Are you up to the challenge? – The June 5th Money Bomb!

From Dr. Paul:

Ten Million Dollars.

That’s how much establishment candidate Mitt Romney raised in one day a couple of weeks ago from well-heeled party bigwigs for his 2012 White House bid.

So today, I’m writing to personally ask if you are up for a challenge.

My campaign’s grassroots supporters are holding another Money Bomb next Sunday, June 5th, and I believe it offers us an excellent chance to make some headlines of our own.

You see, the Romney campaign thinks no one else can touch their accomplishment.

But honestly, I don’t need 10 million dollars to match Mitt Romney.

After all, I don’t have to defend a liberal record as governor of Massachusetts.

I don’t have to defend against passing a bill just as bad as ObamaCare.  Mitt Romney does.  So it’s ok if he has a bit more money than we do.

He’s going to need it!

But it is absolutely critical I have the financial backing to build a first-class operation in early caucus and primary states and show the pundits and press that I am a serious candidate.

I know these so-called “gate keepers” are part of the Washington problem, but the fact is their either dismissing of candidates or praising them makes a difference to many undecided voters.

An overwhelming showing on June 5th would force the establishment pundits to realize you and I are in this to win it!

So please, visit www.RonPaul2012.com on June 5th and contribute whatever you are able.  I know times are tough, but each and every dollar will go toward implementing our plans to run a first-class, winning campaign to restore America now.

Support for my Presidential campaign is growing every day, and I’m hopeful that we are in time to save America, rebuild our economy, and hand our children an even better country than the one we inherited.

And on June 5th, we can demonstrate the strength of support for our freedom message.

If you can help my campaign really take off now with a contribution at www.RonPaul2012.com on June 5th, I’d certainly appreciate it.

Your donation will allow us to ramp up our efforts in all the key primary states right away.  That’s why political experts say that $1 now is worth as much as $5 later on.

And it would prove that our campaign doesn’t need fat cat bankers and rich elitists to compete.

When our R3VOLUTION comes together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish, and it is a great source of encouragement to know I can count on you.

Thank you for all your support!

For Liberty,

Ron Paul

P.S.  The other candidates have their corporate establishment Big Money donors.  They have their lobbyists and their PACs.  Mitt Romney used his insider rolodex – thick with Wall Street bankers – to raise 10 million dollars for his campaign.

And his campaign has thrown down the gauntlet by saying they don’t think anyone else can touch their accomplishment.

Patriots like you can help me fight back with a massive Money Bomb on June 5th.

So please visit www.RonPaul2012.com on June 5th and contribute as generously as you can!

The moment of doubt.

It’s always something that will jolt me back into whatever I should be doing. Whether it involves getting into a better career path or getting back in shape. Something has to happen before I start taking that part of my life under control.

I remember last summer going with a friend to the Gansevoort in the meatpacking district just for kicks and to meet new people.  We knew people who could get us in and we got there before it got too crowded.  Just my luck, I ran into an old friend I had not seen since 2008 despite staying in touch via Facebook and messenger. He was completely suited up and was there to celebrate his show’s success in getting expanded to a daily format. He talked about how he was involved in activism and caught the attention of some media personalities in need of someone of his experience and political views. One meeting led to another and he became the producer. I really was glad he made it after going through some challenges several years ago. At the same time,  it struck me that I really didn’t advance in my professional life I had hoped. I was scapegoated in my previous position and I basically had to start over when I joined a new account team. The pay did not increase and the company gave all employees a paycut regardless of performance as a cost cutting measure to stabilise their precious share price.

It really hit me that night out and I lost the mood to enjoy the night. It was more complicated when I saw a coworker there enjoying his professional and personal growth with his friends and girlfriend as well. It really felt like everyone was moving ahead while I was left behind with a few others. I wound up leaving the place with my friend after spending less than two hours there.

After that night, I made an effort at my current position with the new account team. The effort rarely paid off as I was being micromanaged with no chance to work independently and based on my actual workload. There was also no guarantee that I would even get a raise, let alone promoted.

I knew this was a dead-end and I started working on getting myself out of this professional rut. For starters, I hired a professional writer to help update my resume based on my work experience with the hope it would get attention from better companies and highlights skills that I may have overlooked. It was also good luck that a headhunter reached out to me with an opportunity at a company I had strong interest in. In the end, I managed to quit my dead-end job and start at a place that is closer to my professional goals.

