Voice Letters: Readers Sound Off on Gentrification in Brooklyn

Hipsters Go Home

As a white male who makes a decent living as a unionized worker, I recognize that I'm better off than many New Yorkers. With that said, I find large swaths of this city unaffordable ["Longtime Bushwick Residents Take On Gentrification," Voice, Dec. 30]. I was born in Park Slope more than thirty years ago. Now I couldn't even rent a storage closet in my old home.

Gentrification seems to be moving at hyperspeed, and while it may cause superficial "improvements" in its earliest stage, ultimately it has the negative effect of pushing out longtime residents — some into outright homelessness. Unfortunately, we have these smug commenters who advise these folks to simply "sell." Well, what if they RENT? Now what? They get pushed further into the margins of society. So that spoiled Midwestern fucks with expensive liberal arts degrees can wallow in the yuppie playgrounds these neighborhoods have become.

New York City is no longer a welcome home for the working class and poor. You yuppie bastards cry that "we didn't start the fire" — but what have you done to help? Not a goddamn thing. You gleefully colonize the homes of generations of immigrants and New York natives. You usurp, undermine, and ultimately destroy the very "authenticity" you so desperately crave.

I'd love to see someone take a metaphorical flamethrower to places like Bushwick, Williamsburg, Park Slope, and the like. Yuppies, hipsters, and gentrifiers, listen up: You are hated, and nobody wants you here. (You're just so insulated from reality that you don't notice it.) If the working class was united in a position to exert its collective will — you'd be long gone. Until then, you should be made to feel as uncomfortable and unwanted as you truly are.

— Eric Eddy, via Facebook

And You Thought We Were Bad?

These transplants are clueless, and, believe it or not, are the rudest, most self-absorbed people I have ever met, despite us native New Yorkers having a reputation for that.

— Glenn Krasner, via Facebook

Remember the Seniors

It's obviously not about the money for people who have been living there their whole lives. It is life-changing, and some are comfortable just picking up and moving along. They are harassing seniors, too — those are also people who are being left out of the changes going on around them. They can't afford groceries like before, can't afford any of the same things. Those are people on fixed incomes. What about them?

— Lizette Degro, via Facebook

It's the People, Stupid

People have the right to make a home where they want and not be harassed by money-hungry landlords/developers who take advantage of culture shifts. Capitalism, or the "free market," as someone here said, conditions us to be heartless/unsympathetic humans. Yes, this is NYC. Yes, capital changes hands fast here. But is it not more worthwhile to invest in people? Once the greedy capitalists drain this fucking Earth of every resource possible, people is all we'll have left.

— Bianca Perez, via Facebook

Go See the World

No one should live in the same place their whole life. Move on, see what the world has to offer, and if you own your home, cash out on the "gentrifiers." If you are a renter, then them's the breaks. It's part of the game, unfortunately, and I say that as one who rents his home. I've been bumped many times because of rent going out of my range. It sucks, but in the long run it's led me to many interesting opportunities elsewhere.

— Ginger McJingles, via Facebook

Get a Clue

The problem with these communities is the inherent classism and racism that is being projected onto the hipster community. The issue is more with the government and affordable housing — not with the community shifts that are occurring. These things are deliberately being guided in specific ways and these are the issues that need to be addressed. I get it in the Bronx as well — that me being there is some sign of things to come, when I've been a New Yorker my whole life. It's ridiculous and another misguided attempt to address an issue that is more based on capital gains by corporate real estate developers than cultural communities shifting and coexisting. These people need to get a clue and read the law.

— Jonathan Benito, via Facebook

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