Stanley Desir 05/14/19
ENG 1121 Dr. Carrie Hall
Gentrification is one of the many crucial issues in America today. It doesn’t get as much attention just like any other topic involving minorities. Before I was trying to reach political figures such as Mayor De Blasio and his office to try to solve this problem that’s a problem in the NYC Community. Then I thought to myself, they don’t even know what even goes on in the “hood”. Instead of going after the mayor or politicians, I feel as if we need to notify the ones that get affected by it the most because it’s up to us to change it. I live in a building that has been gentrified a lot in the past few years. Also my neighborhood is no stranger to the topic.
In my first interview, I decided to interview my neighbor, Ms. Linda. I wanted to know from her point of view how does the topic of gentrification makes her feel.
Interview #1 : Ms. Linda
Q: Hey Ms. Linda, How long have you been living here at our building?
A: Before you was born Stanley *starts to chuckle*
Q: How do you feel about gentrification?
A: Honestly Stanley, I feel gentrification is an excuse for them rich folks to kick us black folks out this building. Or buy our businesses so they can make their fancy coffee shops. We all pay rent. Did you know they evicted Mr Earl from upstairs for being a “nuisance” to other tenants in the building. It’s insane. And that condo across the street was made because of gentrification and it attracts a lot of upper class citizens. I feel like we cant have anything to ourselves. They always take everything from us.
Q: How can you think we can fix gentrification Ms. Linda?
A: Stanley what we need to do is stop letting them fancy suit guys finesse us for a check. We have to take pride in what we own. If we own a store or an apartment and someone tries to offer us a better position somewhere else, we have to say no. And if they try to kick us out our apartment, they need to give us proper proof and reason for it. I’m sorry for being emotional because it’s just sad seeing everything changing in Brooklyn.
I knew there was a reason I had not seen Mr Earl in a while. The landlord evicted him for no reason. Mr Earl was a peaceful man and did not disturb no one. The condo across the street is very nice. Also Brooklyn has a lot of gentrification because we have such a high mass of transportation options. I live across from the Q train to Manhattan is 20 minute train ride away. A lot of residents who live in Manhattan and work there move to my area because the rent is cheaper compared to Manhattan and they find easy train transportation to work. It’s a win win for them but a lost for us. I wanted my next interviewer to be someone who is not a minority. His name is Peter. Peter is Caucasian and lives on the other side of the building and has lived here with my parents way before I was born so I’m sure he has a lot to say about gentrification.
Interview #2 : Peter
Q: What’s going on Pete? Long time no see.
A: How’s it going Stan?, Yea its been a while, how can I help?
Q: I’m doing a assignment for my class on gentrification going on in our area. What are your thoughts on it?
A: To be honest, I like change in every aspect but when it comes to gentrification, it’s all wrong. I lived in Brooklyn my whole life. Always loved this building and a few years ago when I started seeing developmental changes in our neighborhood which attracted resident from the city to come and live here, it kind of annoyed me because a green piece of paper could change the aspect of everything. People would think as a white man I wouldn’t care but a majority of this building are filled with families from the Caribbean such as yours and it’s not right for you guys to be treated like this. Also, a lot of residents in this building who are on section 8/welfare stay here for free. The government funds their rent so the government at any point can relocate them somewhere else and let the upper class residents from Manhattan move in. That’s why gentrification really hits hard for Blacks and Latinos.
I really just learned something after that interview with Peter. I believe that it’s not our fault this happens but we play a specific role in it. I’m not going to lie a lot of people on welfare are very lazy and don’t feel like working to pay rent so the government pays it for them. I feel if we get off our let me excuse my french “Ass” and make an effort and get a job pay our rent they can’t relocate us nowhere. Like I said in the beginning it starts off with us and it ends with us. I hope after these two interviews our people can see what we have to do. With all the gentrification going on in my neighborhood there even trying to give the area a name. There calling it “Ditmas Park” so it could attract residents. I feel like they believe “Flatbush” is going to put the notion in buyers heads that it’s a dangerous area.
Here is a project there trying to develop a few blocks away from my home. The link to that article is attached right here. https://bklyner.com/development-boom-brings-hundreds-families-crowding-flatbushditmaskensington-map/
Above is a church a few blocks away that they want to demolish so they can make a nine story building filled with 76 apartments. The link to the article is attached right here. https://ny.curbed.com/2018/4/5/17202020/ditmas-park-church-demolition-cortelyou-road