Now I find myself facing a similar situation in my personal life. I was in a serious relationship for over a year before it ended thanks to my previous position and from an increasingly unappreciative girlfriend. It took me time before I decided to go on a rebound relationship with a girl setup by friends. After three months, she decided to break up without reason and the friends who set me up with her didn’t care and blamed me for it without caring how it happened. It was messed up that she stopped on a whim but it was even more disappointing the way people who I thought were my friends reacted.

I decided to simply stop bothering to meet new people or girls after those chain of events. I was growing sick of the revolving door friends in the NYC social scene and I was tired of being hurt and worn down by immature and petty girls. I just had it with the entire New York social scene and only trusted my friends from childhood, NJ and college while everyone else is a potential revolving door friend who could disappoint me or drop me at will.  There would be no real reason to go to social events other than professional reasons or for appearances.

Then recently, I met someone at one of these social outings. She was approachable and had a very interesting background. It was also helped by the fact she liked cute things. We were having a fun conversation about current news and random stuff until an old friend ran into her. It turned out that they knew each other from a previous job but lost touch for many years. They really hit it off and I felt lost in the conversation as the event became more crowded and hard to follow. We exchanged numbers and emails and seemed interested in knowing more about some things we discussed, but I really felt I could have made things move in a better direction.  I held back and got lost in the scene because I was wary of making new fake friends and the prospect of a failed connection or more.  It got awkward at the end and I wound up leaving early that night.

The missed connection is bothering me and still bothers me. It’s becoming one of those moments that will get me to reassert myself in this area. It sometimes can be hard distinguishing between someone who can be a good friend from one who will work himself out of a circle of friends for petty reasons. It’s even harder to find a connection in a hectic career and with similar backgrounds despite being in such a large city. I really am unsure how I will get myself out of this predicament and I know this needs to be done or else I will keep having these moments in my personal life.

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Strange times

It’s been months since I have started blogging. Blogs from years past focused on personal subjects,  commentary on current events and random reviews.

The blog stopped after a representative/marketing manager from Michael Page international went out of their way to track me down and pressured me in a passive-aggressive way to delete a post detailing my poor experiences dealing with their reps in 2007. The comments from that blog gradually became a hotbed for disgruntled MPI reps and immature reps that supported their company. In any event, mixed reviews of this boutique recruiting firm are all over glassdoor.com if they are out to remove any real or imagined criticisms of their company.

Another reason I stopped blogging was the busy work schedule that kept me from putting time into blogging. Then there was the failed relationship that I involved in but ultimately nothing was ever enough.  These issues lead to a void in my thoughts, feelings and interests.

Recently, I resumed my interests in world events after the people’s revolutions in Egypt and the Middle East. The success in people power and al-Jazeera in contributing to this success gave me a sense of hope and optimism that faded when Obama took office. It really gave people hope that they can make change if they had the means to do so. Some friends expected the uprising to fail and for protests to result in jihadis taking power, but nothing is for certain.  I can only hope that the rebellion in Libya is just as successful as the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings.

In terms of my social life I am really not sure who my friends in NYC really are. It’s been said that friends come and go but my circle of so-called friends is like a revolving door. Some of them simply cut off contact over changes in Facebook while some distance themselves once I switched jobs.  Then there are those who simply disappoint when it mattered and those who will only hang out only if a “cool” mutual friend is there. This is one of the more unpleasant realisations of my time in the city.

My childhood friends are accessible and can be counted. My high school era buddies are good company.  My college friends are one of my core circle of friends. Friends I’ve met around NJ are also good company.  I only wish they were less busy and more accessible.

This is an unpleasant feeling and the only way to get around it is going out and meeting new people. My previous social circle in NYC is not what I thought it was.

There are some things I needed to change now. I will need to start with my Gmats now I have more leisure time that was taken because of an unproductive start-up and issues with my previous job.  I also started exercising again after being in poor shape for months.

I need to keep changing even if people like Obama and my fake NYC friends disappoint me.

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A follow up to the hipster hate

A follow up to the hipster hate

Back a few weeks ago, I put together a quick blurb including my thoughts on hipsters and why their attempts at synthetic originality make my blood boil. The opinion generated a fair amount of feedback thanks to Diehipster.com, and in all fairness some of the negative commentary that came my way does make a tiny bit of sense seeing as, on paper, I could have better supported my reasons for having such hostility toward the brand that is a Brooklyn hipster. But, instead of methodically plotting out an itinerary of verbal-assault through which I take over Williamsburg by annihilating one hipster at a time consequently reclaiming Mother Brooklyn for the natives, I rather haphazardly ran with the ideas that spewed out of my mind and the result of such is here.

