Greenpoint Video Du Jour: When Gentrification Collides With Reality
Newly empowered with some semblance of Internet access I finally started going through my email in earnest. What’s more, I have actually started replying to some of them! John Doe wrote:
…Of course there’s been wealth and poverty living side-by-side in this town forever, and in the best-case scenario a little general impoverishment might make us all more sensitive to each other’s condition. That won’t happen too soon, I fear. We’ve been living off Wall Street money too long. If things go on as they are, people are going to get really testy.
Here’s my reply:
This is already happening up here, kiddo. What we’re seeing/going to see is the result of what happens when a society becomes too reliant on “easy” money. And a government who holds anyone who(se parents) cannot afford the down payment on a $600,000+ condo in contempt. There are a hell of a lot more of us than there are of them. As they are learning.
But lest this lesson, that being what happens when people are disenfranchised, pissed off and poor— and forced to live elbow to elbow with the affluent has not been learned— or at least acknowledged— by the powers that be, I’d like to offer the following for their edification.
It hails from Greenpoint and involves a 24 hour grocery store, a hipster chick, a couple of drunks, a bartender and me. What lead up to the melee you see above were the two couple of drunk dudes. One had stolen a couple of beers previously and was asked to leave. He didn’t. The hipster chick trying to buy cigarettes at the counter told him to chill. When he didn’t respond she asked him to remove his earbuds. He removed them— but did not “chill” in the least. He got belligerent, they called the police and she got the hell out of Dodge.
For the record I want to make it known this man was not beaten. This dude was totally batshit. It took several men yelling, screaming, waving a baseball bat in one case— a one by two in another— to chase him out of the store. He bolted and as he left a couple came in. One was a bartender for the Mark Bar. Apparently she had dealt with this gent before.
He’s big trouble.
Call the police.
Which they already had done. And the police eventually did show up.