This multimedia project aims to highlight how music, film, and photography capture gentrification in New York City and how gentrification continues to change the socio-economic makeup of neighborhoods across the city. Gentrification can be exquisitely highlighted in three particular areas: the Lower East Side, Brooklyn, and Harlem.
Gentrification or Rebranding?
A Personal Perspective
As the old residents leave and sleek window panes take their place the rent-stabilized tenants remain. We remain to see what happens when nobody else rent is protected. As we pay 800 a month, the people moving in can somehow pay three thousand.
My family dinner, born in 1995, is now replaced with a gelato stand.
My childhood pizzeria, born in 1989, is now a Starbucks. As I walked down St. Marks to find my childhood gem no longer in sight, I know that no amount of java or venti lattes can replace the establishment that gave me my first bite of true New York city food before I could even walk.
I miss my home. But my home is no longer there. It has been replaced with coffee bars and overpriced scones
My parents moved to the East Village in 1980. But I know that one day I must say goodbye, for the rents in my neighborhood do not welcome me to stay but force me to leave and become a part of the gentrification of yet another neighborhood.
So is it gentrification? Or is it rebranding?
I don’t know. Maybe it’s both. All I do know, is that the East Village I call home cannot be found by taking the L train to 1st avenue, cannot be found by walking around Tompkins Square Park, but can only be found in the memories of those here long enough to remember when The Starbucks on St Mark’s use to be Nino’s Pizzeria.