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Old 09-04-2008, 12:41 PM
348 posts, read 1,110,900 times
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Thanks, MHD. And I still have the rest of yours to post in the other thread. The ones of the new construction in Melrose and the ones of the Longwood Brownstones.

Let me ask you something - St. Mary's Park and that area...is that part of MH? Is it truly as serene and safe as it felt? I couldn't believe that was right smack in the middle of where I was walking around. Also, the townhomes around Brook Avenue were gorgeous and so well maintained. Is that known to be any better area than others? One of the patrons at Alexander's mentioned that he was looking to buy in that area -and that is what made me head on over that way.
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:12 PM
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It is the only park in Mott Haven. The new townhomes they built are nice, with parking, backyard, etc....and many look right onto the park. I would say the area has some issues, but it is improving literally everyday. I go to the park almost everyday (In the evenings) with my dog and have never had a problem. As I stated, they have been patrolling these areas heavily to keep crime in check...and it is working..
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:13 PM
Location: Bronx, NY
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When I used to work in a daycare center around 148th and Brook we used to take the kids to St. Marys and two incidents happen in a span of a week. First time, a kid got jumped and robbed of his PSP. Second time was I saw a bunch of cops and an ambulance...somebody told me there was a stabbing. But for the rest few weeks it was relatively calm, although I dont doubt things happen on the down low.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:34 PM
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Default Just a Few Photos of Mott Haven

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Old 09-05-2008, 11:31 AM
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I think I see where you are coming from (o.p.), but I am still baffled by this idea of artists "spurring" gentrification. Most artists can barely even afford the high prices of renting apartments or buying into co-ops. WBAI aired a very enlightening show not too long ago in which the host and the guests on air argued quite the opposite of what you are saying or implying here in your original post. They made the case that there will come a time in New York City when artists will not be able to afford living here at all. I am a poet, writer, performing artist, etc., who teaches for a living. My question is this: Would you enjoy living in a city that has no artists or arts community? Really? This will probably not happen on that scale realistically. Still, why blame gentrification on the artists? Sounds like scapegoating to me. There is a bigger picture here, a far bigger scheme. Call it capitalism. Call it widespread greed. I hope things will change. Peace...
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:39 AM
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I actually do not believe that artists spur anything, especially gentrification. I merely posted the article and noted some interesting comments from the article. It is in fact not artists doing anything, they are just looking for a cheap place to live in general...just like me and 3/4 of the city for that matter. I think artists are a good thing, as are yuppies, blacks, indians, maids, entreprenuers, factory workers, cops, etc...we are all needed and healthy parts of a community. What I don't welcome are criminals, those demanding entitlements from the government or anyone for that matter, and small minded/ignorant people with too much time on their hands.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:06 PM
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Hey SouthBronxGuy. Right on about the whole artist thing, and the whole community thing. Thanks for clarifying. I got a little worried there. It's a kind of touchy subject for me, not just because I am an artist who was forced back when to make a living here as an adjunct professor, but because I see so many artists struggling financially just to survive here, and because even though I have this little love-hate relationship with NYC it has been the "underground" arts community that has helped me to keep my spirit alive in the midst of rising rents, threats from landlords, watching Sugar Hill, Harlem morph into some kind of strange hybrid of hardcore ghetto life (watch your back and your purse, right?) and cold, soul-less gentrification (watch your purse). Dang...
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:31 PM
348 posts, read 1,110,900 times
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Default Let Me Clarify

Perhaps I should clarify my references to Williamsburg. I just mean to say that it FEELS the same way as Williamsburg did back then – desolate, gritty, urban, tons of factory space next to modest homes, a sprinkling of hipsters, artists, filmmakers, etc., a few really cool, unique and UN-homogenized, UN-corporate (read: UN-yuppie) shops and eateries. There was just a certain “aura” or pulse that was exciting. Now sadly, Williamsburg (imo) has become a caricature of itself, in some respects. I don’t wish that for Mott Haven, or anywhere else. But I do think that any area that has seen urban blight and the resulting poverty and despair and has that feel of being on the cusp of better things – I find that very, very exciting. Not only for those new arrivees but for those long time residents, as well. Bringing jobs, amenities, healthier air, nicer and safer streets and a positive outlook towards the future for THE ENTIRE diverse community is something to aim for – not something to be ridiculed or destroyed. As long as the overriding principal is one of INCLUSION….(And in the Bronx, I truly believe there is room for everyone who wants to live peacefully and decently amongst his or her neighbors.)

