- Did you know the Rockettes were originally the Missouri Rockets? Read this full history of the leggy holiday dancers. [Bowery Boys]
- A neighborhood guide to the Latino and Chinese cultures of Sunset Park. [Brooklyn Based]
- There seems to be a disparity between what journalists report as gentrification and what research actually finds. [City Lab]
- This Le Corbusier-inspired chaise lounge bathtub looks pretty darn comfy. [Twisted Sifter]
- We know you’ve been waiting for this day–the Meow Parlour is officially open. Meet the cat cafe’s adorable kittens. [Bedford + Bowery]
Daily Link Fix: A History of the Rockettes; Journalists and Researchers Have Different Ideas of Gentrification, Mon, December 15, 2014
Funeral invitation via CHERYL
We’ve all been talking and writing about the “death” of Williamsburg for years now, and every time a new neighborhood is compared to it (i.e. Quooklyn) we begin the debate anew. But now the Brooklyn-based artists’ collective CHERYL is taking matters into their own hands, hosting a dance party funeral in memoriam of the hip ‘hood that once was. As the Daily News states, they’re “dancing on Williamsburg’s grave.” The cause of death? “The cancer of mass gentrification and the proliferation of the luxury condo.”
Image © Reed Young
Most of the reported stories out of NYC’s “inner city” (code for ‘hoods) are tragic ones. We hear about stabbings and shootings and neglected children struggling to survive. We hear of turf wars and rampant addiction and people generally unable to take care of themselves. And it is from these dispatches that certain neighborhoods become notorious, their reputations inflated by our fearful imaginations and general unfamiliarity along with a harsh reality that cannot be denied. To the uninformed, these are dangerous places, war zones, to be avoided at all costs, at least, until the sheriff of gentrification rides into town to dispense safety through the pacifying panacea of increased rents and artisanal pickles.
I like fancy pickles, though the idea of people being forced from their homes is troubling. But this is not a rant against gentrification; it’s a shout out to the “inner city” neighborhoods that may someday get gentrified. More specifically, it’s about the good folks that populate those neighborhoods who manage to hold down the ‘hood and live their lives with dignity in the face of tremendous obstacles.
Photo © Cameron Baylock
Among neighborhoods primed to be the next untapped frontier, Ridgewood isn’t a newcomer. This low-key community on the western border of Queens has seen a steady migration of L-train riders, including the young and restless fleeing Williamsburg and professionals looking for a safe, accessible, quiet ‘hood to call home. In New York City, where every square foot vies for “next big thing” status, Ridgewood is a smart alternative to its headline-stealing North Brooklyn neighbors, Bushwick and Williamsburg, for anyone looking to invest in an up-and-coming residential area.
My, the difference a few years makes. Never was that more apparent than with Google Maps Street View’s new function that allows you to take a peek back in time and see how much your neighborhood has gentrifi–err–transformed since 2007.
The photos culled by the WSJ ahead focus in on the unprecedented changes Williamsburg has undergone over the last six years. The alterations are particularly apparent at Bedford Avenue and North 7th Street, where some cosmetic improvements have been made to the building facades. However, the transformation is rather mind-blowing when you see the difference new developments by the waterfront have made to the neighborhood’s aesthetic.
A view towards the Williamsburg Bridge. Image © Ray’s Tours
There has always been a somewhat “invisible” line dividing ritzier North Williamsburg and the once-grittier-but-now-gentrifying South Williamsburg neighborhood—and that southern portion’s border is generally considered to be from Grand Street to Division Avenue between Union Avenue and the East River. And though this south side of the neighborhood continues to be populated by a diverse group of residents, new amenity-filled developments are quickly attracting a younger population and pushing prices to match those in the northern part of the nabe. Here, we take a look at some of the most notable developments and a few cool listings bridging the gap ahead.
Yesterday, we reported that Vogue listed Bushwick as the 7th coolest neighborhood in the world. The article claims that few places garner as much global attention as the Brooklyn ‘hood. And while we don’t doubt Anna Wintour’s editorial chops, we want to know what you think.
Bushwick‘s star continues to rise amongst fashionistas. Not only does the neighborhood have its own candle, but Vogue magazine just named it the 7th coolest neighborhood in the world. The article, which appears in the September issue, cites cutting-edge art galleries, “Jay Z–approved restaurants” like Roberta’s, and quirky pop-ups in unexpected spaces as some of the items drawing cool kids in. Centro in Sao Paolo, Canal Saint-Martin in Paris, and Brera in Milan are just a few of the other nabes that round out the top 15. Another silly list, yes, but the story does beg the question: Has Anna Wintour even been to Brooklyn?
From “coffices” to lab-like minimalist gourmet coffee meccas to cozy neighborhood hangouts, neighborhood cafes are a fine example of the essential “third place” mentioned in discussions of community dynamics: that place, neither work nor home, where regulars gather and everyone’s welcome.
Along with yoga studios, art galleries, community gardens, vintage clothing shops, restaurants with pedigreed owners and adventurous menus and, some say, a change in the offerings on local grocery shelves, cafes are often the earliest sign of neighborhood change. The neighborhood cafe serves as a testing ground for community cohesiveness while adventurous entrepreneurs test the still-unfamiliar waters around them. Beyond the literal gesture of offering sustenance, cafes provide a place where you can actually see who your neighbors are and appreciate the fact that at least some of them are willing to make an investment locally.
You may have scoffed at the $200 Hudson Yards fragrance released earlier this year, but this “smell like an up-and-coming neighborhood” trend seems to be catching on. NYC fashion brand OAK has just released a brand new candle that will fill your home up with the scent of Bushwick. Mmmmm?
Aptly titled ‘Mckibben + Bogart 03’ (named after the intersection of MckibbIn and Bogart), the candle was inspired by the neighborhood in the early 2000s and nods to the “wood, oil, paint thinner, incense, ICR vs Deth Killers of Bushwick and artist lofts that filled the area.” Scent highlights include “drying oil paint on canvases blended with incense, dry cedarwood chips, and dark gualac wood oil”. Are you sold? Get the candle over at OAK for $81.
[Via Bushwick Daily]