My Brooklyn really showed gentrification from a different point of view. Gentrification really affected the Fulton Mall area, and from the perspective of people that lived there before the whole look of the neighborhood changed. Real estate developers were eyeing the neighborhood to build luxury condos, leaving the people that currently resided there, without a place to go. The people that were buying the neighborhood, decided to show that they did care about the people that were living there at the time, but it was more of just a publicity stunt. They just wanted to gain leverage to get the City’s approval to start the demolition of existing buildings in the area.
My Brooklyn also really depicted what it was like to live in the area of Downtown Brooklyn during the early 2000’s, when Bloomberg was mayor of the city. It was a great place to go for people of all ages, and the Fulton Mall was one of the most visited malls in New York at the time. If you head to Fulton St now, it is still crowded, but not nearly as it was before. Most of the people that lived in the area, and visited, had to relocate due to the high costs of the new neighborhood that real estate developers were building.
People thought that the city was going to make sure that this whole renovation was a good idea, because the city planned it and proposed it. The truth is that the city actually didn’t create the plan itself. Real estate developing groups, pitched the idea to the city, and made all sorts of guarantees, that they really didn’t end up living up to.
The Fulton Mall was one of the key parts of the renovation, and builders kept saying that it would be a much nicer place to shop around, but in reality, it lost a lot of business after the renovation was completed. A lot of people didn’t go there since the shops had also changed. The stores were much more high end, and the people that were living in the area weren’t able to afford to shop in the neighborhood anymore.
A lot of businesses in the area were basically forced out of their buildings. Real estate developers purchased the buildings, and they were forcing people out within a month, without anywhere else to move to. The documentary really showed this with the bagel shop, and the barber shop. Both of these guys tried to stay open as long as possible, by borrowing money from friends and family, but they still couldn’t do it. Big business in the end, won the war.
The documentary really showed what people in the area went through during the time period, mainly because we thought that new buildings would make the area a nicer place to live in. In reality, it didn’t. It only really benefited the people who could afford the luxury condos in the area, which wasn’t many that lived in the neighborhood prior to 2010.