November 27, 2017

"Ink Coffee in Denver became a target for vandalism and outrage after the cafe posted a sign saying it was 'happily gentrifying the neighborhood.'"

It was supposed to be funny, writes NYT,  but maybe the nongentry don't share that sense of humor.
[A] flippant sidewalk board had grown from an ill-conceived advertisement into a full-fledged symbol of the pain and anger that have accompanied urban transformations from Brooklyn to San Francisco....

Ink’s sidewalk sign, created for the coffee shop by an advertising agency, appeared just before Thanksgiving on a retail strip full of new bars and boutiques. The message on the back extended the theme, and for some, rubbed salt in the wound: “Nothing says gentrification like being able to order a cortado.”

On Saturday, the sidewalk outside the shop was crowded with protesters, clustering in the autumn sun, some with small children perched on their shoulders. Men and women carried posters: “Gentrification = Urban Colonialism.” “Black Lives Matter. White Coffee Doesn’t.” “Eat the Rich.”
Now, that's funny. Can't the gentry take a joke?

"Denver, where have you gone?/Last night we walked your streets in search of you/Bounced around like a schizophrenic firecracker/Handing out missing persons fliers that bore your image...."

100 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Maybe the locals should build a wall!

Drago said...

"Denver, where have you gone?/Last night we walked your streets in search of you/Bounced around like a schizophrenic firecracker/Handing out missing persons fliers that bore your image...."

"Denver" was in Oakland and setting a new standard in finding the most creative and amazing ways to lose an athletic competition.

MadisonMan said...

Black People drink coffee too.

EDH said...

Sounds like a caffeine-fueled def jam beat poet looking for a coffee shop where people will listen.

And talk about insensitivity...

Bounced around like a schizophrenic firecracker.

Paddy O said...

First rule of gentrification is that you're not supposed to speak out loud about it.

People who want and support gentrification in practice are beholden to oppose it as an ideal.

Opposing gentrification through protest while enabling it in practice and rhetoric (urban lifestyles are the best!) is part of the hipster progressive lifestyle.

Fernandistien said...

How dare you naughty white people make my property worth more!

Address: 2851 Larimer St. Denver, CO 80205
Looks like storage places, parking lots, small offices; another small building fits right in.

SGT Ted said...

The urban progressive anti-gentrification movement is simply another manifestation of racism directed at white people for being successful and buying affordable properties.

White people moving out of mixed race neighborhoods because of rising crime rates = racism.

White people moving into minority neighborhoods because they can afford to and owning a successful business = racism.

LYNNDH said...

The Mayor is not happy, and is caught in the middle. He, being Black has to side with the Black neighborhood. But wait, those that want to "gentryify" are also Dems and vote for him. Oh, what to do, what to do, when the lions eat you.

Angel-Dyne said...

White hipster keep moving. This is a black man's neighborhood.

Henry said...

Are we sure it's the non-gentry protesting?

I suspect there's some gentry protesting the exposure of their gentrification.

hawkeyedjb said...

The anti-gentrification movement confuses me. What, exactly, are they opposed to? Is it the reduced crime that comes with "gentrification?" Wasn't that once considered a good thing? Is it because people of color don't want white people in their neighborhoods? If so, how is that different from white people not wanting people of color in their neighborhoods? Is it the coffee? If the shop only served Folgers, would that be ok? Now that the shop has been vandalized and features broken windows and graffiti, will it be a better fit for the neighborhood?

hawkeyedjb said...

"Are we sure it's the non-gentry protesting?"

I bet there are lots of smug, white, comfortable, condescending virtue-signalling social justice types among the protesters.

Michael K said...

The two wings of the Democrat Party do not play well with each other,.

Michael K said...

"The anti-gentrification movement confuses me."

It's about rent. If they say "It's not about money." It's about money.

Ann Althouse said...

@hawkeyedjb

I think the main complaint is that the rents go way up and the people who've made homes in a particular neighborhood are forced to leave (or the people they knew are leaving).

A second problem is that the neighborhood is different, losing all the familiar things that they liked and used: restaurants, stores, etc. And the new places are more expensive (because the competition has driven the rents up). So even if you accept using the new places, they're a lot harder to use, and the things they offer aren't important to you but they are exciting to the new people who are moving into the neighborhood).

Ficta said...

I actually support gentrification, but I understand the protests. The residents don't own, they rent, and now, they can't afford to live there, so they have to move, to some new, maybe worse, neighborhood, where they don't know anyone and maybe their work is farther away. Renting sucks.

chickelit said...

Part of the new "Dearth of Humor" movement.

SGT Ted said...

“Gentrification = Urban Colonialism.”

More hipster racism from people who fancy themselves as "progressive".

Minorities moving into traditional white neighborhoods bring "diversity" and are "vibrant" and the resultant crime of their feral children droves out the original white builders of the neighborhood, usually working class ethnic whites, like Italians, Irish, etc. This happened to these communities nation wide from the 1950s on. The old ethnic white urban communities are long gone. But, it was good, because "Diversity!" and "equality!"

But when white people move back there, they are "colonialists", which means they are violently suppressing a native culture and imposing their own, as if skin color minorities have special ownership of these conclaves now and there can be no change. Because white skin equals colonial oppression.

Racists.

SGT Ted said...

"I think the main complaint is that the rents go way up and the people who've made homes in a particular neighborhood are forced to leave (or the people they knew are leaving)."

This happens to a lot white people too in low cost areas that become popular with more well off people. Lots of working class and poor whites get priced out of the rental market as property values soar and locals take advantage of the real estate boom.