Consequentially, I decided to construct a follow up piece and have thought long and hard about how I’d like to present my thoughts accordingly. Originally I considered a clearly drawn out essay complete with supporting documentation and factoids that cannot and would not be debated may be the way to go, but that just seemed like it would lack flavor. Next I thought maybe something of a dedication to the douchery that is Williamsburg and Bushwick by means of a photo-tribute might work. I picture this piece containing things like this, or this(nice cheetah tat). Yet again, this just didn’t seem like the best approach. Then, within a period of only a week, NYC time, I realized that this piece was pretty much writing itself via the asinine comments that come out of many a hipsters mouth/hands on the internet.

And so, I bring to you – The top 5 reasons why this Brooklyn native is completely fed up and disgusted with the hipster population of 2010 Brooklyn. These appear in no particular order and each one provides to me an equal amount of nausea.

Example Number 1:

In Defense of ‘Hipsters’ and the Controversial Practice of Moving to a City Not of One’s Birth

In this piece written by Barret Brown of Bushwick BK, it is crystal clear that the general attitude of a transplanted Brooklyn resident is that of superiority and elitism. Brown actually goes so far as to refer to the non-hipstery folk who move to Brooklyn from afar as either ‘Puerto Rican’ or a variant of ‘awful Balkan‘. First point of interest here is why Brown feels the need to conjoin the thoughts in his sentence referring to one grouping of people as awful – and the other simply as Puerto Rican? He got a good tongue lashing from natives and transplants alike for that one, and even though he later produced a follow-up piece in an attempt to not be labeled the racist he is, the damage was clearly already done.

I have news for you Brown, each and every one of us Brooklyn natives ancestral lines can be drawn back to other countries. My family migrated over from Italy during a time that made them the lower-class working immigrant. They worked feverishly to establish themselves and create environments that were safe for their women and children. They brought over with them a work ethic and an understanding of what it is to worry about putting food on the table each night, something that you, you feeble minded arrogant idiot, obviously have no respect for.

Later in Brown’s blurb, he really shows himself – and all other hipster garbage, to be of the selective class in their own minds. He goes into detail by describing natives as seemingly falling into one of the following:

“People who honk at parked school buses, throw old televisions out of windows, play shitty Top 40 dance music from parked cars at 600 decibels, scream at bodega clerks, avoid branch libraries, give money to Pentecostal preachers, buy t-shirts that say “Hi Hater” on one side and “Bye Hater” on the other and then wear those t-shirts in public, await the Jewish Messiah, worship the Christian Messiah, and play the lottery.”

Now – here’s where I really get angry. Yes, Brooklyn natives do buy tee-shirts that say Hi Hater on one side and Bye Hater on the other and then wear said tee-shirts, they do play lotto, they do wait for the second coming of Jesus and they do scream at Bodega clerks. (That is Bodega with a big “B” out of respect for the working man – who may just be, gasp, Puerto Rican!) And you know what, Brown… They will continue to do all of abovementioned things because that is who they are. Their patient wait for the Messiah is not done so out of a deep-rooted need for approval, unlike your every day hipsters attempt to be an Eco-friendly vegan. You people don’t give a fuck about the environment – you’re out there spending your mommy and daddy’s money on a surplus of PBR each weekend when that money can easily be going toward Eco-research. What you do give a fuck about is fitting into the herds that make up the current face of Williamsburg, and now a good majority of Bushwick. Say what you want about a native Brooklynites propensity to play shitty top 40 dance music out of their car radio systems but this much is true: I’d prefer the streets be littered with nothing but inaudible track over track of every horrific dance song you can possibly think of, a veritable overlap of an unrecognizable mish mash of shit, than have to endure one more fucking Siren festival of Indy garbage that appeals to you spurious elitist snobs.

Example Number 2:

This just in: Hipsters disrespect Williamsburg tradition (shocker!)

There are various street festivals that happen all over Brooklyn every summer. This is Brooklynite culture. This is what we, as natives, looked forward to during the adolescent years. These festivals are a celebration of who we are, whether it be Italian, African, Hasid, Latino, or Asian – each and every summer there are myriad events honoring our roots. NY, the melting pot, is where diversity lives. And then you have some fucking asshole with absolutely no respect for lineage – or a culture outside of their own that will make a comment as offensive as this one:

“It was a tiny parade, and they shut down Graham Avenue?” said Mr. Tocco, 26, an actor. “There was one float and a horrible marching band. It was very ironic. The Latino parades are more festive.”

