Monday, August 19, 2013

Gentrification Is Not About Race and Class, but Fear of Outsiders

Modelling gentrification in terms of migration instead of race and class at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Return migration and gentrification.

Subject Article: "Los Angeles Neighborhood Tries to Change, but Avoid the Pitfalls."

Other Links: 1. "Rich man, poor man, angry man."
2. "As the Neck develops and placemakers set an agenda, will the black community be included or neglected again?"
3. "Gentrification of the City."
4. "Mobility Paradox."
5. "Gentrifier? Who, Me? Interrogating the Gentrifier in the Mirror."
6. "Displacing Poverty."
7. "The Hipster Must Die."
8. "From the Cotton Belt to the Black Belt: Economic Mobility and the Burden of Southern History."
9. "The Great American Arrival City: Los Angeles, CA."
10. "People Develop, Not Places."

Postscript: Twitter tracking the subject article about Boyle Heights ("Los Angeles Neighborhood"), another journalist chimed in with a 2008 story about gentrification of the neighborhood:

David Contreras sits alone in his rockabilly clothing shop in Boyle Heights. At first, he explains, he wanted an "atomic age" theme for his store, with Cadillac fins mounted on walls, stars on the ceiling -- sort of like a glamorous 1950s department store.

But he figured that would scare people away in the working-class neighborhood he grew up in before moving away to New York and then Silver Lake. So he went with a tiki-bar look instead, thinking it would be warmer and humbler. Some people still freak out when they walk in, he said, raising his clenched hands and contorting his face as if to impersonate a doomed woman on a vintage horror movie poster. People still stumble into his store, wondering where Frank's TV repair shop went.

"Everyone thinks we're gentrifying, but we don't want to gentrify. We just want to be a cool place for people to hang out," said Contreras, 49. "We're like the Neiman Marcus of Boyle Heights! Everyone likes glamour. What's wrong with that?"

Yep, Hispanic domestic return migration. Talk about demographic convergence. Talk about ironic gentrification.

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