It's been happening in the mainly white area where I live since 2001, when real estate values skyrocketed 200-300 percent in about 5 years. Mostly working class whites and the poor who rent have been impacted negatively. But, no one holds protests about "gentrification" over it.

Their main complaint and accusations in Colorado all rests on color of skin. If it were well off black people moving in, they'd be keeping their mouths shut.

Martin said...

To paraphrase Freud: Sometimes a coffee shop is just a coffee shop.

If this is the end of life as they know it, well, I smell professional community organizers latching onto an issue to use to radicalize the residents.

Jersey Fled said...

What a pity that gentrification doesn't bring better schools with it. Or would that be racist too.

CJinPA said...

People don't like it when folks who don't look like them move in and affect their property values. That's universal. How it will be portrayed by news outlets, however, is conditional.

MayBee said...

I used to walk past this really cool house by Notting Hill Gate that had a sign in the window saying, "No Riff Raff". I loved it so much. But for the Notting Hill Carnival, when people would pee onto your lower windows and there were a lot of minorities and even more riff-raff, they put the sign away.

Hagar said...

Looks like one Black woman, one Mexican guy, and the rest all college faculty.

Freedom89 said...

Progressivism: Seeking to separate the races for over 100 years.

Henry said...

Too bad. They wrote "gentrification" when they should have written "genuflection".

Coffee shops may be a harbinger of gentrification, but coffee shops are also cheap, low-impact retail establishments that cater to the coming and going. In at least two of my favorite cities hip coffee shops have popped up in neighborhoods that will never gentrify. The hardscrabble hipster-working-class -- the artists, musicians, baristas, and yoga instructors -- also deserve their low-rent neighborhoods.

Angel-Dyne said...

hawkeyedjb: The anti-gentrification movement confuses me. What, exactly, are they opposed to? Is it the reduced crime that comes with "gentrification?" Wasn't that once considered a good thing?

Althouse covers the "being priced out of your own neighborhood" answer to your question above. As for her second point, "A second problem is that the neighborhood is different, losing all the familiar things...", aye, there's the rub. "Losing all the familiar things" get into territory much deeper than changes in shops and restaurants.

Is it because people of color don't want white people in their neighborhoods? If so, how is that different from white people not wanting people of color in their neighborhoods?

1) Yes. 2) It's not.

Not that the reasons people give for "why it's different when we do it" are illegitimate in themselves: those white gentrifiers will make life pricier, and quite likely unaffordable for you in the neighborhood you know and love. An influx of blacks into a white neighborhood is likely to lower your property values and lead to an increase in crime, and problems at the local public school (sorry, just pointing at statistics here).

But I think the deeper resentment - sadness, really - is for losing your neighborhood, watching your home territory transformed into something that is not yours anymore. That things change and all things pass is true, but that doesn't change the psychological need of humans for the familiar, for an anchor in space and time. Note how hipsters and assorted utopians are always trying to manufacture "real neighborhoods". But "real neighborhoods" are not top-down constructs.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Denver's just trying to play catch-up with LA. This sort of thing has been going on in Boyle Heights for a while now.

Angel-Dyne said...

Ficta: I actually support gentrification, but I understand the protests. The residents don't own, they rent, and now, they can't afford to live there, so they have to move, to some new, maybe worse, neighborhood, where they don't know anyone and maybe their work is farther away. Renting sucks.

Owning can also suck, when you've poured a lifetime of effort into buying and improving your own little homestead, only to be pushed out by punishing increases in property taxes.

Robert Cook said...

"How dare you naughty white people make my property worth more!"

That's not what generally happens. Gentrification typically pushes out the low-income people who resided in the area before gentrification.

Richard said...

I guess diversity is not our strength!

Henry said...

But I think the deeper resentment - sadness, really - is for losing your neighborhood, watching your home territory transformed into something that is not yours anymore. That things change and all things pass is true, but that doesn't change the psychological need of humans for the familiar, for an anchor in space and time. Note how hipsters and assorted utopians are always trying to manufacture "real neighborhoods". But "real neighborhoods" are not top-down constructs.

Well stated. I see it more in the transition of the rural areas around where I grew up into exurbs. Farmers sell, housing developments launched, stripmalls built, roads widened.

Despite my tongue-in-cheek reference upstream I'm quite serious that many low-rent neighborhoods take their history and flavor from hipsters. When the rents rise, it is the hipsters that leave as the professionals move in.

robother said...

"People Like Us." That's who we want to live among. All the rest is hip posturing.

CJinPA said...

Denver's just trying to play catch-up with LA. This sort of thing has been going on in Boyle Heights for a while now.

And the protests there are pretty ugly.

Michael said...

Robert Cook

Exactly. And in most places the people being "pushed out" are being paid handsomely to do so. It is a conundrum, of course, because many people like their edgy neighborhoods, people who do not use the word "edgy" in describing their homes and their neighborhood. In urban locations where older multi-family units are purchased and destroyed to make way for the new the displaced receive no compensation and are left on their own. Not sure there is a solution.

Article yesterday or the day before in the NYT about Atlanta's mayoral race in which the two candidates vie for votes by offering stupid "solutions" to gentrification. People are selling out, good, but rightly bitching about the loss of their neighborhoods, bad.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Angel-Dyne said...But I think the deeper resentment - sadness, really - is for losing your neighborhood, watching your home territory transformed into something that is not yours anymore. That things change and all things pass is true, but that doesn't change the psychological need of humans for the familiar, for an anchor in space and time.

Import millions of Mexicans & third worlders to "do the jobs Americans won't"?
You'd better not object that doing so would "change the nature of the country" 'cause that's racism, straight up, and you'll get called ugly by the nice centrist people (whose neighborhoods, naturally, aren't really affected).

