Tag Archives: gentrification

Crown Heights: It’s Complicated

Sometimes I just can’t, like the dogs in this silly but addictive photo spread. Like, right now, I just can’t deal with the competing parts of my self-interest and identity that are witnessing the transformation of Crown Heights.

Cause it’s all about the money, right?

I hear the Wall Street Journal just did a spread on this Brooklyn neighborhood, the one in which I live. Okay, I Googled it, and it’s not behind a paywall which means goodbye to the days of underpriced apartments and hello, juice bar.

Now, I happen to like juice bars, and when I saw one had moved onto Franklin on the OTHER side of Eastern Parkway, I was like “hmmm.” An even-before-the-WSJ “hmmmm.”

I could go on. But here’s a TEDxBrooklyn talk I gave a year ago on gentrification in Crown Heights. I fear a loss of the warmth and civility of everyday neighborly discourse. There are some places in New York that are corridors, and others that are neighborhoods. I lived, in two different apartments years apart, in the North-west part of the East Village in Manhattan. When I first moved there, it was a neighborhood. When I moved again, it was a corridor. The Second Avenue Deli had turned into a bank. In fact, the neighborhood had turned into a bunch of banks, where people could withdraw money to go to the bars and restaurants which seem to have replaced the old neighborhood shops that served working folks and families.

Anyway, here’s the TedxBrooklyn bit, “The Power of Hello.” Do you live in Crown Heights? Or do you just like being neighborly? Either way, or all ways, weigh in.