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Just another week in Brooklyn.....home of

Illustration for article titled Brooklyn being Brooklyn

gentrification (an excellent read and not a hateread, btw)

Here's a sample

In the 2000s, Brooklyn changed rapidly and dramatically. The Bloomberg administration rezoned the borough from top to bottom, giving taxpayer subsidies to developers so they could fill it with luxury towers and turn tenements into condominiums. Rents skyrocketed, pushing out long-time residents. Many white people moved in to neighborhoods that had been predominantly black for decades and more. Fort Greene boasted a thriving African-American community as early as the 1840s, and by 1870 the neighborhood was home to more than half of Brooklyn's black population. By 2000, 93% of Fort Greene was made up of people of color. That soon changed—and fast. A researcher from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute showed a huge influx of whites flooding into zip codes 11205 and 11206, which cover sections of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, and Williamsburg. Between the years 2000 and 2010, the white share of those areas increased by nearly 30%, qualifying them as some of the "fastest-gentrifying neighborhoods in the United States."

Many of those incoming whites, members of the middle and affluent classes, often celebrated their "discovery" of a "new" neighborhood in blogs and newspapers. Once moved in, some immediately started complaining about the people who had been there before them, regardless of race, but not regardless of class. In another example of the widespread trend, in Carroll Gardens the newcomers complained to the city about the smell of roasting coffee at D'Amico's, an Italian-American café that had been fragrantly roasting beans since 1948. Thanks to the complaints, the D'Amico family came under investigation by the city's DEP and, with the threat of closure, were forced to spend money on upgrades to their antique machinery. Said one local to Gothamist about the changing neighborhood demographic, "Saturday afternoon on Court Street now looks like a J. Crew runway. With strollers," a statement that conjures up an image of white privilege, affluence, and leisure, similar to Spike Lee's description of Fort Greene Park, "It's like the motherfuckin' Westminster Dog Show."


the $10 latte

a Scandinavian-inspired coffee bar, debuted in Greenpoint two weeks ago, attracting widespread internet derision for daring to price their "lakkris latte" at a hefty $7. That deluge of derision was only dwarfed by the number of customers who lined up to try it. In just a few days Budin reported that they were running out of imported ingredients for the popular drink and upped the price to $10.


guys living in the Williamsburg Hamster Wheel

Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder moved into an old boiler room in Williamsburg on Friday night, where they'll be staying through March 9th. It would be the world's most boring story, were it not for the fact that their home for the next eight days and nights is a gigantic, three-story hamster wheel. It's part performance art, part installation/sculpture, all Brooklyn-circa-2014.

Here are some facts:

  • Shelley lives on the exterior of the wheel (so, basically, at the top, some 30 feet off the floor), and Schweder on the interior, because he's afraid of heights.
  • Everything Shelley and Schweder need, furniture-wise, is fastened to the wheel: bed, desk, kitchen-bathroom combo, comfy chair, lamps, dresser. It looks like everything's from IKEA.

Brooklyn Communal Cool: the Brand

On a recent Tuesday evening, Dickerman Cade Sadler III was in the kitchen making tacos for his roommates, sautéing beef in a frying pan and setting aside a bowl of rice and beans for the vegetarians. In the living room-cum-recording studio, Denitia Odigie was sitting at the drum kit tapping out a beat, her back to the wall papered with old-fashioned damask, while a man who calls himself Sene (his real name is Brian Marc) set up a mike under the glass and bronze chandelier.....

A collective that some might consider a commune, eight roommates, most of them musicians and artists, share meals and expenses, use a Google doc to keep track of their chores, and pitch in to shop for groceries and stock the bathrooms. In addition to the core members, there is a vast network of friends and former residents — a total of 35 people have lived at the Clubhouse since it was established five years ago — who crash on the couches, often for indefinite periods. There's a waiting list for residency, and the application, as it were, includes having to "vibe out" with current members, including the house's founder and de facto president, Andrew Thomas Reid, 29.

An expression of today's entrepreneurial age, the Clubhouse is closely aligned with a new media company called BKLYN1834, which is dedicated to selling the borough's image beyond its borders.


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