Gentrification has been plaguing American cities for decades. Low-income families have been getting pushed out of affordable housing to make room for hip coffee shops and luxury apartments. Years of rich culture, destroyed. I’m here to say it all needs to stop. Well, except on my street, cause I really like my coffee shop.
Yes, I hate that the installation of a Whole Foods on my street means that rent will go up and neighborhood natives will no longer be able to afford to stay. But Whole Foods has this brand of keto smoothie I can’t find anywhere else, and honestly the store really needs to go somewhere.
Let me emphasize this: It’s a really good smoothie. My current neighborhood bodega doesn’t sell anything like it. With 12 grams of protein and only 5 grams of net carbs, tearing down a block of low-income housing is really a small price to pay for an amazing smoothie.
You might be reading this, thinking I’m a hypocrite. But I’m not! I hate gentrification! I’m against it in 99.999% of Brooklyn. But on my teeny tiny little street, which only makes up like 0.001% of Brooklyn, a little gentrification could go a long way.
I want to reiterate how bad gentrification is. Did you know that my neighborhood used to be 78% Hispanic, and in 2 years, that number is down to 56%? Did you also know that Whole Foods has a hot bar?
I moved into this neighborhood a year ago knowing my choices of shopping were the local bodegas and a Key Foods three blocks away. But I also knew that might change. Sometimes change is good. Sure, there’s a vibrant, longstanding culture being pushed out of the neighborhood. But there’s also the Mets flag my roommate hung out of her window last week.
I hope my point has come across the way I’ve intended. If you think you may be contributing to gentrification, make it a point to stop by that local fruit stand instead of going to the corporate chain. Eat at the Mom and Pop diner instead of the brunch spot that just popped up two months ago that happens to be amazing. Save local businesses and local culture. Unless you move to my neighborhood. We’re hopefully getting a Target!