I am getting sick and bloody tired of this “I’m a real New Yorker and I hate gentrifiers” diatribe. Exactly who is a Real New Yorker you ask? That is debatable. Who is a “gentrifier”? This is an easy question to answer: unless you are of 100% Native American birth (or descended from slaves) you are, indeed, a gentrifier.
There were a great many people in Europe who didn’t find their situation satisfactory so they moved to the “New World”. Plymouth Rock didn’t have a Starbuck’s so they built one. In a manner of speaking. Their Native American neighbors accepted them. At first.
But then they (and by “they” I mean “we”) got uppity. We wanted more— we wanted “civilization”. We wanted “ownership” of land. Something our “savage hosts” did not see fit to give us due to their nascent anarcho-syndicalist leanings (I won’t call them “Reds” because that would be racist). As a result there were fights. Battles even. But we won, albeit it in an insidious manner: disease. Smallpox and syphilis mostly.* Good for us.
I am piecing together a very informative and entertaining presentation to illustrate this fact to those who are unable or unwilling to accept the fact they are gentrifiers. In the meantime I’d like to share this touching tale of gentrifier acceptance from (where else?) GREENPOINT.
I went off on this piece of advertising back in April. In a nutshell:
- I found this developer’s claim of 240 Richardson Street as being in the heart “East Williamsburg” (or anywhere else for that matter) tenuous at best. It’s Greenpoint— but you know Garden Spot of the Universe (oil spill, waste treatment plant and all) isn’t “sexy”. They’re aiming for “L” appeal.
- “Village” suggests a friendly and collegial atmosphere. Something clearly lacking in this corner of Greenpoint.
Back in April this woman called her new neighbors “fucks”.
Now she has seen fit to address them as “pigs”.
It is a small— but significant step— in Greenpoint gentrification. Before you know it we’ll all be holding hands and singing Kumbaya.
Photo Credits: “pigs” and “fucks” Lisacat.
*For those of you who harbor guilt, no worries; they gave us chlamydia.
I wrote about this lovely renovation abomination back in May. It even moved me enough to attempt a definition. Here it is:
Crapification (crapâ€™-if-fic-ka-shen) n. Restoration of a deteriorated but otherwise tasteful old building with a total disregard for aesthetics and/or context. â€”crapâ€™-i-fyâ€™ v. (ified, fying, -fies) See: the building at the southeastern corner of Penn Street and Harrison Avenue in Williamsburg.
I am pleased to announce that as of August 24, 2008 this building has surpassed my expectations…
in terms of abject hideousness. Note the careful placement of air conditioning boxes. Will they be Fedders? I can only hope so!
My question is what happened to the building behind the crap? Looks like they demolished it if you ask me. Was this legal? I don’t know. No one seems to care so why should I?
Besides, just look at this great balcony!
Literally. Last night I was contacted by a fellow Greenpointer on a mission. Suzy writes:
dear miss heather,
would you be so kind as to take a gander at my blog?
today’s feature is BOB THE BARC DOG. i hope that you will consider adding this blog as a link in your blogroll; my aim is to get more exposure for the doggies from BARC…
p.s. bob is known as hope at the shelter.Â my BF said we cannot call him that; as it is a girlie name, so we call him bob hope.
I do not agree with Suzy’s boyfriend. As it would happen we have a new semi-feral cat in our pride. I wanted to name it “Babka” but Mr. Heather panned the idea. Then I named it Sheba. Mr. Heather liked that name so we rolled with it. Until, that is, until we discovered Sheba was, in fact, a HEba. That changed everything.
Solomon didn’t seem to suit his temperament (he’s a bit of a asshole), so I named him Sue. Despite being trapped and having his “manhood” removed, “Sue” does not seem the least bit upset by his name. As long as I pony up the catnip pellets once a week and dole out the kibble on time he is puuuurfectly content. Otherwise it gets ugly.