Darrell said...

Where'd all the crack hos go?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Diversity Is Our Strength.
Adding white people to this formerly-not-white neighborhood increases its diversity, right? So the neighborhood should be stronger & the Left and nice centrist people should be happy.

Or...and I hesitate to even ask this...is it possible when they use the word "diversity" they really mean something else? There's just no way the Left would engage in a sneaky motte & bailey argument using the different meanings of "diversity" as it fits their needs--mainly their need to paint anyone who opposes them as an ugly racist, do you? Surely they're too pure for such a tactic!

mockturtle said...

Robert Cook asserts: That's not what generally happens. Gentrification typically pushes out the low-income people who resided in the area before gentrification.

And it most certainly prevents low-income people moving in.

Sebastian said...

"some with small children perched on their shoulders. Men and women carried posters: “Gentrification = Urban Colonialism.” “Black Lives Matter. White Coffee Doesn’t.” “Eat the Rich.”"

You're right. Funny, funny stuff.

Franken-level funny.

Robert Cook said...

"It's about rent. If they say 'It's not about money.' It's about money."

No one says it's not about money. Gentrification is always about money, and no one is more affected by this or knows it better than those pushed out.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

As someone who lives in a gentrifying neighborhood I'll tell you my chief complaint: the city government sucks.
I pay a hell of a lot of taxes (or, at least, what feels to me like a hell of a lot of taxes) and my city & county tax bills have increased every year for the last 5 years. My home value has (on paper) increased a lot, too, and the neighborhood I live in has seen a lot of infill, new retail/restaurants, etc. The area is getting better, no doubt about it.
My problem is that the increased taxes I'm paying don't seem to be getting me much return at all in the way of increased/better city services. The police service, in fact, seems to have gotten a bit worse in the last few years. The state is doing some streetscape improvements (as is a developer who bought a bunch of land nearby--the improvements being a condition of approval for their rezoning) but the city & county services still stink.
I don't mind paying more for a better product. I don't mind that my costs have increased along with the (paper) increase in the value of my property. I do mind that I'm paying a lot more now--and presumably lots of other people are also paying a lot more now--and getting the same crummy service(s) as always.

I guess it's a matter of feeling like I'm not getting what I'm paying for. I've lived in crummy, low cost places & didn't expect top quality gov. service. I'm living now in a non-crummy, improving place and getting low quality gov. service (while paying high rates) pisses me off.

But that's just my experience.

Mark said...

What seems especially clueless and out-of-phase is the discussion here.

Where is gentrification happening? In cities run by progressives/Democrats. Who is doing the gentrification? Progressives. Specifically, white progressives. Members of the Plantation Party, who have always been frauds when it comes to helping those they actually have held down for hundreds of years.

These are not conservative, free-marketers who are gentrifying black neighborhoods to convert affordable housing to non-affordable housing. They are progressives in city governments and their developer cronies who are pushing the whole "smart growth" urbanization ideology.

Angel-Dyne said...

SGT Ted: This happens to a lot white people too in low cost areas that become popular with more well off people. Lots of working class and poor whites get priced out of the rental market as property values soar and locals take advantage of the real estate boom.

It's been happening in the mainly white area where I live since 2001, when real estate values skyrocketed 200-300 percent in about 5 years. Mostly working class whites and the poor who rent have been impacted negatively. But, no one holds protests about "gentrification" over it.


Henry: The hardscrabble hipster-working-class -- the artists, musicians, baristas, and yoga instructors -- also deserve their low-rent neighborhoods.

Often implicit in the "gentrification" debate is the notion that "low rent" neighborhood = "bad" neighborhood, and therefore gentrification is an unalloyed good. More wealth, more economic activity in aggregate, yadda yadda. If people get priced out, well, inconvenient for them, but hey, what's the difference between one sucky neighborhood and another?

But there is often nothing sucky at all about many lower and lower-middle class neighborhoods, black or white. They are well-maintained, real neighborhoods, with an abundance of social capital.

Robert Cook said...

"This happens to a lot white people too in low cost areas that become popular with more well off people. Lots of working class and poor whites get priced out of the rental market as property values soar and locals take advantage of the real estate boom."

Yes, and protests about gentrification come from the people affected in any given area. It is not strictly a racial complaint.

"Their main complaint and accusations in Colorado all rests on color of skin. If it were well off black people moving in, they'd be keeping their mouths shut."

Perhaps they know the new population moving in won't be well off black people...(not that that would make them any more happy to be displaced).

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook says...That's not what generally happens. Gentrification typically pushes out the low-income people who resided in the area before gentrification.

Let's be clear, though: that "pushing out" takes on at least two different forms. For someone who rents or leases in the area their monthly costs spike and they're more or less forced to find somewhere else to live--that's "pushing out." For someone who owns property their yearly property tax may/will increase but that's often subject to exemptions & appeals so the rate of increase may not be dramatic (some locations have anti-escalator policies so your yearly bill can't increase more than a given % per year, some have hardship exemptions, etc). Even supposing the property owner is subject to vastly higher property taxes (due to a much higher appraised value) the "pushing" comes in the form of their having to sell and gain the appreciated value of their property from that sale (and presumably then move to a lower-cost area). That's what's supposed to happen in cases where one's circumstances and opportunities don't match one's area/surroundings (as "real" conservatives like Kevin Williams at National Review say about people in poor, addiction-destroyed towns: "just move!").

