Thursday, March 7, 2013

11211 Love

Williamsburg, 2013

Axel and I headed out this morning to the deli for some milk and I stopped by a nearby cafe for a coffee. This is a spot that's usually packed with neighborhood old-timers, folks who've lived here for generations as well as artists who moved here in the '70s. It's a great place to get gossip.

There's one woman, in particular, who is always loudly lamenting the new developments in Williamsburg to anyone who will listen. I feel guilty, because even though I've lived here for a decade and it feels like home, I know I'm one of the newcomers she finds so alarming. The stroller, the fancy latte, the new condo. And yet I completely understand where she's coming from. Even I sometimes find myself standing on Kent Avenue, near the old loft building that was my first Brooklyn apartment, and wondering where the heck I am.

Today this lady's gripes were all about the proposal for the new developments around the Domino Sugar Factory. There's been quite a lot of talk about gentrification around these parts lately...the film Gut Renovation, for instance, as well as the news that Anthropologie is opening up on Bedford Avenue.

I happen to think that there's a lot of potential in the Domino plans...but would love it if they also opened an arts institution like the Tate Modern in the old factory site. Swanky new buildings and tech companies are fine, but I agree with my fellow coffee shop patron; you do need to leave some room for culture in all the commerce.

Am I even allowed to say that given that I am now part of the new, young, stroller brigade?

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