- Empire Mayo in Prospect Heights looks to create the “must try” garlic truffle mayonnaise from Kevin Hart’s SNL parody of Bushwick gentrification. [DNAinfo]
- Two for the price of one: This tiny side table transforms into a full-on rowing machine. [Gizmodo]
- Forget hailing a taxi to get to the airport; a helicopter ride will cost you just $99. [NYP]
- Faith Seidenberg, one of the women who sued McSorley’s (and won!) for not admitting women, dies at age 91. [NY Times]
- Hold your nose…the top 25 bad smells that remind you you’re in New York City. [Scouting NY]
- As if rent wasn’t expensive enough, New Yorkers spend a whopping $146,127 on cigarettes during their lifetime. [NYDN]
If you tuned in to SNL this past Saturday, you probably saw this hilarious sketch featuring Kevin Hart, Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah spoofing life in hipster-laden Bushwick. The trio are huddled on a street corner talking about all the “crazy things” they’ve been doing over the last week. SNL uses the opportunity to poke fun at everything that’s gone granola in the ‘hood, from handmade dog sweaters to the $8 artisanal mayonnaises that now dominate the area’s once crime-ridden streets.
“That last party was off the chain, bro!” Pharoah says. “There was drinking wine. It was painting landscapes, barriers, fruit. You know what I’m saying?”
Hart: “Did you have any cheeses tho?”
“You acting like somebody put gluten in your muffin.”
We all know the typical gentrification pattern–artists move in to a neighborhood and make it hip; they’re followed by trendy coffee shops and cool vintage stores; rents rise; the artists move on to the next frontier. But what if the influx of artists to a neighborhood slowed gentrification? It sounds like an impossible premise, but it just might be taking shape in East Harlem.
Fast Co. EXIST takes a look at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, the project which has transformed an abandoned public school building in East Harlem into 89 units of affordable live/work housing for artists and their families and 10,000 square feet of complementary space for arts organizations. A whopping 53,000 creatives applied to live in the building, where studios will rent for as low as $494/month and two-bedroom units will go for $1,022/month. But isn’t Artspace’s goal to break the gentrification cycle—”to preserve the cultural fabric of a small corner of Manhattan that’s starting to change quickly” by preserving its affordable housing?
Daily Link Fix: A History of the Rockettes; Journalists and Researchers Have Different Ideas of Gentrification, Mon, December 15, 2014
- 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]
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.