But, like, it'd be downright silly to blame that on the people who move in/who want to move it. The property tax system is DESIGNED to "force" people to use property in its highest-valued way--that's social policy! The system is designed to pressure people to use or sell property so that the property is used by the person who values the property most. That's the whole purpose of using an appraised value for property when calculating the tax--the government wants to be able to adjust their take of your property's POTENTIAL best use, not not of the use you're putting it to at the moment. If you want to avoid the problem all you have to do is make the tax calculation factor only the last actual sale. The result of that would be (along with lower tax revenues if you didn't dramatically increase the rate) that a lot of land/property would lie fallow while people waited (at low/no cost) for prices to appreciate to their desired level and you'd get a weird situation where newcomers would pay vastly higher tax bills than long time residents...but you'd avoid "forcing" owners out. That's just policy, though.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Yes, and protests about gentrification come from the people affected in any given area. It is not strictly a racial complaint.


Like Williamsburg, alas...

gadfly said...

“Black Lives Matter. White Coffee Doesn’t.” Logically fallacious since BLM and coffee don't mix.

Eat the Rich.” How did Aerosmith get involved here?

So Ann must be right, the gentry have no humor, looking down their noses at stupid people. Perhaps its the confrontational Trump syndrome at work.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Mark said...Where is gentrification happening? In cities run by progressives/Democrats. Who is doing the gentrification? Progressives. Specifically, white progressives. Members of the Plantation Party, who have always been frauds when it comes to helping those they actually have held down for hundreds of years.

You're right on that it's often an issue of deep pocketed developers allying with Dems/Leftists to enrich the "correct" people, but if we just look at the race angle it's a funny bit of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

When white people moved out of cities to the "safety" of the suburbs the city tax bases collapsed and we were all assured this was noting more than racism--"white flight" and a deprivation of resources for non white city dwellers.
Now that it's trendy and (younger) white people are moving back into cities (and bringing both their money & their demands/expectations of high-quality schools, etc, with them) we're told this is racist, as well--white people taking over neighborhoods, ruining neighborhoods' character, driving out poor non white city dwellers...and so on.

Moving out is racist and an ugly form of segregation.
Moving in is racist and an ugly form of colonial oppression.

The only winning move? Not to play.

Robert Cook said...

"Minorities moving into traditional white neighborhoods bring "diversity" and are "vibrant" and the resultant crime of their feral children droves out the original white builders of the neighborhood, usually working class ethnic whites, like Italians, Irish, etc. This happened to these communities nation wide from the 1950s on."

You confuse cause and effect. Much white flight from neighborhoods becoming mixed was/is not because of the drop in property values caused by "resultant crime" of the "feral children" of the minority new arrivals. Most white flight occurred because the whites didn't want to live with minorities around them, and/or they were afraid their appearance in the neighborhood would depress their property values. It was the mass migration of whites from these neighborhoods that caused the drop in property values. If the whites had stayed and the property values had remained stable, the new minorities moving in would have had to have been economically capable of buying in to the neighborhood. With the whites leaving, the resulting drop in property values made the neighborhoods affordable to lower income or poor minority home buyers, and less attractive to more affluent minority or white home buyers.

Robert Cook said...

"...in most places the people being 'pushed out' are being paid handsomely to do so."

Not if they're renters. They're just told their leases won't be renewed, or the rents are raised beyond their means to pay, so they have no choice but to decamp.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...Not if they're renters. They're just told their leases won't be renewed, or the rents are raised beyond their means to pay, so they have no choice but to decamp.

That's true; renters get boned when property prices go up.
The flip side to that is that renters don't really get hurt when property prices decline sharply. At worst they're forced to move out (as the property is foreclose on, etc) and may have to deal with administrative hassles (trying to get a security deposit back from a bankrupt landlord, etc) but they are not on the hook for the decreased value of the property.

Renting is a different proposition, in terms of risk, than owning. You don't get the upside but you don't suffer the downside. That, again, is how the system is supposed to work--that doesn't have anything at all to do with individuals moving into a neighborhood.

Caligula said...

"The anti-gentrification movement confuses me. What, exactly, are they opposed to?"

In part it's a demand that renters have equity in their residences (thus erasing the essential difference between owning and renting). Although they'd probably still like to retain the flexibility of renting.

At the extreme, one combines a demand for access to high-priced neighborhoods via subsidized housing for those who can't afford the high prices with a demand that those who can afford the high prices stay out of their lower-priced neighborhood.

It's a variant on "what's mine is mine (even if it isn't actually mine). Plus, perhaps, that what's yours should be mine also, should I decide I that I'd prefer that, even if I can't actually afford what's yours.

So what's new?

Angel-Dyne said...

HoodlumDoodlum: I guess it's a matter of feeling like I'm not getting what I'm paying for. I've lived in crummy, low cost places & didn't expect top quality gov. service. I'm living now in a non-crummy, improving place and getting low quality gov. service (while paying high rates) pisses me off.

But that's just my experience.


No, it's not just your experience. I have the good fortune (for now) of living in a city with (for now) reasonable property tax rates and (for now) very good public services. Even the DMV (ime) is run by efficient, intelligent, competent, and polite people. Same for any dealings I've had with city hall, or county services.

But I can already see that that's changing. The excellent public schools started exhibiting the tell-tale signs of decline (mercifully, not until our kids were finishing up). I started to hear the usual DMV horror stories so familiar to those of us who have enjoyed the behavior of public servants in less boringly efficient, more vibrant bailiwicks. Etc., etc. And this year, a whopping shocking jump in property taxes.

I know it's going to get worse, because this is naïve, well-meaning SWPL-central, meaning that in the years to come huge amounts of money are going to flushed down the great progressive toilet bowl of voodoo sociology.

Yancey Ward said...

