Greenpoint Degentrification Watch: IMBY

Last winter, dear readers, Chez Shitty got it’s first bona fide gentrifier: a young woman replete with a SUV-sized stroller and a toddler to accompany it. The residents took this (along with said stroller occupying our hallway) in good humor until our new neighbor decided things needed to change in her new abode. More specifically she decided that the smoke emanating from certain apartments was— despite the manifold number of other health hazards to be had in the Garden Spot— injurious to her young un’s health. To this end she posted an anonymous sign— in the dead of winter— admonishing everyone to open their windows when they smoked. Not only was this missive poorly received (it was ripped down before I could photograph it) but her attempt at anonymity was downright comical: all the residents on my building have lived here for at least five years. Most longer. We communicate with each other when we problems arise. We do not leave notes. Suffice it to say we knew who the note came from and got a big chuckle out of it.

Now jump forward to August 29, 2010. When I left the building this was posted on the front door.

One the one hand I would be remiss if I didn’t experience more than a little schadenfreude when I read this missive. We all leave crap in the hallway— at our own risk. I tend to leave stuff I want taken (it’s been my observation that clothing and “men’s magazines” go pretty fast). One the other, I feel a little bad about this boy’s lost guitar. Not that I am going to lose any sleep over it, mind you. Straight up: if you value your property keep it in your apartment.

Miss Heather


5 Comments on Greenpoint Degentrification Watch: IMBY

  1. rutila on Mon, 30th Aug 2010 12:13 pm
  2. I find it fascinating that people believe in leaving their things in the hallway of large apartment buildings for “safekeeping.” Why would anyone leave a child’s toy unattended for a period of time?

  3. missheather on Mon, 30th Aug 2010 12:38 pm
  4. The same kind of person who takes her kid out with her and then drags him WAILING up the stairs at 10-11 at night.

  5. HeidiW on Mon, 30th Aug 2010 2:59 pm
  6. I notice a lot of Polish families have large strollers as well. Are they gentrifiers, too, or have this woman and her guitar done something special to annoy you besides exist?

    I guess I have a high threshold for being bothered by things, because I don’t see what’s so wrong with this note. Yes she did leave property in a public space in her building (as a fourth-floor walk-up resident with two kids, I have done this before as well, although I know all my neighbors and do so with low risk) and she lost it, now she’s trying to get it back. Sorry but what’s the big deal.

    I don’t know if “gentrifier” is a synonym for a white non-Polish person, or what your real beef is with this person. Maybe it’s a little Monday morning grumpiness that’s at work here.

  7. missheather on Mon, 30th Aug 2010 3:15 pm
  8. I am hardly grumpy, Heidi. Rather I do not like people who, instead of dealing with people directly leave “anonymous” passive aggressive notes. This goes doubly for missives which insinuate that one’s fellow residents are thieves. To make such an assumption is not only insulting but it requires a certain level of arrogance which is, in my observation, one of the foremost characteristics of a gentrifier: thinking one is better than everyone else around him/her.

  9. rutila on Tue, 31st Aug 2010 8:39 am
  10. Heidi, it’s disrespectful to leave things in the hallway without the permission of your neighbors. I grew up in a two-family house, and my landlord family had an understanding with the tenants that certain things (like strollers and bikes) could be kept in the hallway — which was guarded by two doors with deadbolts — but not garbage. When it comes to larger apartment buildings, it’s more courteous to keep your property inside your space, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving things in the hallway where the rate of disappearing increases with the number of people coming and going.

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