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View Poll Results: Which city will be gentrified into oblivion first?
Manhattan (New York) 15 34.09%
Washington, DC 20 45.45%
Boston 9 20.45%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-11-2014, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY $$$
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolehboleh View Post
I'm all for a happy medium when it comes to gentrification. I love it when good businesses come into a bad neighborhood and make the place better, but I hate it when they displace good, locally owned businesses. There are places that have a good balance, but it's rare. I'd argue that the Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Woodside neighborhoods in Queens are good examples of that balance.
Well New York City is an immigrant city so I'm sure we will always have some balance.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY $$$
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Clavin View Post
I'd rather see older, run down buildings rehabbed, than see them demo'ed to make way for new ones. The architecture and building materials used a century ago can never be replicated today due to cost.
I agree. I do real estate in NYC and most clients I speak to prefer the architecture of the old housing stock.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY $$$
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polo89 View Post
When Blacks move in, Whites CHOOSE to leave. When Whites move in, Blacks are forced out. You guys made the rules.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...vGMjtXtNBuaNTA
According to history this seems to be the truth.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY $$$
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwright1 View Post
Columbia City in Seattle was kind of run down and had a drug and crime problem in the 80s. It too was cleaned up but the difference is quite a few of the black businesses which were there for quite a long time remained and cleaned up. Whites came in and opened a couple of great restaurants, a nice pub, a cool bakery and other establishments. Latinos and asians are part of the mix too. Some of the newer construction was affordable housing and the lightrail is a couple of blocks away. What I like is it truely is an intergrated neighborhood full of people from all walks of life and incomes.

Is there anywhere in DC like this? From what I can see DC is becoming a city for the rich and to me that can be boring.
That's great. I'm hoping Harlem becomes what Columbia city has become.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:49 AM
 
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Gentrification is great and I'm black. I love being able to go to eateries, clubs, lounges, bars etc... at all times of the night. Before gentrification, large swaths of DC were off limits and dead. I don't understand how people can be opposed to urban amenities.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:01 AM
 
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I'm all for gentrification, but the rate of gentrification in places like Manhattan (excluding select parts of uptown) and DC has not only driven out the poor but also has driven out the middle class as well. This is actually bad for all parties involved because no one (including the wealthy) wants to live in totally bland-looking neighborhood.

Many neighborhoods have been gentrified into oblivion before. Look at Society Hill in Philadelphia, which went from a wealthy enclave to slum and finally back to wealthy enclave). Greenwich Village in NYC has gone through a similar process. In both cases, these neighborhoods ceased to be perceived as "fashionable" and so their residents moved uptown like everyone else in both cases. Cities and neighborhoods rise and fall.

The point is when the cost of living/investing rises too sharply, it can start to discourage investment and immigration and funnel it elsewhere (places like Baltimore now or the suburbs during the 1950's, for instance). That's the way capitalism works folks.

Last edited by Frank Bones; 04-11-2014 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
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Disclaimer, I don't consider any of these three cities to be bland. I'd put all three near the top of the list for most vibrant American cities.

That being said, I think DC overall is the most sterile feeling of the three. Before I get jumped on by the DC crowd for saying this, let me just reiterate... I think all three are among the most diverse, vibrant and active cities in the U.S. But out of the three, I'd say DC feels the most sterile.

There are a lot of reasons for this, but I don't think gentrification is really the guilty party. All three cities have experienced quite a bit of gentrification, but I would argue that DC may have neighborhoods that have gentrified the least (though Boston really doesn't trail far behind) of the pack.

For me, it's a combination of DC's height cap, government presence and transient workforce. The height cap is most pronounced in downtown DC. Bear with me, this isn't a skyline rant. Instead of building tall and slender in the city center, developers are forced to build short and fat to get the same square footage for the money. Combined with the hulking government structures, Downtown DC has too many areas that are dominated with massive landscapers with little or no street interaction. There are definitely active pockets (7th street is always busy and active... but note pedestrian scale is much better than much of the rest of the area), and DC is still light years ahead of most other American cities, but Boston and Manhattan don't have nearly the same proportion of sterile, non-interactive streetscape in the city centers.

