Study: Building Luxury Housing for Gentrifiers Helps The Poor

Hamilton Nolan · 02/12/16 12:46PM

Creating enough affordable housing is one of the hardest political and economic challenges in the world. (If you think you know an easy answer, you’re wrong!) Here is a new piece of data that could “add to our understanding,” and make everyone mad.

Gentrified Sesame Street Is Here

Rich Juzwiak · 01/16/16 10:43AM

Sesame Street’s 46th season premiered on HBO today, with back-to-back half-hour episodes (the shortened run time, down from hourlong shows, is “is viewed as a more manageable amount of time for children to focus,” according to a recent New York Times piece). With the new episodes’ controversial move from PBS to a premium cable network comes ground-level changes, some of which are reflected in the clips above from the first two episodes—Elmo’s in his brownstone (which overlooks a bridge that resembles Philadelphia’s Walt Whitman), Oscar’s got his recycling bin, and Hooper’s Store now looks a place where you can buy a bunch of kale, Stumptown Coffee, and a stick of butter. Muppets, after all, have always been artisanal, through and through.

Hamilton Nolan · 08/10/15 04:16PM

The founder of a charity group that was displaced from its Venice Beach office by Snapchat’s expansion says that “a Snapchat executive told her he had noticed one of her homeless clients sweeping the street with an old broom, so he offered to buy the organization a new one.” Kindness—it’s affordable :)

Catfish, Cornbread, and Condos: South LA on the Verge of Transition

Nijla Mu’min · 06/06/15 12:00PM

I work at a soul-food restaurant owned by a very attractive black biracial man. The restaurant is located in South Los Angeles, across from what used to be the Magic Johnson Theater, a place once known for shootouts during movie screenings. But, I digress.

Why Do I Still Live in New York City?: A Roundtable

Jason Parham · 06/01/15 12:05PM

Weeks ago, reeling from a night of booze and bad decisions, I ventured to a local Bayou-themed restaurant in search of comfort food. I wanted to absorb the last of the alcohol that remained from just hours before, fully determined to get rid of my hangover. When you live alone, this is not an uncommon practice. I often eat out by myself—it’s hard to wait on friends to make brunch plans when all you want to do is devour a plate of syrup-coated waffles—so it wasn’t strange when the bartender and the gray-haired gentleman to my right decided to include me in their conversation. “What do you think?” he said. They had been discussing rising property values in the neighborhood, and the ills of gentrification. The bartender mentioned how a small patch of dirt between two brownstones, just blocks from the restaurant and my apartment, was going for $2 million. “There was also that old gas station in Crown Heights that sold for 30 million recently,” she said. “How is anybody expected to live here now? It’s just too much.”

Hamilton Nolan · 03/27/15 02:13PM

"Gentrification tends to stop when affluent people stop wanting to move into the city," Megan McArdle says in a fine overview of the intractability of the affordable housing problem. The only real solution, it would seem, is to close the gap between the affluent and everyone else.

Juggalos Give Gentrifiers Dick-Sucking Ultimatum

Hudson Hongo · 11/20/14 12:40AM

If nothing else, Insane Clown Posse fans are known for being pretty reasonable, willing to cut off their own nipples for $100 or burn off your tattoo for free. So it's no surprise that a group calling itself "The Juggalo Family" gave targeted North Portland businesses some options when they plastered them with flyers last week, writing, "Vacate or [REDACTED] our [REDACTED]."

Women Sick of "White People" in Brooklyn Force Neighbors Out at Gunpoint

Allie Jones · 09/09/14 09:45AM

White people keep moving to Brooklyn, driving up rent prices, and guess what? Two Brooklyn women have had enough. This weekend, Precious Parker, 30, and Sabrina James, 23, allegedly forced their neighbors out of their Flatbush apartment building at gunpoint.

Where Is the Next Next Next Brooklyn Neighborhood?

Hamilton Nolan · 08/28/14 10:48AM

In Brooklyn, America's Coolest Land Area, the "name of the game" is staying one step ahead of the tidal wave of gentrification that wants to swallow you and price you out of your own neighborhood. Bad news: it's time to find the "next" Brooklyn neighborhood.

Spike Lee Thinks A.O. Scott Doesn't Understand Brooklyn

Hazel Cills · 03/31/14 06:30PM

On Sunday, New York Times film critic A.O. Scott wrote a column on Brooklyn and its on-screen portrayal in recent years, from Girls to Saturday Night Fever. With a title like "Whose Brooklyn Is It, Anyway?" it was bound to irk at least a few people, but Scott made sure to piss off the one Brooklynite you don't want to piss off: Spike Lee.