Monday, July 7, 2008

*Everyday Chatter

Some of Harlem's affluent new residents are not happy with an African drumming circle that's been in the area since 1969. One suggests, “Why don’t we just get nooses for everyone of those lowlifes and hang them from a tree? ...the best thing that has happened to Harlem is gentrification. Let’s get rid of these ‘people’ and improve the neighborhood once and for all.” [NYTimes]

"Kid noise" and accompanying complaints on the rise. [NYTimes]

Whole Foods follows the big money: Average income downtown? $242,000. And then more big money follows Whole Foods: "You had the old Gristede's and the Food Emporium, but nothing that addressed the yuppies...Whole Foods is not for everyone. They're not going to go into a housing project or a low-income area; not because they're expensive, but because that's not their image... When they went into the Bowery, other retailers followed." [NYSun]

Could there be a more fitting metaphor for what's happening on the LES than the way the Cooper Square Hotel (today, glass, white, monstrous) is swallowing the home of poet Hettie Jones (yesterday, brick, color, human)? Except it's not a metaphor. It's real. [Curbed]

9 comments:

GiantsFootballNY said...

Didnt the police evict a bengal tiger that was living in a Harlem apartment a few years ago?

Either that or they chose not to renew its lease, I do not remember.

Anonymous said...

That article on the drummers is disturbing..This is a city not a suburb and more importantly this is a neighborhood that has its own unique identity that is embraced by many people of all backgrounds. While I completely understand a tenants right for quiet, wouldn't common sense tell you that if you are buying property in a new area you would investigate what its like first? Its not like you can move or break your lease without losing serious money.
I live in Harlem and before I moved here I walked the streets at various times to get a feel for whether i would like it. I had an issue with noise once, but it was via my neighbor who happened to be white and who would practice with his band till 2 am everyday. He ignored my requests to keep it down until I went to management and then spat at me " This is Harlem, don't you hear the crack addicts on the street?" nice way to feel about your neighborhood.

He eventually moved from complaints from other neighbors. So hearing syncopated drum beats in a park would be solitude compared to what I endured.

john said...

Mr. Perkins said... “This is part of folk learning to live together.”

Wrong.

This is NOT about living together. That big american flag is right on: its about moving the "undesireables" so the nice clean white folks can enjoy their empty blandness in peace.

They will, however, continue to co-opt/poach elements from other cultures at their convenience (lacking the connection to their true creative selves to come up with their own expressions).

Doing as I want because I can? I'm down with that!

BaHa said...

The article about the drummers is a microcosm of what is happening throughout the city, albeit more blatant and distasteful. "Change for us! We moved here! Fix everything! Make it clean for us! And, by the way, if you're from here, get out!"

Anonymous said...

This is shocking. The residents seeking quiet should consider Connecticut.

Bob said...

The Harlem article is more or less a microcosm of what's happening to this city. The yuppies move in and expect longtime residents to acommodate them. These fucking people are like a cancer.

Bob said...

And regarding the "Kid Noise" article, I really don't know who to side with (or more aptly don't know who I hate more) the young, single frat boys and sorority sister yunnies or the Joneses and their bastard hellspawn children. I have no love for the material girls and boys but I find these families trying to live a suburba-esque life in the middle of Manhattan equally distasteful. With any luck each side will drive a solid number of the other out of this city.

Hell, I was born and raised here and my folks never had to make excuses for me because I was out and about learning about life from the streets - playing ball, dodging traffic, riding the subways with my friends...the city was my backyard. By the time I got home I was too exhausted to be a nuisance to the neighbors. Of course the Joneses would never deign to let their little punks grow up in this city like real children. Instead they expect to raise them in a 1500 sq ft. condo as if it were a three-story McMansion in Connecticut with a white picket fence and a dog. You've got to be fucking kidding me. These people are delusional.

Anonymous said...

Although I do not have children, and hence may be biased, I absolutely side with the non-family residents on the noise issue. Parents choose to have children, and then many act as if the negative externalities those children produce are something they should not be accountable for. To me, this is no different than a resident adopting a dog that barks all day long or a resident blasting music. To be sure, parents have less control over children's noise production than an individual does over their stereo, but they are in complete control of a) the decision to have children in the first place and b) to raise those children in cramped urban quarters where the children's noise will bother not only the parents but neighbors who had absolutely no say in the parents' decision. Legally, neighbors can sue these parents directly or the landlord for violating what is called the covenant of quiet enjoyment, which basically means that you are entitled to have a relatively peaceful abode. They may also be liable for nuisance (which is a legal principle stating that a party is liable for their actions which diminish the value of or cause other property to be unusable). The bottom line is that if parents wish to have the twin joys of parenthood and living in urbanity, they have to provide restitution to neighbors for the injury they inflict. If you can't afford to live in a townhouse or a place with decent soundproofing, then you may have to raise your kids in the suburbs. Innocent third parties should not have to suffer so you can have your cake and eat it too.

Jill said...

Oooh you beat me to it, I was about to post the new Chico mural on 12th Street. Chico is a controversial subject around my house.