That’s right they shut down Graham Avenue you little asshole. They shut down Graham Avenue because this is a tradition. It is a tradition that lived here way before you and your 7 roommates. Williamsburg, pre-infestation, had a sizable Italian population. It still does, to some degree. The people who look forward to this event every year have deep rooted history in Taggiano, Italy. They are devout and they love their Saint – and not you or any other bearded conformist should have even the slightest commentary as it pertains to any inconveniences you may suffer as a result of a street closure. You don’t have to like the band, or the saint, or anything about organized religion for that matter –but you damn better respect it because you’re in THEIR home, not the other way around.

This total disrespect of a culture throws me into rage. The hypocrisy as I see it is that there is a devotion to Brooklyn in a hipsters writings and their artistic expression – and then there are the comments like that made by Tocco, one completely negating the other. Brooklyn today is not the only Brooklyn to have ever lived. If you want to love Mother Brooklyn then you better learn what she is about. She is about religion – and she is about street festivals and devout Christians or Jews or whatever other outrageous devotion that may exist. Brooklyn is about diversity and coexisting. Why is it that the neighborhood I grew up in had absolutely no issues when it came to Jewish and Roman Catholic Italian families integrating? My friends were a 50/50 mix of Jewish and Catholic – and we played together and ate together, and lived in peace and unison. There was no disrespect, ever. We understood our differences and we kept them in mind when dealing with each other. If I had a Jewish friend, I didn’t ring their bell for hide and go seek past afternoon on a Friday out of respect for the Shabbat. Why the fuck can’t you all put on some shoulder-covers and respect the Satmars of Williamsburg in the same manner? – I’ll tell you why: it’s because you have no interest in loving Brooklyn for what she is truly about. Your interest is in that of a take-over position. You are all in love with Brooklyn because you’ve come here and turned it into nothing but a mirror image of the small town plebeian existence that you came from.

Fuck Defending Brooklyn – How about Respecting Brooklyn?!

Example Number 3:

Flashback to August 2009 for The MOVE Party organized by the “Lowbrow Society for the Arts” – A moving “art” party that overtook 3 subway cars on the J line thus completely interfering with all of the other paying commuters’ rides to/from work/home/wherever. As reported by Jeremiah Moss of Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York (a GREAT blog!), the partiers rode the J line from the Bowery to Broadway Junction in East New York. They brought beer onto the trains, they brought food onto the trains, and they wore costumes and played instruments like banjos and accordions.

It’s reported that some folks enjoyed the scene and participated by clapping along to the live tunes – or by making use of the flowers that were being handed out to the female passengers, but for the most part it seemed as if the members of this ‘art party’ had pretty much confined the passengers, forcing them to participate in something they may, or very well may not, be into. The best is yet to come, however…

At Broadway Junction, the partiers exited the subway cars and continued their singing and dancing on the platform. The crowd was a mix of costume clad hipsters and black neighborhood locals who were waiting on their train. And then the magic happened, one hipster idiot breaks into song and declares that said tune is:

“All About how Money Doesn’t Mean Anything!!”

Right – Great idea there, douche bag. Come into an area that is completely depraved with your expensive instruments and your costumes and your elite attitude and have a fucking Kumbaya singalong about how money is unimportant… in the ghetto. Smart.

As Jeremiah Moss reported it, here is an exchange that happened between party goers and what I picture to be a local:

This is not a good stop,” he said. “Don’t you think if you were here all alone, you’d be mugged right now?

“I don’t believe that,” said the partiers.

“Believe it. You don’t know where you’re at.”

“Yes, we do,” said the partiers, “This is our train, too. We ride this train every day.”

And, here’s where I get angry, again. – The way I see it, there are two possibilities here:

ONE: The hipster really didn’t have any idea where he was and he was just acting like he did so as not to look like a complete dolt in front of his herd – (but I don’t believe this to be true at all)

Or

TWO: The hipster did in fact know where he was and went forward with his little ‘Money doesn’t mean shit’ song with absolutely no regard to the fact that more than half of the 90,000 East NY residents are reported as living below the poverty line and are on some form of Public Assistance.

