Submissions Wanted: Gentrification Bingo

March 17, 2008 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

La Corcoran on Bedford

Last weekend I did something I had not done in a long time: allow my husband to go to Williamsburg. I have made it a habit to bar Mr. Heather from accompanying me to this neighborhood because he will invariably get in a fit of pique, start grumbling about hipsters and I end up having to tell him to shut up. Repeatedly.

Last Friday night we discarded our usual habit of staying home in favor of going out to dinner in the mighty B-Burg. Wishing to prevent and/or mitigate any behavioral problems on the part of the Mister, I concocted a cunning plan: as a child I went on many a road trip. One of the activities my parents provided to keep me entertained (and out of their collective hair) was “travel Bingo”. I am certain a number of you know what I am talking about. If you see a red truck (for example) everyone checks it off. You see a stop sign, it gets checked off —and so forth until someone gets five in a row and calls “bingo”. Which brings me to how I kept Mr. Heather occupied.

Gentrification Bingo: a game the hoi polloi can play while walking through gentrified ghettos which were once “neighborhoods”. As we strolled the streets of Williamsburg in search of kibble we called out artifacts that define gentrification. By the evening’s end we netted approximately twenty such items which I carefully noted on the back of an old ATM receipt. Here are a few examples:

  • Illegally parked SUV
  • Thai Restaurant
  • Building designed by Karl Fischer (or Robert Scarano)
  • Self-absorbed 20 somethings on cell phones babbling/sending text messages
  • Viral marketing posing as street art
  • Unattended small children (What business does a toddler have roaming around at 8:30 p.m. on a Friday night? Seriously?)
  • Stop Work Order
  • Luxury artist loft
  • Corcoran (depicted above)
  • Homicidal taxi driver

Hence the purpose of this post: I wish to produce actual bingo cards, take them and a few good friends to various neighborhoods, play a round or two of “Bingo” and document the results. As I have previously mentioned, I have roughly twenty items. In order to produce bingo cards I will undoubtedly need quite a few more. Methinks about fifty. At least.

If anyone out there wishes to tender suggestions for this noble cause they can be submitted via comments or email at:

missheather (at) newyorkshitty (dot) com

It is my intention to have these cards designed by the end of the week (so I can post a sneak preview here on New York Shitty). Any and all ideas, feedback and constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated.

We may not be able to turn the tide of homogenization and luxurification afflicting our fair borough —but that doesn’t mean we can’t get a few laughs at their expense. The time for Gentrification Bingo has come New York Shitty. Let’s make this happen!

Miss Heather


6 Comments on Submissions Wanted: Gentrification Bingo

  1. rowan on Mon, 17th Mar 2008 10:12 am
  2. hilarious. i’m putting my thinking cap on.

  3. bitchcakes on Mon, 17th Mar 2008 11:23 am
  4. I think you should include those canvas yuppie baby strollers!

  5. elmire on Mon, 17th Mar 2008 5:32 pm
  6. what about sidewalk poo? shouldn’t that be the “freebie” square of the bingo card? I see just as much poo when I have to walk to the Bedford L as I do in the ‘Point.

  7. Bed-Stuy Banana on Mon, 17th Mar 2008 7:19 pm
  8. Ah, I have the same problem with taking my man to the Upper East Side. Not that I particularly enjoy being up there either, but the major museums are located there and we check them out every once in awhile. Usually, we go to the museum on a free night, and then take a leisurely stroll down Madison Ave. Joseph invariably starts ranting about white people with too much money – the rant gets louder, more verbose, with grander expletives with each ensuing block. I’ll have to try out your bingo plan next time around. Good thinking.

  9. greyhound on Tue, 18th Mar 2008 10:10 am
  10. love this website. alway,s good for alaugh. keep up the good work. your friend from acrooss the pond . greyhound. and yes we do clean up after our dog.

  11. Williamspoint_Greenburger on Wed, 19th Mar 2008 10:03 am
  12. For Gentrification/Hipster Bingo:

    –Man wearing t-shirt over untucked button-down shirt

    –Corner bodega with more gourmet items (Haagen-Daz, vegan/vegetarian “meat” products, more than 20 microbrew beers, organic produce, etc.) than deli items (frozen Snickers, heart-attack cold cuts, more than 5 malt liquors/40-ouncers, cigarettes; etc.)

    –One storefront with twin chainstores (Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins, Hardee’s/Nathan’s Famous, White Castle/Church’s Chicken)

    –More than 2 decades represented in one fashion ensemble (1950’s fedora, 1960’s tie-dyed t-shirt, 1970’s polyester stretchpants, 1980’s skinny tie and 1990’s Air Jordans)

    –An entire restaurant/cafe populated with single diners writing on laptops and drinking coffee. Just coffee. No food anywhere. No human-to-human interaction.

    –Two people at the same table ignoring each other in favor of electronic devices (cellphone, blackberry, gameboy, etc.)

    –Freebie paper boxes for anything to do with parenting, real estate, homosexuals or nightlife.

    –A church/synagog now used as something formerly preached against in the building.

    –Bars featuring blue-collar games not usually found in bars (ski-bowl, ten pin bowling, etc.)

    –Pool tables with other-than-green felt.

    –Someone wearing a Bluetooth phone.

    –Anything in the trash that’s nicer than the one you have at home.

    –A cocktail menu. (If you don’t know what you drink, you shouldn’t be drinking.)

    –“Vintage” stores charging “modern” prices.

    –Sudden disappearance of old people. Unless they’re rich.

    –Black nanny/white child.

    –More fur coats–fewer leather coats.

    –Farmer’s markets infiltrated with “prepared food” stands.

    I know some of these are too long to fit in the squares on a bingo card, but this was all just off the top of my head. I’ll add more as I think of them.

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