June 24, 2005

The South Bronx becomes So Bro.

I guess this front-page NYT article about how the South Bronx -- now So Bro -- is the hip new place will change the whole dynamic. Quick everybody, move the Bronx!

And what about all the people who have been living there all along, through the hard times? They provide the ambience in which the trendy newcomers bask:
There are also the allures of the longstanding Latino and African-American culture - sidewalk dominoes games, flamboyant murals, lush vacant-lot gardens and restaurants with fried plantains and mango shakes - that give the neighborhood a populist authenticity that cannot be matched in the more decorous precincts of Manhattan or Brooklyn.
But don't hate the young people. They are most attracted to the factory buildings, the lofts, which were "were forsaken with the decline in American manufacturing, and in the 1970's the neighborhood went into a tailspin of arson, foreclosures and rampant crime." Repopulating these spaces makes things better for the traditional residential buildings nearby.

On the other hand, this is the "first wave of gentrification," and the "second wave" is inevitable, right? The South Bronx is a quick subway ride into Manhattan. Won't all sorts of nonadventurous, nonartist types go looking for cheaper rents, especially now that this article is out? The article is the marking point for the beginning of the second wave, I would think.


Baronger said...


Just had a sudden flash of the MST3K fisking of "Flee the Bronx".

It's good to see that the Bronx is making a come back. Of course development will be easier now. Hope the owners of those lofts are not too attatched to them. The Kelo decision, puts their investments and hard work at risk.

Perry said...

TheSobro moniker I believe is taken from a non-profit in the area that operates as SoBRO = South Bronx Economic Development Corp.

Divinity said...

This is all so wonderful. I live further north on the Grand Concourse in Executive Towers. We have always been a stable luxury doorman building (even in the seventies), but I have noticed that since the mid 1990's the 161st St. area of the Concourse is really becoming expensive. I used to be the only boy walking his toy dog in the park and now there are others. The riff raff is being thrown out and those who remain are being kept in line by the police in my area. The Concourse was originally reserved for the privileged few who could find a way in. It looks as if it will be that way again. Several buildings in my area have gone co-op while a few rentald now have doormen and furniture in the lobbies. Many of my new neighbors that were living in cramped Manhattan tenements are paying less for a luxury one bedroom than a studio. Now it isnt embarassing for them to have company.