I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
“Bushwick, Brooklyn is Dead,” are the words I read from a New York Times article that someone was reading on the train. It was under the real estate section. I later searched for it online to find the title of the article is New York’s Next Hot Neighborhoods, and it was talking about how it’s dead because buyers and developers now have to search for other places to do their business. It tears my heart, but it also makes me so wrought up and annoyed to read these words and also know it’s becoming a reality.
Here’s the article I’m talking about:
My home, my neighborhood, is more— or at least it was more than just another hot neighborhood. There was such a prominent culture that was always seen. Puerto Rican flags hanging from the light posts, people sitting on the stoops and talking to their neighbors, not just the ones that live in their building, but the ones that live a couple buildings away, kids playing in the streets, the fire hydrant’s water on during the most humid days of the summer, the urban popular music blasting during the day, block parties, and my fellow people screaming “Boricua!” waving their flags, and blowing horns during the Puerto Rican Day parade. There was a spirit to Bushwick that you just can’t compare to now because of gentrification.
Sure, there’s more modern buildings that I myself would love to live in, and in general, the neighborhood looks pretty but the search for the next hot neighborhood displaces low income families, businesses, and more importantly, the culture that made the neighborhood flourish. It replaces them with people that are not as neighborly, that are mostly white, so the diversity is decreasing, and with people that always move out within a month meanwhile that same apartment was the stable home of a family. Then, the families that are bought out, move to neighborhoods where nobody cares enough about it to improve it. Example: these are the neighborhoods where the apartments are crappier, in some case it’s more dangerous, and for snow days, these are the last neighborhoods that get cleaned up.
So, I don’t find Bushwick dead because it’s tougher for buyers and developers to do their business, but because the culture is fading away due to gentrification.
The way that I and several others see it, buyers want to kick us out, and fix up the neighborhood for other people (who are mostly white) so that they can profit. However, I don’t blame newcomers 100%. They need a roof over their heads just like everyone else. I also don’t blame the buyers and developers 100%. They are just doing their job. But they all need to recognize the damage that they’re doing to the people who have lived in Bushwick for years. There needs to be a solution so that there’s a win win for everyone.