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July 7, 2007

"There goes the neighborhood!": an exhibit on gentrification

FiveMylesPhoto.jpg

Atlantic Yards Report

The flip side of those assessing real estate value on Brownstoner is the uneasiness expressed by those absorbing the tide of gentrification. That's what you'll find at the gallery Five Myles, in Crown Heights just east of Prospect Heights, in an exhibit called "There goes the neighborhood!" It opened June 23 and remains up through tomorrow.
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Gentrification has its value, as even the Village Voice's recent article on Bushwick noted, but there can be a heavy price to pay. The interviews were conducted with residents generally dismayed about the changes, feeling threatened, and knowing others pushed out. (Where? The shelter?)

The accents are African-American and Caribbean-American, the tones questioning, lamenting, skeptical, and conspiracy-minded. One of the voices, according to Five Myles founder Hanne Tierney, has already left the neighborhood. (See TimeOut NY article.)

A question recurs: Who or what is responsible? One factor, unmentioned, is surely the 421-a tax break that subsidizes luxury housing, but there are many other reasons, some of which I'll try to look at in the future.

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Posted by amy at July 7, 2007 9:25 AM