Beyond the scale of the buildings, the government presence and heightened security temper some of the natural intermingling that happens on normal city streets. This obviously only applies to access points at major government structures, but it hurts the overall activity of the area, especially when DC's major government structures are mostly adjacent to DC's greatest asset- the National Mall. The sidewalks along the mall should be chalk-full of people selling knock-off purses from blankets, fake Rolexes out of suitcases, crappy jewelry and fake cologne out of garbage bags, an incredible variety of street food vendors, etc. All of those things do exist along the Mall, but in a much, much smaller capacity than they should. While those activities are mostly illegal, they add to the character of the area and make the experience mostly more enjoyable. My favorite memories of walking thorough Battery Park are not the pristine grounds or spotless benches, but the guys trying to get me to by a $10 Rolex or $10 Oakleys. Same for the Boston Common.

The transient nature of the workforce also adds to it. It seems like everyone in DC is from somewhere else, and many of these people move in and then out within a few years time. It makes a lot of DC feel less Established than the other two (though it's still more "established" feeling than most other cities).

DC still has some of the best urban neighborhoods in the U.S., and it's seemingly evolving (for the better) faster than any city on the East Coast. I'd gladly live in DC again if I had the opportunity. I was in DC for Shamrock Fest a few weeks ago, meeting with some old friends. I was amazed when we walked by my old place how many more (and better looking) restaurants and stores there were in the neighborhood. But compared to the other two, it does still feel a little more sterile.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
7,944 posts, read 16,003,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC's Finest View Post
Gentrification is great and I'm black. I love being able to go to eateries, clubs, lounges, bars etc... at all times of the night. Before gentrification, large swaths of DC were off limits and dead. I don't understand how people can be opposed to urban amenities.
I don't think it's that people are opposed to more urban amenities. I think it's the type of amenities and being priced out that people have a problem with. It sucks living in a neighborhood where rent goes up a few hundred dollars every year, your favorite small, cheap ethnic eatery is replaced with an overpriced, douchey sounding wine bar, and your corner market turns into an overpriced organic grocery store.

Gentrification is like anything else. It reaches a point where too much is a bad thing. It's great when vacant homes are drawing renewed interest which draws businesses into vacant storefronts which in turn draws more interest in living in the neighborhood, which draws even more businesses. It gets bad when you have an active and vibrant neighborhood that's lower-middle class, and the residents and businesses start getting priced out. You start seeing small mom and pop shops being priced out of their storefronts which are then replaced with a Walgreens, bank, Panera Bread, etc. That's where the "gentrification is bad!" folks start chiming in.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Clavin View Post
I'd rather see older, run down buildings rehabbed, than see them demo'ed to make way for new ones. The architecture and building materials used a century ago can never be replicated today due to cost.
When it comes to gentrification, most of the buildings do get rehabilitated. If there is a need to rebuild an area (like when trying to fill empty lots), most smart developers will try their best to keep the area in character and not out of place with off-beat architecture. That's probably why it seems that DC has still maintained a lot of charm and character, more so than areas that haven't been gentrified.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Prince George's County, Maryland
6,212 posts, read 7,365,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwright1 View Post
Columbia City in Seattle was kind of run down and had a drug and crime problem in the 80s. It too was cleaned up but the difference is quite a few of the black businesses which were there for quite a long time remained and cleaned up. Whites came in and opened a couple of great restaurants, a nice pub, a cool bakery and other establishments. Latinos and asians are part of the mix too. Some of the newer construction was affordable housing and the lightrail is a couple of blocks away. What I like is it truely is an intergrated neighborhood full of people from all walks of life and incomes.

Is there anywhere in DC like this? From what I can see DC is becoming a city for the rich and to me that can be boring.
Sounds like DC's Columbia Heights neighborhood I reckon.
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