Just like Mr. Cash, Sue likes to sing. Especially when he has not has his weekly allotment of catnip pellets. His venue of choice is outside my bedroom window. His audience is our resident felines. Sue likes to regale them with tales about the “nip” taken from his ear. Over so many beers. Sue is one bad dude (or fancies himself as such).
(Bob) Hope isn’t. Suzy writes:
Bob is darned near perfect, except that he does seem rather depressed. I’m waiting for him to come out of his shell, and will update this post over the next couple of days. We’re having a bobâ€’bâ€’que in his honor tomorrow night. I betcha he likes steak … just a hunch.
One more thing â€’ Bob makes his bed.
When I brought Bob home last night, I took a king â€’size quilt from the closet, laid it down and folded it in half. Bob took over from there…
we were watching tv, and I guess it was too loud for him, so he dragged his bed into the other room, folded it again, and went to sleep. Bob kinda rocks.
It’s a good thing that Bob is an arranger of bedclothes, as Bob really, really likes to sleep.
This poor fella has been in the care of the wonderful BARC shelter since APRIL! He was found on the street and brought to BARC by the cops. Bob weighs about 50 pounds, is about six years old, is neutered, and has all of his shots. He likes men, women, children, cats, and other dogs. I’m honestly trying to find something wrong with him, but, so far, no go.
Nor do any the lovely (and loving) dogs Suzy writes about on her blog. Check it out!
Filed under: Williamsburg
Just in time for the morning commute of poor unfortunates who have to work this week: a bit of Williamsburg love via Driggs Avenue.
From Bogart Street.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
To all of you hot sauce, ceviche, cubano, pernil, maduros, pico de gallo lovers, this week is your last chance to come enjoy your favorite dish at Casa Mon Amour. We will be changing the cuisine and kitchen staff after labor day. We will be open every night for dinner, but closed on Sunday. Will keep you posted to all the changes and improvement we are making to the restaurant. Enjoy what is left of the summer and see you soon.
I have been a fan of Beatrice’s French cooking for some time. Given she spent almost her entire childhood in French West Africa (and as a result is very knowledgeable about its cuisine) I have to wonder (or would that be hope?) that maybe one of the upcoming changes at Casa Mon Amour will be a menu reflecting her French and West African heritage. I for one find this prospect very exciting. But I suppose we will all have to wait until after Labor Day to find out what Beatrice has up her sleeve!
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
From Meserole Avenue.
Filed under: Area 51
Chances are if you you are reading this right now you are missing some sweet deals at the yard sale at 161 Milton Street. Check it out!
From Bushwick Avenue.
Filed under: Queens
P.S.: Next month Sunnyside will be hosting its very own film festival: Sunnyside Shorts! Here are the deets as they have been relayed to me:
More than 15 filmmakers will have their work showcased at the Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival on Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 8:00 PM in the Sunnyside Gardens Park at 49th Street and 39th Avenue in Queens. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.
Featured films run from one minute to 15 minutes in length and include animation, documentary, and narration. All films abide by PG-rating guidelines. Filmmakers hail from all over the United States, as well as international locations. Samples of the festivalâ€™s annual youth workshop will also be shown.
Early arrivals will be treated to traditional Irish music by local musicians Donie Carroll, Dan Neely and members of The Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra beginning at 7:00 PM.
The Sunnyside Gardens Park is an outdoor venue. Limited seating is available; attendees are welcome to bring blankets, pillows, or low beach chairs. In the event of rain, the festival will be held at the Sunnyside Community Center, 41-31 39th Street between Queens Boulevard and 43rd Avenue.
A reception will be held by the festivalâ€™s sponsor, Mike Murphy, at his bar, Murphyâ€™s Bar, at 49th Street and Skillman Avenue, one block north of the festival site. The reception will begin approximately 30 minutes after the festival ends.
Rooftop Films will be providing technical support.
For more information check out their web site.