I have seen LA millionaire yuppies come into my hometown in California and try to change things, take over City Council, push for too-large-for-the-community McMansions and treat us locals shabbily like we didn’t matter. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. (Now it's the billionaires coming in and doing the pushing!) I understand people's fears and distrust. But this isn't like that, from what I can see (at least from a distance). And you cannot tell me that all those hardworking and law-abiding Mott Haven families, students, teens, etc. wouldn’t welcome a safer, more vibrant and exciting neighborhood. And if the true artists, writers, filmakers and other creative types could move in (and be able to stay in) - now there is an enclave many would love to be a part of!

Last edited by NYCwoman; 09-05-2008 at 03:02 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:05 PM
456 posts, read 1,219,873 times
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From what I understand, feel, have witnessed, and have heard--esp. from many of my adult students who come from neighborhoods throughout the boroughs experiencing gentrification--yes, most people want a neighborhood that is safer, more vibrant, and exciting. The missing element is this: They/we also want a neighborhood that is neighborly and psychologically safe.

Sadly, many of the more upscale or artsy people who have recently moved to Sugar Hill, Harlem are not neighborly. They look fearful and angry most of the time. God only knows why. I am sure everyone has a story. I can guess that they themselves do not feel welcome. Some may be experiencing the kind of social ostracism or bullying I have seen written about in this forum, i.e. against yuppies and hipsters.

Everyone has his/her desires and dreams. Everyone has his/her hidden fears, pains, and prejudices. I'm not sure what it is like in Mott Haven, but I can tell you that we are not a melting pot here on the new Sugar Hill, we are a motley crew of many different types of people, some of whom come from families whose roots run deep, some who ignore or are disdainful of the people here, and some, like myself who don't fit into any clear-cut category.

Bottom line, from where I stand, is that I wish neighborhood improvement strategies also came with a design for bridging the racial and social divides that right now feel really exaggerated and, well, tragic. Do you know what it is like to see two yuppie guys march into an African-American art gallery and shop in the neighborhood as if they own the place--loudly and disrespectfully? Do you know what it feels like to get on the elevator of a building you've lived in for four years, or retrieve your mail in the lobby, and have a new neighbor, who seems inexplicably afraid/disdainful, look at you as if you don't belong there or are planning to mug them? Sometimes I want to tell them, "I have been living in this building for four years. My mother's side of the family has deep roots in this neighborhood. I have three degrees, all with honors. I am a college English instructor, poet, singer, published writer, recording artist, and performing artist who has been living and working in NYC for eleven years. I am hardworking and trustworthy, and I have no need and no plans to mug you." That's my inner monologue. But no... I just keep myself at a polite but friendly distance, and trust that eventually they will have to grow up, get comfortable here, and start recognizing that we all live here and we are all in this together. Eventually they get comfortable with me. I seem to have that effect on most people. But those first encounters... Ai yai yai...

This is my experience and my take on things. I only speak for myself. Peace...

Last edited by Indi9; 09-05-2008 at 03:22 PM..
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:11 PM
Location: bronx - north
473 posts, read 1,513,998 times
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Indi, it is not your fault that the kids seem apprehensive when they see you in the hallway. If they have a problem with you, that's their fault. I don't think you should go out of your way to be "friendly" - I don't see them going out of their way to "give you a chance" or the "benefit of the doubt" - it's like you're guilty till proven innocent.

I have a question - what do you mean by "african american" gallery? Why can't it just be a gallery?
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