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Up the Clapham Junction

How a pop song described a certain place in a certain time, and how parts of the area were transformed from an industrial slum into a nightlife epicentre. Here's the radio version.

† 4 May 1979 - The Conservative Party wins the general election and Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Two weeks later Squeeze releases their single Up the Junction.
posted by sidra on Apr 13, 2014 - 18 comments

 

Cool London is dead, proclaims the Telegraph

Alex Proud sets off an epic rant against the soul death of the capital.
posted by Diablevert on Apr 10, 2014 - 60 comments

Off Brand Portlandia

What happens when your neighborhood gets overrun with upscale stores and the rich posers move in? You make fun of them, of course, and realize that the good old days there are fuckin over
posted by josher71 on Feb 28, 2014 - 51 comments

Meanwhile, back in the People's Republic of Zuckerstan...

...taking a critical look at the dark side of the "Innovation Economy" There is no Google bus controversy in the Bay State. But the similarities between Boston and San Francisco now include a growing debate over the shadow side of the Innovation Economy: [more inside]
posted by anelsewhere on Feb 27, 2014 - 28 comments

Building Goes Up, Building Goes Down

Watch NYC Gentrify Through Google Street View GIFs
posted by The Whelk on Feb 21, 2014 - 135 comments

There is a land grab going on

There is a land grab going on in Soho under the banner of morality. That night, while Stephen Ward [in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical of that name] was bowing to an entranced audience, 200 of our boys in blue raided more than 20 models' flats, arresting 30 girls and confiscating their earnings. ... They broke down doors, intimidated girls into accepting cautions (ie criminal records) and served civil-eviction papers that, unless you were a lawyer, you would not know had hidden in their depths (20-odd pages) the time and date you were to appear in court if you wanted to appeal. Rupert Everett in defence of Soho's working girls.
posted by Grangousier on Jan 19, 2014 - 16 comments

Heatmaps of Rent as a Share of Income in American Cities

Markers of Gentrification: Mapping Rent as a Share of Income Heatmaps showing median rent as a percentage of median income. Note the heatmap colors are not baselined across the cities displayed in the blog post.
posted by stp123 on Jan 16, 2014 - 26 comments

London, Paris, NY, Copenhagen, everyone's talkin' 'bout gentrification

Please stop moving to New York
posted by mippy on Jan 10, 2014 - 169 comments

A Bittersweet Love Letter to the [London] Suburbs

"Perhaps, in some way, the suburbs encapsulate the British identity in a way that the cities don't any more – small dramas playing out beyond the stations without barriers, rather than the heavily policed, heavily funded bourgeois ghettos of the inner cities."
posted by mippy on Nov 8, 2013 - 11 comments

“Why is art going in here? This is the ghetto”

The Best Of All Possible Worlds - "A public art contest in Evansville, Indiana becomes a debate over race, class, and good taste." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 7, 2013 - 26 comments

San Francisco’s most glaring contradiction

San Francisco Magazine visits the Tenderloin: "Barring a seismic shift in city politics, the TL is not going to gentrify the way that similar neighborhoods have in other cities. Not next year. Not in five years. Maybe never. For better or worse, it will likely remain a sanctuary for the poor, the vulnerable, and the damaged—and the violence and disorder that inevitably comes with them. The thousands of working people, seniors, and families, including many Southeast Asians, who make up a silent two-thirds majority of the Tenderloin’s 30,000 residents will remain there. And so will the thousands of not-so-silent mentally ill people, addicts, drunks, and ex-cons who share the streets with them—as well as the predators who come in from the outside to exploit them. The Tenderloin will remain the great anomaly of neighborhoods: a source of stubborn pride for San Francisco, or an acute embarrassment—or both."
posted by porn in the woods on Oct 24, 2013 - 50 comments

Ripe For The Picking

Ask A Native New Yorker: How Guilty Should I Feel About Being A Horrible Gentrifier? Passionate response from a Bushwick native.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 27, 2013 - 205 comments

