From The New York Shitty Inbox: Gentrification?!?


Interesting things happen when I stay up late. Mind you, they are not usually good things. But this case may very well be an exception: in the wee hours of the morning today the following found its way into my inbox.

Anni Atkinson of (Yes kids, that’s Australia) writes:

have you ever heard of GENTRIFICATION?

well, not many people have which is surprising as it effects us all.

so, I am attempting to do something about this! well, me and the team at Earthsharing Australia! I work with a not-for-profit called Earthsharing that offers free education services on economics and we focus on economic justice for all.

Currently we are working on an international film competition with the theme of ‘Gentrification’ which looks at issues of gentrification and how such cycles effect creative communities and artists in our cities. First Prize is $3000, with runner up prizes from Madman and Crumpler.

your blog is rad and we would be honored if you could throw a little love our way and mention the film competition to your readers!

Please contact me for more details including a press release or an e-flyer.

In the mean time, check out our website for more details!

The first line of this email made me erupt into fits of uncontrollable (and demented) laughter. Have I heard of gentrification? Feeling more than a little raffish, I wrote back:

You are asking  ME, a resident of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, USA (which is located pretty much halfway around the globe from you), to inform my readership about film competition about  GENTRIFICATION?!? Greenpoint: a neighborhood where a “luxury” condos proliferate in the shadow of the east coast’s largest WASTE TREATMENT PLANT? Where environmental issues the likes of which you cannot begin to comprehend remain unabated. And yet artists are being pushed out because there are people willing to dole out $2,000+ USD rent for a one bedroom/studio for this?

Give me the fuggin’ flier, your creds and press release— STAT.

Well, she did.


I’ve done some poking around and this contest is 100% legit. Let’s show our friends down under how our fair city treats the creative community and everyone else who cannot a condo or $2,000 a month rent? You can get the 411 on how to enter this contest by checking out Earthsharing’s web site or by emailing them at: timmah (at) earthsharing (dot) org (dot) au

NOTE: they are currently requiring that entries be mails. I have suggested they accept submissions via YouTube as mailing matter overseas can be both costly and dicey. They are looking into it.

Otherwise, you can play the Gentrification Game by clicking here. Simply put you are a landlord/speculator and your goal is to kick out tenants. Play it. It’s a fucking HOOT!

Miss Heather

P.S.: Earthsharing also has a number of interesting videos on YouTube. Check ’em out. You’ll find the tales contained therein eerily familiar.


4 Comments on From The New York Shitty Inbox: Gentrification?!?

  1. d on Tue, 8th Sep 2009 9:55 pm
  2. Google Video allows longer clips, I generally prefer them to YouTube.

  3. OldStyleNo10 on Wed, 9th Sep 2009 1:27 pm
  4. ” yet artists are being pushed out because there are people willing to dole out $2,000+ USD rent for a one bedroom/studio for this?”

    How about us poor non-artist schlubs who made this a neighborhood the “artists” felt comfortable in? Who pushed us out? Or don’t we count since when the neighborhood was ours it was so hard to find artisanal cheese? Come on, Miss Heather, broaden your horizons a bit.

  5. missheather on Wed, 9th Sep 2009 4:04 pm
  6. OlsStyleNo10: With all due respect I think you are reading something in this post that simply is not there (or was not intended). Having lived here for 10 years I have witnessed firsthand a number of “non-artist schlubs” as you call them being pushed out of their homes, be it through draconian rent increases, landlord harassment and/or neglect, etc. Most of the previous are senior citizens or working class families who (as you have noted) were the first to provide any semblance of stability to this community. Many have been rewarded for their hard work by being kicked onto the street and being forced to patronize soup kitchens because they can no longer afford to eat and pay rent. Not only does this break my heart, it makes me very, VERY angry: they deserve better.

    That said, I am of the understanding that this film festival is interested in the “second wave” of gentrification, e.g.; when artists are being displaced in lieu of more affluent residents— but you bring up a very good point: why not create/submit a short film that documents the process of gentrification from “A to Z”? As I said before, it was not my intent to “short shrift” anyone. I hope this reply has made it clear that we are, in fact, more in agreement than you initially thought.

  7. OldStyleNo10 on Wed, 9th Sep 2009 4:20 pm
  8. Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Miss Heather. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now, and please be assured that I do understand your sympathy with, and anger for, our displaced neighbors.

    My annoyance, if that is the word, stems I think from the propensity of “artists” to view themselves as victims of gentrification, rather than its first wave. Greenpoint was lost to the working class a long time before the Viridian.

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