A couple of years ago I heard of a project that would displace a couple thousand people to make way for a grandiose stadium.
People were being kicked out of their homes, in order to make way for high rise apartments and a place that people could play basketball.
But our basketball team sucks and certainly didn’t need another stadium because they had Madison square garden.
The Atlantic yards project a Project that would build high rises around the surrounding Atlantic-Pacific Area also gave birth to The Barclay’s center, home of the Brooklyn Nets…. Our first major sports team since the Dodgers abandoned us and high tailed it over to LA in 1957. I bet this made us think for a second….Yes, Brooklyn as we thought is the best
And for now it still is, but while Brooklyn has become more famous over the years, we have lost something in exchange for this fame.
…a fighting chance…
When you think Brooklyn you think urban. Loud Italian people, fuhgeddaboudit, cheesecake,hip hop, block parties, biggie smalls, west Indian day parades, culture. That’s why people from different walks of life come HERE.
It used to be Manhattan too, until the city under Giuliani in the mid 90’s decided they want to “clean up”, and develop . Now it’s overly priced, vapid, and devoid of anything but douchey nightclubs and places to shop.
Now it’s Brooklyn’s turn to develop which I’m just thinking is code for trail of tearsing anyone who lives near or below the poverty line out of that said developing neighborhood (…you know….minus the small pox blankets).
but if you weren’t aware, almost everyone lives near or below the poverty line in NYC there is no middle class it’s ridiculous. Thats because the prices for everything is inflated, the taxes are horrific, and if you moved outside of New york city even somewhere upstate, you’d be in the middle class believe it or not.
I look at it like this, I’ve lived in my neighborhood all my life…which is a sweet ass 24 years. People have been getting shot in the park across the street, shot in general, mugged, selling drugs for almost TWO AND A HALF DECADES and you know what I’ve never seen? Police presence.
That’s how you know when gentrification is happening, when police are around even when they aren’t called, even when no crimes are being committed. But they’re not here for you…they’re here to make sure Jaquan doesn’t bother Kelly on her late night dog walk…don’t get it twisted.
You see, when the Barclays center first arrived I said to myself…This is dope. I get to ride the bus 15 minutes/train 5 minutes and see Beyonce in concert.
Then the MTV awards came to Brooklyn and I said to myself… we’re all fucked.
The VMA’s solidified once and for all that my neighborhood would be under going some drastic changes over the next few years… And then a phenomenon happened shortly after.
The eviction notices started to go out
Buildings began compiling list of people on rent control who were living possibly under another person’s lease. Threatening them with eviction if they:
Didn’t just simply move out or instead allow the complex to raise their rent to the prices that people not on rent control are paying.
This wasn’t a problem for these same people for at times 20+ years lived under another persons lease, but now that the property value in the area was steadily increasing…people started to see green.
Buildings began compiling lists of people on rent control in general and started making up bogus reasons to push them out.
Months of unpaid rent for example when the tenants had most definitely paid.
But the catch…in some cases these matters could be easily settled if the tenant allowed building owners to pay them a certain amount to simply just MOVE OUT.
Ladies and gentlemen…This is now Brooklyn this is now my home and corporate greed is spreading through this place like a fucking cancer and it makes me sick and livid and hungry…Yes, hungry.
Strange men coming to people’s door steps offering them money to buy out their homes that they’ve owned for decades and probably raised their families in. All for the purpose of turning the house, and jacking the price up so high that no one who lives in the neighborhood currently will be able to afford to live in it.
People who have only lived here for like 3 years max… non native to Brooklyn white people specifically, CONSTANTLY speak of how the neighborhood can use development.
no need to be crass but… who the hell asked you? You just got here! You probably moved out of Manhattan because it was too expensive! Shut the hell up stay in your lane or move back to Manhattan where it’s developed enough for you.
We don’t want gigantic unattractive buildings that don’t even match with anything else on the block, fucking up OUR skyline… We have a style in this borough…Fall in or fall the fuck back.
Oh and It’s FLATBUSH not PROSPECT LEFFERTS GARDENS
I don’t care what your realtor told you.
There’s a group of people I like to call “the others”and it’s not simply WHITE PEOPLE …. It’s White People who just moved here from somewhere else, most likely they weren’t even born in the tri-state area….some people call them hipsters… now most of them are, but some of them aren’t.
But the thing about them Is that most of them (not all) get priced out of their respective areas that they lived in prior to living here. Prime example: Williamsburg, where all the others flocked to initially until it was developed so much it became as vapid and cliche as Manhattan. High rises started to go up and people started to move out because they couldn’t afford to even shit there anymore, yet alone live…
So they Moved to Bushwick…Same thing Happened and it became apart of “East Williamsburg”
Then they Moved to BedStuy and its Happening there too
Then Crown Heights….The High Rises are beginning to go up
and Now Flatbush (not Prospect-Lefferts gardens), where there is a 22 story high-rise being constructed next to either a Keyfood/Associated? at the moment and 0% of it is affordable housing….so if you live in the neighborhood theres a good chance you cant even move in there.
Crown Heights/Flatbush is Home. Why? Because as a first generation Trinidadian-American its enshrouded in MY culture.
Caribbean culture. You walk down the streets of Flatbush/Crown Heights and you get all the foods, clothes, and music that you were raised on. You hear the accents that make you laugh and make your heart swell with pride…for your culture.
I don’t mind if the others move here… I think that’s cool.
Add a splash more diversity to our already diverse neighborhood…
I DO mind hearing little white girls telling their friends….”oh I live in Crown Heights, its a sketchy neighborhood”…. bitch shut up, you wouldn’t know sketch if it crawled up on you in broad daylight and beat you with a baseball bat.
You want sketch? Move to Brownsville.
Want sketch? Move to the Bronx.
But you wanted Sketch and Shine… Something to brag to your friends about. But somewhere that you felt confident that you wouldn’t get shot or mugged while jogging a few miles each day.
So you moved here… so fuck you, but I digress.
I REALLY MIND when they don’t respect the culture that’s been here longer than they have…
I don’t respect feeling as if their trying to push us out.
I don’t respect them acting as if we’re the stain…we’re the problem…Like Spike Lee said… WE BEEN HERE.
and he wasn’t ranting….he was telling the truth, the others are just too fucking self centered and sensitive to see that.
And this rate…where are we supposed to go, if we’re not here?
I felt compelled to have this guest post up. The author Kyle Elwin is a close friend of mine who I meet while attending the NYC performing arts high school Talent Unlimited. Kyle majored in Vocals and I majored in Musical Theater. Kyle has been experiencing first hand the gentrification in Brooklyn. I have been experiencing the same in Washington Heights and also wrote tow post on gentrification. https://quartervida.com/2013/06/06/im-not-racist-or-anything/
We understand that it is the cycle of the city, but the current “culture” is causing gentrification to occur at an all time high. It is a subject that we are both sensitive and passionate about.
( Kyle and I )
Need more Kyle in your life?