Too Much Diversity

In New York, diversity seems to be the characteristic that builds the foundation for everything else. New York is the capital and center of numerous trades and industries. What helped foster that success and still fuels it, is the variety of cultures and ideas that people have to offer. For any society to improve and progress, it must accept change and use it to advance. However, a conversation with my friend led to a very startling discovery.

My friend preferred not to be named directly when I asked him for permission, so I decided to name him Jessy. A few weeks ago, Jessy and I were walking around SoHo and we were talking about the crazy things we’ve seen on the subway. I mentioned that although the subway always smells like urine, I’ve never actually seen someone urinate. He replied, almost shockingly, saying that he’s seen in several times in Brooklyn.

I asked him, “Where in Brooklyn are you from?”

“I live pretty close to the Barclays Center,” said Jessy.

We joked for a while about how Brooklyn has the reputation for the wrong reasons (i.e. gangs). However, the conversation took an interesting turn when I asked Jessy about his own area. He told me how it isn’t that safe and mentioned that more white families are starting to come in. He said it with excitement. “I was walking down the street and I saw a new white family move onto my block and I was so happy!” said Jessy. It caught my attention because I didn’t expect Jessy, a person of hispanic descent, to want LESS diversity. His neighborhood in his opinion was too ethnic and he wanted to see it reach more of a medium level. It was an interesting experience for me, because I’ve never heard too much diversity being a problem.

Jessy says that his dream is to see the neighborhood become a “hipster” area.

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2 Responses to Too Much Diversity

  1. rubinsammy says:

    Wow! Usually, most people don’t want their neighborhood to be turned into a hipster area.

    It does make the area more valuable and bring economic benefit. But there is a risk of displacement because of increased cost. Where do all the people go? Not a lot of people like talking about this issue, even though it’s relevant. If you look around Red Hook, Williamsburg, and Bed-Stuy, gentrification has been occurring there for a while.

    During the break, I highly suggest you watch the movie, “Do The Right Thing”. Spike Lee made it in the 80s and the issues there can be applied to our day and age.

    Sadly–or fortunately–, I live in the “uncool” part of Brooklyn. Way down south. It’s very unlikely that my area would become “hipsterville” because there are many middle class people here. In addition, gentrification occurs in the poor parts of Brooklyn. Bushwick has and is going through a tremendous change.

    I am not a supporter or opponent of gentrification. But I do believe that some neighborhoods are benefiting from it, while others are left behing.

    It was a good post!

  2. tejjybear says:

    I feel like this analysis can be compared to that of Baruch as well. Some of my friends believe that Baruch has perhaps “too many” immigrants. I don’t really care because I enjoy the different cultures (they add different flavors to a boring day) but it is interesting nevertheless that some people would rather there be less diversity.

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