Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Scared For Brooklyn?

Mega sweet. (photo via)
Not shaking in my boots scared, but I am a tad bit worried, for Brooklyn is my home. 

I was born here and have been raised here. Not to mention, I hope to continue living in Brooklyn while also building my family and continuing my life in this great city. The hype isn’t spoonfed lies. In NYC, Brooklyn can arguably be named the most diverse area in this state. And that’s what makes it so wonderful. Every nationality can chill in Brooklyn and there will probably be a low amount of animosity toward each other. They all have their own little community in every part of this place, so much that you can tell just by bike riding from one block to another that the atmosphere and surroundings shift to a whole new setting. So when you notice such things like homes getting way more expensive and people moving out to make way for wanderers to move in, it makes you feel a certain way. 

I work in Bushwick/Williamsburg where my father owns a liquor store smack under one of the busiest train stops in that area (btwn Myrtle Ave. & Broadway), so we get a lot of business. But who we get that business from, is black and spanish folk, because they had taken over that area. It was theirs. Same goes to many other parts in Brooklyn. Blacks, mostly from the West Indies, populate a lot of neighborhoods in this city, but before we were here, white people had Brooklyn on lock. It wasn’t until immigrants from all over moved here to make a better living, where whites packed up and left (this was around the segregation times, so whites were having no part in being neighbors with black folks, so they left), leaving us to turn Brooklyn into what it is today. 

This city has tradition. Flavor. It’s homey, you know? I can be surrounded by Haitians in Flatbush, then smiling and waving hi to Middle Easterns around Church and Cortelyou. Take a train to an area populated by the Chinese, walk to an area strictly Spanish. But now, due to its growing popularity, white folks and hipsters are moving (back) in and blacks, due to the high levels of pay and the clean up that’s going on in the crime ridden areas, are moving on out. And that, in a sense, is unfortunate. 

Sure, the pro of this is that the crime MAY go down. Brooklyn could become a bit more safer than before, and it’ll become more presentable as well, which is something we won't try to turn down. Being that Brooklyn is our home, the opportunity to make it more appealing is a fine idea. But moving all the people who created the hype around this place… admittedly, it's upsetting. There may be no major hostility toward whites and hipsters, but they won’t be able to do the amazing job of keeping a lot of blacks and spanish people who've built their lives here close to the roots they couldn’t touch tone with back home as their own people can. And a part of me feels whites and hipsters won’t really want to, because they’re changing the surroundings to fit their needs. Not purposely, but to make Brooklyn homey for themselves. Bushwick, where I work, used to be just awful with crime. It was bad, and even close to intolerable. Nowadays, I see more white people and hipsters alike. More bars, cafe's, clubs and hipster joints… Williamsburg in itself is Home to the Hipsters. And I’m just thinking, with this growing popularity of Brooklyn and the attraction it’s creating, what will become of the diversity? 

Can it still stay put? Can we hold on to it?
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