March 5, 2006

"Next-neighborhood development" (aka Gentrification)

Note: This post was edited on Jan. 20, 2007. Hotlinked image(s) were removed. Follow the link(s) to the image location(s). This weekend's Sunday Times Magazine features the next-neighborhoodness of Bushwick in Brooklyn, NY. Bushwick is being gentrified but the word gentrification is used only once and towards the end of the article. The tag line of the article is "How an undesirable neighborhood becomes the next hot spot." The story of Bushwick's emerging gentry is told mainly through the figure of Tom Le, a local realtor. As the story unfolds, four primary variables in the gentrification process are outlined. (These variables might be specific to New York.) The variables are: (1) location, in this case, proximity to the L train; (2) price; (3) discovery, which is closely tied to the fourth variable; (4) artists. These four variables are essential to "next-neighborhood hotness." Bushwick is also a featured neighborhood on Forgotten-ny.com. According to Robert Sullivan (NYT feature writer), Bushwick translates to "refuge." Forgotten-ny.com translates the place name as "town in the woods." The Library of Congress Dutch Place Names lists Bushwick, NY as "originally called Boswyck, or "woods district" in Dutch." Sources Sunday New York Times Magazine, 5 Mar. 2006 Forgotten NY, http://forgotten-ny.com/ Library of Congress (Dutch Place Names), http://www.loc.gov/index.html http://www.lisawhiteman.com/pictures/signs/18bushwick6.jpg

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