This is the "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" theme. White people are just racist regardless of what they are doing.

CJinPA said...

Much white flight from neighborhoods becoming mixed was/is not because of the drop in property values caused by "resultant crime" of the "feral children" of the minority new arrivals. Most white flight occurred because the whites didn't want to live with minorities around them, and/or they were afraid their appearance in the neighborhood would depress their property values.

They were not "afraid" it would happen, they knew it would happen. You argue, 'If they just stayed and put up with the crime, property values would not have dropped' is detached from reality. Do you think the decision to uproot after generations in one area is taken lightly? It's pretty damn traumatic. Not something people want to do.

Angel-Dyne said...

Caligula: So what's new?

What's new (relative to the real estate landscape of, say, my parents' day) is large increases in population plus diversi-tay in some areas. That translates into costs being driven up by high demand and competition for housing in neighborhoods with (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) "good schools".

E.g., it was not the case 40 years ago that people of modest income (like my parents) had to pay a housing premium to be able to send their kids to an English-language neighborhood public school, with decent academic standards. I know of low-income people in municipalities near my own who are now completely shit out of luck on that score.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Fun anecdote:

Staplehouse restaurant in Atlanta's Old 4th Ward neighborhood was named "best new restaurant in America" in 2016 by Bon Appetit magazine. In the early 2000's I lived about 2-3 blocks away from there and it was the single worst place I've ever lived--I was (literally) lucky to get out unhurt. My vehicle was broken into a couple of times but I otherwise made it out ok. I lived where I lived because it was the cheapest place I could find in a convenient area and the apt itself looked ok. There was a big apt complex just up the street that I looked at--called Fulton Cotton Mills at the time--but the rent was higher and friends in the area said it was a hotbed of drugs & other crime.

Anyway fast forward to today; not only are there award-winning fine dining restaurants right up the block but the former shitty apts are now lofts ("The Stacks") selling for $300k each (for the 1brs)--I think the 1s rented for $850 or $900/mo back then. The condo conversion units on the other side of my old apt were almost all foreclosed on in 2009 and at one point two of them were selling for $29.5k each (I remember because I ran some numbers on buying & renting those out, but decide the neighborhood was just too risky) and today sell for $260k or so apiece.

So yeah; I'm sure people who owned property on that street have seen their tax bills increase. I kick myself for not buying one of those lofts when they were still pretty cheap, but the other side of that is that I would have borne the risk of all those years in a not-great spot. Some people held out and those people can sell today for 10x what they bout for 10 years ago (or much, much more if they owned from earlier). Most of the (rich) people who have moved in are white, and most of the people who originally lived there (from the late 70's-mid 80s) were black.

What part of that story is immoral? Other than my missing out on an opportunity to make lots of money, I mean.

jwl said...

pj o'rourke - eat the rich:

If we want the whole world to be rich, we need to start loving wealth. In the difference between poverty and plenty, the problem is the poverty and not the difference.

Wealth is good. ... wealth is not a world-wide round-robin of purse snatching... The thing that makes you rich doesn't make me poor. ... Without productivity, there wouldn't be any economics, or any economic thinking, good or bad, or any pizza, or anything else. We would sit around and stare at rocks, and maybe later have some for dinner. ...

Michael K said...

I kick myself for not buying one of those lofts when they were still pretty cheap, but the other side of that is that I would have borne the risk of all those years in a not-great spot.

An anesthesiologist friend of mine bought some apartment buildings in Chicago, in South Shore where I grew up.

That neighborhood had gone down after it became 100% black about 1967. He figured it was due to gentrify and rehabbed the buildings he bought with all new windows and doors.

You know what ?

It is still a hellhole of crime.

In crime: It’s a problem; another person was shot to death in the neighborhood as recently as Sunday. South Shore ties with three other neighborhoods for 12th-hardest hit by crime, according to the Chicago Tribune. I’ll leave it up to people with more expertise on crime to say whether current efforts by Mayor Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy have had or will have an impact.

Sometimes gentrification just doesn't work.

campy said...

He figured it was due to gentrify and rehabbed the buildings he bought with all new windows and doors.

Never be the first to stop applauding or start gentrifying.

tcrosse said...

Nobody likes urban hipsters, least of all other urban hipsters.

Robert Cook said...

"Sometimes gentrification just doesn't work."

Gentrification doesn't change a neighborhood immediately. A few buildings won't do it. It takes time for enough new people to move in and enough new buildings to become gentrified before transformation will be manifest. It's always a gradual process, then...all of a sudden!

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
If the whites had stayed and the property values had remained stable, the new minorities moving in would have had to have been economically capable of buying in to the neighborhood.


But the Feds had their thumb on the economic scale, with Section 8 housing, AFDC, and food stamps. So the negroes were subidized negroes, not free-range negroes.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Michael K said...

Sometimes gentrification just doesn't work.


It is a lot easier if said gentry is heavily armed.

Robert Cook said...

"But the Feds had their thumb on the economic scale, with Section 8 housing, AFDC, and food stamps. So the negroes were subidized negroes, not free-range negroes."

You know this how?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I guess it's a matter of feeling like I'm not getting what I'm paying for. I've lived in crummy, low cost places & didn't expect top quality gov. service. I'm living now in a non-crummy, improving place and getting low quality gov. service (while paying high rates) pisses me off.

