Gentrification Kills Culture


I gotta say, this rant posted by Michael Penn is the best thing I’ve read in a month.   No one has captured the essence the before-to-after sterilization of a neighborhood caused by an influx of culture-less milky-white anodyne Puritanical millenial-trash than this essay summarizing their existence.   Here goes:

“Move to the suburbs” is the battle cry from the spawn of Helicopter Mommies and the Everybody Gets a Trophy generation that wants the interesting, the strange, the out of the ordinary, the creative people to go exactly where they just themselves came from.

Acting like locusts, they aim to change an area into a safe, boring, homogenized dense suburb. Something familiar and planned because the unexpected and unknown scares them. Take Old City as late as the 90s. We had two afterhour clubs, two illegal speakeasies, as S&M club, a Jazz club, a Blues club, several diners and luncheonettes, a great art enclave, coffee shops open till midnight at least, huge raw lofts with parties, gatherings, art performances, etc, etc, etc. The people were interesting and there was a sense of excitement that went well into the wee hours of the morning, and not just on the weekends.

Flash forward to today where the population has gone up 900% and none of what I mentioned exists anymore. It’s lights out by 9pm., there is no coffee shop that stays open past 7pm unless you consider Starbucks a coffee shop. The new neighborhood zombies get excited about places that serve $10 ice cream cones and $15 beers, chef driven restaurants while throwing a small bean bag into a hole at a beer garden brings them close to orgasim, if they even know what one is.

They scream “amazing” at stores that sell only socks and European kitchens that costs more than a car.

They like faux retro over the real thing, copy of copies, and discuss Game of Thrones or doing yoga at whichever newer studio hasn’t closed to make way for yet another yoga studio.

They whine and complain that there should more Starbucks because two blocks is too far to walk at night on a city street now so brightly lit by LED street lights that it looks like a movie set.

They swoon over the latest contrived “street art” that’s as interesting as diarrhea but one line of graffiti sends them into a tail spin.

Corner stores where you know the owner and employees names are beneath them as they scream for a Whole Foods, Wegmans or Trader Joes.

They think that this is what a “real” city is like.

Boy, they couldn’t be more wrong.