NYC Gentrification Watch: Die Yuppie Scumday

August 25, 2008 by
Filed under: Area 51, Dog Shit Signage, Greenpoint Magic 

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:

  1. 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.
  2. “Village” suggests a friendly and collegial atmosphere. Something clearly lacking in this corner of Greenpoint.

Until recently.

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.

Miss Heather

Photo Credits: “pigs” and “fucks” Lisacat.

*For those of you who harbor guilt, no worries; they gave us chlamydia.


One Comment on NYC Gentrification Watch: Die Yuppie Scumday

  1. d on Mon, 25th Aug 2008 11:24 am
  2. Once again, thank you for writing so articulately on this issue. When I first relocated to NY (for a job) in the mid 90s, no one bragged about being ‘native New Yorkers’. I wasn’t on the ‘net then. I moved out of the city a few years later due to family issues and moved back last year, again for a job. This time I’ve seen a sense of entitlement, mainly on the net, that “natives” seem to have. It appears to be a younger generation mainly, as my mid 30s and over “native” friends have never once mentioned it in the past several years. I grew up not far from the city, spent a lot of time here most of my life, and being in my 30s myself I actually remember what Times Square and the East Village was like in the 80s when some of these braggarts were still in diapers or losing baby teeth. So I just have to laugh their sense of indignation off – many of their parents were the wave of gentrifiers in the 80s and 90s. I had actually started a blog myself last spring and just lost interest in updating, disillusioned with the sort of us vs them bullshit I was seeing. I think I’ve said it before but I think you’ve done a lot for this ‘hood, more than a lot of “natives”, and as far as I’m concerned, those who care about where they live and DO something about it ARE the “real New Yorkers.”

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