Bed-Stuy blogger: Get over gentrification already

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Gentrified'd! Photo via NY Magazine.

Now here’s an interesting discussion going on over at My Bed-Stuy, where blogger Melissa Danielle is making the case that the urban boogeyman known as gentrification is actually helping the long-struggling neighborhood evolve and improve [via brownstoner]:

“The folks that are opening businesses like cafes, restaurants, wine shops, and bakeries, black and white owners, are vested. They could have opened anywhere else, but chose Bed-Stuy because they were tired of having to leave their neighborhood when they wanted a good cup of coffee, a good meal, or a good bottle of wine. They live in the neighborhood, hire locally, and participate socially, civically and politically.

And they need and deserve our support.”

She also says that raising rents are not the fault of new folks moving to the nabe: “if you’re going to be mad at anyone, be mad at the lenders charging ridiculous interest rates on mortgages, be mad at brokers looking for a higher commission, be mad at adults who’ve been handed down property and will sell to the highest bidder because they don’t want the responsibility and then take the money and move down South.” And her commenters weigh in with their own thoughts, of course.

What say you? Is gentrification friend or foe in the Stuy? Did this 2007 prediction come true?

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  1. Many people don’t like gentrification because, as the rents go up, it forces lower income people out, many of whom have been living there for years. It also doesn’t help that most of the people who are the cause of the gentrification tend to be non-native NYers, which means actual NYers are the ones being pushed out for cool new people trying to make it in NY.

  2. I’m with ixvnyc…either way, it’s a bit senseless to tell people just to ‘get over’ gentrification and deal with it. It’s not the nicer stores, cleaner streets, and increased safety they’re complaining about. Rather, it’s the original residents of these neighborhoods that are upset because they’re watching places they’ve come to know one way gradually turn into something dramatically different. You really can’t say that’s objectively bad, but at the same time, it’s not hard to understand why these people would rather things stay the same. 

    • So you think its OK if people are upset with “gentrification” because “original residents” of these neighborhoods are “upset because they’re watching places they’ve come to know one way gradually turn into something dramatically different…”

      So, you would apparently sympathize with those who were “upset” when Caribbeans started moving into areas of Brooklyn that were “originally” non-Caribbeans, and who saw their neighborhoods “gradually turn into something dramatically different.” ?

      The “original resident” meme cuts both ways.
      How about: Its a free country, and people can and will move where they want.

      So indeed, get over it.

  3. Gentrification is one two forces that act on a neighborhood – the other being disinvestment, which created the Bed-Stuy of the 70’s and 80’s. Speaking against gentrification necessarily means you are advocating disinvestment.

  4. Let’s also face the fact that many people moving into neighborhoods that are being gentrified, intend to move the second they are about to have children.. The people being pushed out include many people trying to raise families.

    I’m not anti-development, but i feel as though Bushwick, BedStuy and Williamsburg are being treated as playgrounds and improvement hobbies until people are serious about being adults, and ready to have children, then people are ready to move away.

    Someone of course will say “Well then why don’t original people living there uplift their own communities” and my answer to that is, How about you make a real investment in a community and actually live there longer than the 5 years it will be Chic to you.

    • I think about this all the time in Crown Heights because I know what the schools are like here (though admittedly I haven’t been to one since I thought power rangers were cool), and I imagine prospective parents taking one look and then hightailing it to Park Slope, or considering private school. 
      Perhaps the state of the neighborhood schools will change for the best however and that would be good for everyone. Still their have been many bad stories that have come out of them recently.  

  5. I am down for the change! But what I am not happy about is that it took the economic crisis for Caucasians to move into our neighborhood which is when cops actually started coming out and cracking down on the violences and crimes.

    Each block has a Block Association which meets all the time, and our main issues was trying to get the State to sponsor plant beautification of the blocks, another was that we would write up a petitions asking for the cops to help stop crime in our neighborhoods by identify the people and houses that was known for crime; things of that notion going on. We would bring the petition down to the station signed by lots of members of the block. AND THE COPS WOULD DO NOTHING. I remember that if you needed to called the cops they won’t show up until 45mins later.

    This has always been a beautiful neighborhood, the only set back was the rotten apples that was running the streets that the cops cared not to stop. Thats only thing I am very sad about.

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