Pacifying the Favelas: Preparing for International Attention

Brazilian favelas have a long and sordid history, initially constructed as a shanty town by soldiers who had nowhere to live. Then the poor people from rural areas moved to the cities for job opportunities, expanding the favelas. Today, there are over 500 favelas, with about a third of Rio de Janeiro's population, and they're growing. The three primary drug gangs that fight for control in the favelas formed in the 1970s (PDF), but they were formed not solely by fighters, but also political radicals, and these gangs provide some social services where the government does not. That is, until the Pacifying Police Units were formed in 2008, with the goal of pushing the gangs out and providing government stability from a live-in police force. But this isn't just to an effort to end the gang violence -- the slums are being swept ahead of the tourist rush, and the shanty towns are now seeing a rapid gentrification from non-Brazilians and speculators.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 6, 2013 - 15 comments

Sociology in My Neighborhood

JR pledged to “use art to turn the world inside out” but does this mural strip away historical meaning and leave only the commodification of authenticity? "In contrast to Dr. King's and the sanitation workers' demands for significant economic change, JR's demands are for vague existence."
posted by spamandkimchi on May 14, 2013 - 3 comments

Enough With The Hipster Stuff, Alright?!?

On topics ranging from the capitalist dynamics of gentrification to the casualization of employment among ostensibly middle class Millennials, the “fucking hipster” show beats structural analysis The confluence of heavy-handed tactics and the seeming collaboration between landlords, city agencies, and a violent Hell’s Angel-like gang is telling and in many ways typical. A year before their biker piece, the New York Post ran an article entitled “W’burg has art attack: Hipsters facing boot” which covered the final stage in the long battle between long-time residents of the 338 Berry Street Lofts — artists who had moved into and transformed both building and neighborhood during the mid-1990s — and their landlord. This is the now familiar story of gentrification in New York City. [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on May 12, 2013 - 123 comments

The Bacon-Wrapped Economy

The Bacon-Wrapped Economy, or how the rise of a new elite of wealthy, predominantly twentysomething, software engineers and startup founders is changing the San Francisco Bay Area's economy and culture. [more inside]
posted by acb on Mar 24, 2013 - 134 comments

Keep Your Fancy Food Out of Our Neighbourhood!

PiDGiN Restaurant is a lovely new restaurant in Vancouver. Located across the street one of the most challenged parks (Pigeon Park) in Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside. For some, it's a welcome addtion to the local dining scene. To others, it's a poke in the eye of the poor and disadvantaged living in possibly the worst neighbourhood in Canada and they want to put a stop to it. . [more inside]
posted by helmutdog on Feb 21, 2013 - 82 comments

The cool people are everywhere; somehow, they've even made the weather rainier

Simpsons series 24 episode 7 (The Day The Earth Stood Cool) aired last night, being the hipsterification of Springfield, complete with urban nomads, artisanal donuts, Homer's new attire, the Decemberists, Marge being confused by The Onion, and gentrification. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 10, 2012 - 109 comments

in Oakland, the revolutionary pilot light is always on

Requiem for an Occupation: The New York Times visits Oakland, California, "the last refuge of radical America." Previously and previouslier. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Aug 1, 2012 - 47 comments

The Return of the "A"

"Atlanta went from a town to a city." — Rico Wade [more inside]
posted by ob1quixote on Apr 24, 2012 - 38 comments

Post-Industrial Brooklyn

How Brooklyn Got Its Groove Back: New York’s biggest borough has reinvented itself as a postindustrial hot spot. In City Journal, Kay S. Hymowitz walks us through a story of entrepreneurial "creative class gentrification" in NYC's most populous borough. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Jan 26, 2012 - 89 comments

By no means just another struggling Michigan town.

