Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things White People Like: Gentrification

Long story short: Prince of Petworth posted something from DC resident "BJ" discussing the effects of gentrification. I gotta say I agree with quite a bit of what he said, and knowing how his readers would flip their shits, PoP deserves a lot of credit for posting it.

When the comments start to get particularly stupid and racist (read through them if you must, but it raised my blood pressure to unhealthy levels), this comment from anan saved by day:
I’m gonna go ahead and back slowly away from this thread now. You people are in hysterics and really just proving BJs point. Stuff white people like. Gentrification. Stuff white people don’t like. Being told that there are some unintended negative effects of said gentrification.
Disclosure: I live in Petworth, and have good relationships with my neighbors.

If you're nice and treat people with respect (and don't have some deep seated fear of black people that you unleash anonymously in PoP comment threads), then you'll probably do just fine.


  1. Man, I wish I had a stoop. There are domino games in the park across the street, but that isn't quite the same thing.

    One thing BJ didn't touch on - which might be more of an NY problem than a DC one, since the population density is way higher – is patronization of local businesses. I've seen a few too many people around my neighborhood with whole foods bags over the past couple of months. Nothing wrong with going outside the neighborhood for something you need, but I'm skeptical that there's really all that much that can't be gotten locally. I mean, we literally have a (super cheap) 24-hour fruit and vegetable store.

    In general, though, I feel like my neighborhood is at the perfect balance of gentrification right now – we've got a coffee shop and a couple of bars alongside a beer warehouse, several caribbean roti places and a hilarious number of hair salons. I would really hate to see the older, more caribbean-oriented businesses get pushed out in a process that just results in another park slope.

    Actually, that raises another interesting point: gentrification means really different things depending on the city. From what I can tell, Los Angeles gentrification is like 1/10 the speed of NY gentrification, which is like 1/2 the speed of DC gentrification. In NY, larger-scale, higher-class residential buildings tend to get built first, which then force businesses out of existing storefronts through higher neighborhood rents; in DC, wholly new shopping centers (no doubt dominated by stores like best buy and target - I just loved that comment!) get built, which themselves inevitably change the neighborhood demographics.

    Anyway, couldn't agree more with your bottom line: don't be an asshole and it will probably be fine. Also, god, fuck anyone who calls the police to make noise complaint.

  2. the useful advises u provided do help the investigation for our group, thanks.

    - Lucas