I hear you. Planning a move to Saint Paul (well, likely its suburbs) in a few years and everyone is warning us about high cost of living, high taxes etc. I listen to what they have to say, of course, but I also shake my head a little. You don't know the frustration of high cost of living until you live in a place like South Texas where your property taxes on a 10 year old 3000 sf house in a dreary subdivision that used to be a sorghum field just hit five figures; where your water bill is $150 a month; where you pay $500+ a month in the summer for electricity, and you're surrounded by high crime high poverty high drunk driving high teen pregnancy high Medicaid high everything shitty, with no restaurants besides fast food, no parks, terrible roads, too few police officers, crummy schools, parking lots full of diapers and roadsides full of litter. If I'm going to pay higher taxes I want to get a non-shithole home out of the deal.

Achilles said...

Robert Cook said...
"Sometimes gentrification just doesn't work."

Gentrification doesn't change a neighborhood immediately. A few buildings won't do it. It takes time for enough new people to move in and enough new buildings to become gentrified before transformation will be manifest. It's always a gradual process, then...all of a sudden!

It also requires liberty and economic freedom. And lower crime rates. And interested individuals with capital.

Michael said...

Parts of Atlanta were saved thanks to the gentrification by the gay community who bought and lovingly restored older homes in what had become a dodgy neighborhood.

Scott McGlasson said...

The anti-gentrification types are unaware of how anti-freedom they are. This is quite aside from the fact that current residents of those neighborhoods didn't just spring up out of the ground en masse one day. They displaced other residents at some point in the past. In a lot of cases, the property values, tax revenues, and opportunity in general went down. Crime and blight went up. Here in St Louis, we've seen it over and over and over.

Scott McGlasson said...

I think the main complaint is that the rents go way up and the people who've made homes in a particular neighborhood are forced to leave (or the people they knew are leaving).

A second problem is that the neighborhood is different, losing all the familiar things that they liked and used: restaurants, stores, etc. And the new places are more expensive (because the competition has driven the rents up). So even if you accept using the new places, they're a lot harder to use, and the things they offer aren't important to you but they are exciting to the new people who are moving into the neighborhood)


And yet when the opposite happened...rents went down, property became blighted, businesses left, it was referred to as racist "white flight". How does the anti-gentrifier reconcile the two?

Does those brain pretzeling reside in the same lobe as "punching up"?

Robert Cook said...

"(Gentrification) also requires liberty and economic freedom. And lower crime rates. And interested individuals with capital."

The wealthy enjoy liberty and economic freedom to a far greater degree than the not-wealthy.

The lower crime rates come about as a result of gentrification, not as a precursor or prerequisite for gentrification to happen. This is why young urban hipsters and artists and musicians are the outliers for gentrification. They look for low-cost neighborhoods where they can live and do their art. They work part-time or not at all; living in low-rent neighborhoods allows them to live on little income and work fewer hours to devote to their art. They put up with the crime. In time, other new residents move in, new businesses start, and the old gradually give way to the new. It's certainly been the process for all the neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx in NYC for the past 40 years.

Gentrification is certainly not all bad; it brings positive changes to run-down, crime-ridden neighborhoods. However, those who cannot afford to stay in the gentrified neighborhood cannot long enjoy these benefits, as they must find new, low-rent, crime-ridden neighborhoods to move to. And when such neighborhoods are gone...where do they go?

Robert Cook said...

Gentrification also occurs in not-so rundown and crime ridden neighborhoods. As space runs out, gentrification spreads to more comfortable mixed-income neighborhoods with low crime rates, forcing middle-class people with jobs out of the neighborhoods...unless they have rent protections.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
"But the Feds had their thumb on the economic scale, with Section 8 housing, AFDC, and food stamps. So the negroes were subidized negroes, not free-range negroes."

You know this how?

11/27/17, 1:03 PM


I took their Section 8 rent money, Robert Cook.

Angel-Dyne said...

Pants: You don't know the frustration of high cost of living until you live in a place like South Texas where your property taxes on a 10 year old 3000 sf house in a dreary subdivision that used to be a sorghum field just hit five figures; where your water bill is $150 a month; where you pay $500+ a month in the summer for electricity, and you're surrounded by high crime high poverty high drunk driving high teen pregnancy high Medicaid high everything shitty, with no restaurants besides fast food, no parks, terrible roads, too few police officers, crummy schools, parking lots full of diapers and roadsides full of litter. If I'm going to pay higher taxes I want to get a non-shithole home out of the deal.

Interesting. But I keep hearing that Texas is such a capitalist, free-market, low-tax, low-regulation, affordable housing paradise. That is totally avoiding the problems plaguing high-tax, high-regulation California.

Robert Cook said...

"I took their Section 8 rent money, Robert Cook"

Where? When? 50 years ago? Everywhere?

Mark said...

Of course, gentrification is merely a particular form of development. And it does not always happen to ghetto slum areas.

It happens in middle-income areas too, where perfectly fine albeit older housing and mom-and-pop business enjoy a good quality of life only to have developers and your progressive smart growthers come along to tear it all down to build up in their place "luxury" hi-rises and trendy fro-yo and coffee places. Result is that the middle class gets pushed out and your older established family businesses get forced out of business because of the now sky-high rents. And, invariably, the newer businesses fail because they too cannot afford the rents. Example - Arlington, Virginia.

Meanwhile, the people pushing for all this new development just happen to be insulated and immune from it. You don't see their neighborhoods being overrun with high-density development.

Mark said...

The anti-gentrification types are unaware of how anti-freedom they are.

Again, gentrification is merely a particular form of development and the biggest opponents of development in their own neighborhoods are your typical progressive one-percenters.

Real American said...

so, the locals are unhappy with outsiders coming in and making a bunch of changes, demanding accommodation, talking and looking funny, and making the locals feel like strangers in their own neighborhood. The outsiders then claim they've improved the place, though really everything is just more expensive. Sounds kinda familiar.

Jim at said...