Now that the factories are closed, it’s tee time in Benton Harbor (SLNYT, previously).
posted by xowie on Dec 15, 2011 - 8 comments

The Chelsea Hotel of NYC, surviving The Great Depression, fires, deaths, but maybe not a change of ownership

Late July 2011, would-be guests of the historic and storied Chelsea Hotel (also known as Hotel Chelsea or simply The Chelsea) were informed on their reservations were suddenly canceled, in preparation for a year-long renovation project, which some people speculate is a union-busting strategy. Given the concerns for the future of The Chelsea, some came to throw last-minute parties, while long-term tenants held more somber gatherings. On August 1st, current guests were abruptly escorted out, increasing anxieties about the plans of the new owner, elusive real estate investor Joseph Chetrit. Even if this is the end of the era, the hotel's long and varied legacy lives on ... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 6, 2011 - 47 comments

Historic preservation as gentrification and discrimination

[Urban planning] allows discrimination but dresses it up as discriminating taste. So says an opinion piece in Reason magazine titled Urban Design Hipsters are Evil. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Jun 15, 2011 - 59 comments

Bohemian Suburb Rhapsody

Veteran Australian pop satirist New Waver, best known for covers of pop songs rewritten from a pessimistically neo-Darwinian point of view, has a new album out. Titled Bohemian Suburb Rhapsody, it looks at the subjects of gentrification, the explosion of revivalist styles in "hip" music, contemporary white-collar culture, the ideology of the "creative class" in the post-industrial age and the resulting oversupply of cultural products, through the medium of cover songs and musical montage. The album is free for dowloading from New Waver's web site; there is a more detailed explanation here, and a video for the song "Hey Dude" (which explains the dynamics of gentrification through the medium of a Beatles cover) here.
posted by acb on Feb 28, 2010 - 14 comments

Kreuzberg can suck it.

Architect Jakob Tigges plans to erect a 1,000 meter tall artificial mountain in the middle of Berlin. [more inside]
posted by quoquo on Nov 11, 2009 - 36 comments

San Francisco's Black Exodus

San Francisco's Black Exodus. Since the last report in 1990, San Francisco’s Black population has dropped by 40 percent, faster than any other major city in the country. In an effort to reverse the loss, Mayor Gavin Newsom started the African American Out-Migration Task force in 2007. [more inside]
posted by lunit on Aug 13, 2009 - 27 comments

Occupy, not gentrify

The National Coalition for the Homeless announces that anti-homeless attacks are up, while Maryland becomes the first state to expand hate crimes legislation to include attacks on the homeless. [more inside]
posted by puckish on Aug 8, 2009 - 36 comments

Always look on the bright side of blight

"Ah, the mythical $100 home. We hear about these low-priced “opportunities” in down-on-their-luck cities like Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland, but we never meet anyone who has taken the plunge. Understandable really, for if they were actually worth anything then they would cost real money, right? Who would do such a preposterous thing?" Amongst others, artists who have hope for the future and money to invest. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 12, 2009 - 35 comments

"...a liberal who's been mugged..."

A discussion about "white fear" and "black crime" [more inside]
posted by neroli on Dec 5, 2008 - 91 comments

Cue Mister Rogers - then follow steps 2, 3, 4, and 5...

Want to be a good neighbor but don't know how? Now there are checklists! (Chicago and SF focus) [more inside]
posted by puckish on Nov 17, 2008 - 17 comments

If not in your backyard, then whose?

Newcomers, with the zeal of recent converts, are often the most vocal in resisting change to the neighborhood they have just discovered. An exploration of NIMBYism. If not in your backyard, then whose? Probably a low-income minority group. Opposition to affordable housing is often thinly-veiled racism. How NIMBYism affects a seven-year old boy on LA's skid row. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Aug 25, 2008 - 61 comments

"Loaded with soul...under control"

"No one told me there would be unremitting noise every Saturday for the rest of my life.” Historic Harlem drumming circle drives young white professionals drum crazy. Who will prevail?
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] on Jul 9, 2008 - 151 comments

U.S. Conference of Mayors

The United States Conference of Mayors will take place from June 20th-24th in Miami, FL. The agenda (pdf) includes rising energy costs, housing, water, transportation, street crime, public schools, gangs, health care quality and costs, secure airports and ports, illegal guns, drugs, and immigration with a special focus on climate protection initiatives. Not to mention speakers Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Clinton. [more inside]
posted by lunit on Jun 18, 2008 - 2 comments

Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?

Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican? is a documentary produced by Claire Andrade-Watkins about the gentrification of Providence's once-thriving Cape Verdean community of Fox Point.
posted by lunit on May 5, 2008 - 7 comments

It's Down At The End of Lonely Street

San Francisco's Hugo Hotel, the current home of Brian Goggin's Defenestration, has been seized by eminent domian and will probably be demolished. Fear not; San Francisco has many other ancient hotels.
posted by fandango_matt on Jan 28, 2008 - 17 comments

Is Toronto being taken over by hucksters, fauxhemians, and the "knowledge economy"?

Toronto: Justice Denied. Mark Kingwell writes about Toronto. The article is a great read even if you've never stepped foot in the city.
posted by chunking express on Jan 10, 2008 - 34 comments

The end of the oldest Black-owned store on Harlem's 125th Street?

Harlem's commercial and cultural backbone, 125th Street, has been gentrifying fast; many of its Black-owned businesses have been forced out by high rents and replaced by branches of white-owned national chain stores. The street's best-known cultural centers remain (notably the Apollo Theater and the Studio Museum in Harlem), but now, its oldest surviving Black-owned store, The Record Shack, is facing eviction. Owner Shikulu Shange, along with other Harlem residents, will lead a town meeting next week to discuss strategies for keeping Black economic development alive in Harlem and in NYC (as of the 2000 U.S. Census, NYC's five boroughs were home to more than 98,000 of about 129,000 Black-owned businesses in all of New York State).
posted by allterrainbrain on Jul 7, 2007 - 52 comments

Gentrification and Tonic

Tonic closes. At the end of a farewell performance, Marc Ribot and Rebecca Moore refused to leave the stage. They were arrested for trespassing, and hope to bring attention to New York's dwindling number of performance spaces for independent music. Previous discussions.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt on Apr 17, 2007 - 73 comments

There goes the neighborhood. . .

Bill Clinton Doesn't Care About Black People. (More. Protest Announcement.)
posted by bardic on Jul 24, 2006 - 79 comments

The Civil War of the Satmars

The War For Hasidic Williamsburg: Immediately after the recent death of the Satmar Grand Rebbe his two sons went to war over over which one will be the new leader of what is perhaps the largest Hasidic sect in the United States. This sect is extremely anti-modernist, even compared to other Hasidic groups, and it also strongly anti-Zionist. A former leader of the Satmars once blamed the Holocaust on the Zionist campaign for a Jewish homeland. But this internal battle is not the only threat to the community. The gentrification of Brooklyn (warning: pdf link) has both driven up the price of land, making it extremely difficult for the large families of the Satmar to obtain additional housing, and made it far more difficult for the youth to escape the corrupting moral values of the outside culture.
posted by spira on May 6, 2006 - 35 comments

Rent hike "temporarily" closes 2nd Ave Deli

2nd Ave Deli closed; may not reopen. The half-century old 2nd Ave Deli in New York City's East Village has closed; its rent was hiked 37% to $33,000 per month. The closure is described as temporary, but the owner acknowledges that it might open next "to clear out." [MI]
posted by rkent on Jan 6, 2006 - 222 comments

Chinatown In Trouble

Help Save Chinatown Nope, not the Polanski classic, but London's Chinatown. I found this on the Reverend Rat's London street life blog, and the BBC seems to confirm it: London's Chinatown is becoming a victim of its own commercial success, in stark contrast to some others in the world which are shrinking dramatically or being superseded by the so-called ethnoburbs.
If you don't know much about Chinatowns, the Wiki entry is as a good place to start as any.
posted by runkelfinker on Dec 12, 2004 - 7 comments

Urban Gentrification and Eugenics

The connections between post-war urban reconstruction, demographics, social engineering, and eugenics are explored in this treasure trove of links, from things magazine.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Dec 10, 2004 - 4 comments

"This is the toughest atmosphere for nightclubs in New York since Prohibition"

"This is the toughest atmosphere for nightclubs in New York since Prohibition"
posted by palegirl on Aug 4, 2001 - 14 comments

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