sheer backwardness and ignorance shown by this writer makes me want to throw up. Then never visit this site again.
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