Tell us again how the left isn't perpetually miserable.
It is their entire existence.

Without misery, anger and imagined grievances, they'd have nothing.

Scream at the sky. It beats blocking traffic.

AllenS said...

Let's cut out all of the fucking bullshit, people want to discriminate against other people, and I agree with that. If I don't want to hire, rent to you, sell or buy anything from you, that should be legal, and the same goes for you about me. Anti-discrimination laws should be judged as unconstitutional. Separate but equal/unequal should be allowed. You stay in your neighborhood, and I'll stay in mine. Oh, and fuck off!

Unknown said...

In the absence of periodic gentrification, every urban neighborhood eventually becomes Detroit. Most buildings fall apart after 50 or 80 years. Gentrification does in fact bring higher rents, but it also brings jobs in all those coffee shops and boutiques. If there is a hot trend, why don't the blacks open a hip coffee shop and take advantage of it? Apparently because they don't do retail. Ok, how about starting a contracting company to fix up all those old buildings? Oh, no, it is better to just try to make time stand still and out yourself as a racist.

Bad Lieutenant said...

as they must find new, low-rent, crime-ridden neighborhoods to move to. And when such neighborhoods are gone...where do they go?

Fox Butterfield call your office! Don't worry...their lifestyle travels with them. Wherever they land will become a slum soon enough if it isn't already. Unless you can dilute them sufficiently, perhaps.

Gahrie said...

The wealthy enjoy liberty and economic freedom to a far greater degree than the not-wealthy.

No shit? Next you're going to tell me that rich men get more sex too....

Char Char Binks said...

I can only listen to street poetry for about 30 seconds before I start wishing I'd never been born.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

AllenS said...Let's cut out all of the fucking bullshit, people want to discriminate against other people, and I agree with that. If I don't want to hire, rent to you, sell or buy anything from you, that should be legal, and the same goes for you about me. Anti-discrimination laws should be judged as unconstitutional. Separate but equal/unequal should be allowed. You stay in your neighborhood, and I'll stay in mine. Oh, and fuck off!

Hyperbole aside I think it's an interesting question--one worthy of thinking deeply about: what property rights (or pseudo property rights, whatever) do we agree people actually have to their (collective) communities?
Libertarians say "none." That's why they're ok with a few billion people coming to the U.S. and say I'm racist for believing that national borders are ok and worth enforcing.
Liberals say none sometimes, and lots sometimes. If a racist KKK group wants to keep blacks and Catholics out of "their" white neighborhood then that's both morally and legally wrong and should be punished. If a long-time group of lower middle class black people want to keep rich white hipsters out of "their" non-white neighborhood then that's morally correct and the Left is willing to look the other way at all kinds of things (property damage/riots, intimidation tactics, etc) for the "good" people to try and assert the right to keep "their community" theirs.
Conservatives...I dunno. They say community is vital and the laws ought to be written to reflect that fact, but on a moral plane I'm not sure how they view collective community rights (of exclusion, discrimination, etc). Presumably it's about in line with the Left--ok for people they like but not ok for people/causes they don't like.

Anyway it's an important topic, I think, and one like "freedom of speech" where the discussion is too often derailed by individuals falling back/shouting about what this or that law says (and not addressing the underlying principle and/or moral argument).

Char Char Binks said...

The anti-gentrification types are unaware of how anti-freedom they are.

I doubt it. They're anti-gentrification because they're anti-freedom. They do whatever they can, fair or foul, to control and curtail others.

Char Char Binks said...

The anti-gentrification types are unaware of how anti-freedom they are.

I doubt it. They're anti-gentrification because they're anti-freedom. They do whatever they can, fair or foul, to control and curtail others.

Michael K said...

If the whites had stayed and the property values had remained stable, the new minorities moving in would have had to have been economically capable of buying in to the neighborhood.

I grew up in South Shore in Chicago. It was one of the nicest places to live in the city.

About 1962 blacks began to move in. At the same time there were real estate firms who were spreading rumors and offering low prices for homes that were paid for.

The black teenagers did not want whites to remain. They would walk down the alley and break branches off cherry trees in our back yard, By this time I was in California in college.

After my father was attacked on the front porch as he was coming home one night, he sold the house for 1/3 of what he was offered in 1950. He was saved from severe injury because he got the front door open and the dog attacked the two kids.

That neighborhood still has nice looking homes. It is by no means a slum but it is one of the most violent in the city. Last year, the Tribune had an article about how blacks are moving out because of the crime.

I doubt there is a white resident in miles.

Mark said...

Real American gets it.

veni vidi vici said...

Looks like someone's nuggets were thoroughly denvered, and that will never do.

hawkeyedjb said...

An old saying: Some people take their slums with them, wherever they go.

Kirk Parker said...

Cookie,

A very sizeable percentage of the people in this country know about "Section 8 housing, AFDC, and food stamps." I'm actually surprised these things are news to you.

Molly said...

Henry says, "it is the hipsters that leave as the professionals move in."

Insightful. But, there is a racial aspect (in most cities, probably here).

I grew up in a nice upper middle class neighborhood, but one where a family with a single earner at the top end of the federal gov't pay scale could afford a house. That neighborhood has been (ultra-) gentrified, in the sense that now to afford a house, the family needs to have two earners at the top end of the federal gov't pay scale (150,000+ per person), or a single earner in the "private" (gov't consulting or lobbying) sector in the 400,000+ pay range. Should my family complain about displacement and call it "gentrification"?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

That neighborhood has been (ultra-) gentrified, in the sense that now to afford a house, the family needs to have two earners at the top end of the federal gov't pay scale (150,000+ per person), or a single earner in the "private" (gov't consulting or lobbying) sector in the 400,000+ pay range. Should my family complain about displacement and call it "gentrification"?

