In memoriam: Watch this tribute to those we’ve lost in 2016

Even without the whole election thing, 2016 would have been a terrible year in America, what with the picking off of cultural icons like some kind of sick Hunger Games. And notwithstanding the human casualties of the year, there’s yet more eulogizing to be done, so we made this video in tribute.

We lost more than 30 venues, bars and beloved businesses in Brooklyn this year— to rent hikes, code violations, scummy landlords or heinous buyouts. Some went with a bang, others with a Facebook post; some simply closed under mysterious circumstances, leaving the rest of us to wonder what went wrong.

And a common thread runs through all these venue closures: it was gentrification, probably. The slow creep of affluence, helped along by money-hungry developers and an apathetic contingent of mostly white transplants, continues to make the neighborhood not only less affordable and diverse, but also significantly less weird.


2016, it's been real - NOT! via screenshot
2016, it’s been real – NOT! via screenshot

And while death by gentrifier-ing squad may seem par for the course of property ownership and small business in the borough, it shouldn’t be. So we’ve memorialized the venues that closed their doors this year in the video above (FWIW, this isn’t the first time Brokelyn has reflected somberly on venue closures at the end of the year, but we think you’ll agree it’s our finest obit to date.)

Shot and edited by Molly Gillis, the video features comedic stylings by NYC-based director Isaac Klein, and another unnamed Gentrifier #2 character who definitely didn’t write the script, or this post about it.

Enjoy, and may 2017 bring us more venues that are inevitably forced to close between 2 and 10 years from now.

After 25 years, Sam has not yet closed due to code violations. Twitter: @ahoysamantha

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