I often ask this, in private, about my hometown of Seattle, in which I can no longer afford to live despite my husband's high salary (right at the top 3% household income nationally). Admittedly, this is because we have many children and can't squeeze into the condos that they are tearing down all the single family homes to build, and because we also have an ex-wife and alimony in the picture, and yet. I don't ever get to complain about not being able to raise my kids where I and four previous generations of my family were raised and where all my childhood memories were made and where many of my relative still lives today, because we're not poor and black. I just have to put on my big girl panties and accept that we are all subject to forces beyond our control and we need to accept we can't always have the communities we want.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Kirk Parker said...
Cookie,

A very sizeable percentage of the people in this country know about "Section 8 housing, AFDC, and food stamps." I'm actually surprised these things are news to you.

11/27/17, 10:03 PM

Cookie may fairly resent being asked why he loves Stalin so much, but he can hardly resent it being pointed out that he is adept at avoiding knowledge of things that disagree with his preconceptions.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Interesting. But I keep hearing that Texas is such a capitalist, free-market, low-tax, low-regulation, affordable housing paradise. That is totally avoiding the problems plaguing high-tax, high-regulation California.

Years of living here after living in radically different places, and traveling widely, has caused my views on this to shift over time. I used to tell people 'yeah it's awesome, I got me a cheap six bedroom house in one of the nicer neighborhoods in town and there are no sissy hippies telling me what to do all the damn time!' But the thing is, I've come to believe in a simple rule of thumb about communities ~ there are two kinds. One in which you can have Nice Things, and ones in which you can't. Large swaths of Texas might be super awesome freedom outposts, but, and it pains me to admit this, they are also....kinda shitty. There are all the social pathologies I mentioned above (which I may have exaggerated a bit, but not a lot) which drag down quality of life. There's, and I'm sorry, I'm not going to pull punches, a certain laid back, equatorial-flavored approach from San Antonio south to things like public cleanliness and amenities. Parks rapidly fill up with trash, people chuck their diapers in parking lots, empty lots are full of fast food cups and plastic bags. No one cars. Some people make an effort at arts and culture and cleanliness, but it's spitting into the wind.

The 'nicer' places, outside of a few rarified neighborhoods such as Highland Park in Dallas, are simply long swaths of strip malls, freeway frontage roads and chain restaurants, and they are all full of transplants from elsewhere seeking cheap housing and not caring that there's no sense of charm or community because everyone is from Somewhere Else. Austin is supposedly this Super Awesome Rad City but it's actually small, flat, not pretty, and full of traffic, homeless people and staggering drunks on Sixth.

It should be cheaper to live here than it is, given the quality of one's community-mates and municipal services. But it's not. That's what's annoying. Yes, you pay through the ass to live in Commiefornia, and it's not sustainable, but when we visit San Diego and drive through La Jolla, visit friends in Coronado, and stroll around Balboa Park....man, at least you're getting what you're paying for. I laugh when I see some of Althouse's cafe posts with things like precious little coffee shops in Madison with potted plants and dog water bowls on the sidewalk outside. That's a place where you can have Nice Things. In lots of Texas, including where I live, that stuff would be stolen if it weren't nailed down. Here we have shitty Starbucks with bathrooms full of graffiti instead of artisan cafes.

Cycle Cyril said...

NYT has the following paragraph:

A thousand families a month are moving to Denver these days, and the exploding demand for housing has pushed up rents and property values. The median price of a single-family home has doubled in the last five years, to about $450,000. That price is beyond the reach of about half the city’s residents, according to researchers at Harvard University.

While in an ideal world we might want more than half the population to afford far more than the median price of a home - in other words half the homes in the region - it is not out of line with gross expectations.

This article from City Journal informs us of how zoning laws bifurcates cities into rich and poor areas without a middle class affordable area. The article does not refer directly to Denver but I would not be surprised if it applies.

Robert Cook said...

"A very sizeable percentage of the people in this country know about "Section 8 housing, AFDC, and food stamps." I'm actually surprised these things are news to you."

Oh, I'm very well aware of it. However, someone stated or implied that black families moving into white communities were all funded by Section 8 Housing subsidies. How does he know this? What is the timeline? Was it the first black families moving into white communities, or was it later, after white flight caused the property values to drop, meaning only low income people would want to move in...therefore making it entirely normal that many residents moving in had the help of Section 8 subsidies? (Low income whites also obtain Section 8 subsidies, by the way.) How does he know that the first black families moving in weren't doing so with their own income earned from their own jobs?

Angel-Dyne said...

Pants @12:38:

Thanks for taking the time to spell it all out. This bit deserves re-quoting:

But the thing is, I've come to believe in a simple rule of thumb about communities ~ there are two kinds. One in which you can have Nice Things, and ones in which you can't. Large swaths of Texas might be super awesome freedom outposts, but, and it pains me to admit this, they are also....kinda shitty.

What you write distills a lot of my long "why I am not a libertarian" list. The difference between having a country where we (and not just the well-heeled among us) can Have Nice Things, and one where we can't, is more than just a matter of free markets and low regulation. Economic freedom and sane regulation matter, but there has to be a whole hell of a lot more going on for "nice" to prevail for ordinary people.

(A lot of the "nice" for ordinary people is paid for in social capital. E.g., I don't pay money to have a trash-free neighborhood and trash-free public parks - everybody "pays" for this by not throwing trash around in the first place. The less social capital, the more "nice" has to be paid for with money only, and the more "nice" is restricted to the well-to-do.)