It is this flippant attitude with respect to the struggle of another human being that enrages me. There is little understanding of the real fight. There is little attempt made to submerge oneself into the true grit and grime as it exists in these areas and instead of fully exposing themselves to the reality of poverty and strife, hipsters will come into an area and mock its residents with fabled stories of how life is grand and they shouldn’t have worries or woes because money is unimportant.

There is little more I can say about this one – I think it speaks volumes all by itself.

Example # 4

Candy Crack for Sale in Williamsburg & Greenpoint

This one is a favorite, and you’ll excuse me if I get really fucking obnoxious and irate as we go through the various reasons why pretending to be a crack dealer deserves a punch in the face.

Maybe they didn’t have a crack epidemic in Ohio but here in Brooklyn, the shit ran rampant for longer than I’d like to remember. New Jack City-esque Crack Houses do not exist only in Nino Brown’s world. They’re very real – and for a good while back in the day, Brooklyn suffered a serious setback with respect to its residents becoming Crack addicted zombies. And here comes Nate Hill, an asshole in a fish-hat, who not only glorifies the act of ‘buying crack’, but does so dressed as a cartoon character, you know, to appeal to the youngsters and such.

The article linked above will tell you that you can only buy his ‘crack candy’ between the hours of 10pm, and 2am, much like a “real drug dealer” – and this little tidbit is reason Number Uno to support my argument that these idiots have no idea what a toll a Crack addiction will take not only the addict but the families and friends of the addicted as well. Newsflash, idiot: crack sales is a 24/7 operation. Do you think that a crackhead limits their usage to an exclusive night-time habit? Do you not comprehend that this addiction will remove every particle of property, every interpersonal relationship will suffer, and every ounce of well being that may reside in your body will diminish as a result of the extreme hold it takes on the addict’s life? Is it funny, to you, Nate Hill? Funny to you that people are dropping dead as a result of over-dose because their feeble hearts cannot take it anymore? You explain your shtick as “amusing theater” that is meant to be taken in jest. Well, I’m sorry if I don’t see the humor in emulating a life style that results in deaths, murders, robberies, rapes, and the overall loss of a person’s livelihood.

This is just one more example of how a hipster finds it amusing to copy the life of the poverty stricken population with little or no understanding of what the real-deal is. The fake crack sales, the brown paper bag Miller-High Life 40’s (for $12.00!! Gtfoh!) they buy at hipster bars, the photography of graffiti in an attempt to feel closer to an urban oasis they’ve created in their little ill shaped minds, all of these acts are prime illustrations of the phantasmagoria they prescribe to themselves.

Example # 5 –

This is a snapshot of a flash ad that BushwickBK.com runs – because, apparently, this is now the face of Bushwick.

Nuff Said.

I could easily continue to build on this list on a daily basis but that would just be silly at this point. I will, however, continue to support sites like diehipster.com and latfh.com and I’ll do so with the feral attitude that supports my opinions above. In my previous piece some accused me of attempting to assign myself the position of Ambassador of all that is Brooklyn Cool – and that is not at all what I’m about. I don’t think I’m cool, lame, or any other variant of an adjective as it relates to my association with the borough of Brooklyn. What I do think, however, is that I am a girl who was born and raised here and that credential is enough to continue to voice my opinion accordingly. I know this place I call home – and until I up and leave, I will represent the Brooklyn that lives in my heart. If you don’t like it, that’s all the better for me and the rest of the natives out there who are sick of your unconcerned gentrified attitude. Add it to the list of reasons to leave.

http://breakingupwithbrooklyn.com/2010/06/08/a-follow-up-to-the-hipster-hate/

The Perfect Hipster Accessory

The Perfect Hipster Accessory
Date: 2004-08-09, 9:48PM EDT

You’ve got the sexy, shaggy, unkempt greasy-but-not-too-gross hair. You’ve got flawless skin so pale that you glow in the dark. You’ve got the ironic vintage shirt, the shabby corduroy blazer and the chic designer jeans. You’ve got the carefully beat-up Chucks. You’ve got a two room walk-up in Williamsburg which you share with a highly-strung actor, a struggling writer, a freegan and a docile, hairy guy in a poncho who grows weed under the kitchen sink. To top it all off, you’ve got your own up-and-coming post-punk band. You’re almost perfect. But wait a minute. You’re missing something:

The ethnic girlfriend.

Yes, you’ve got the look down but, as we ALL know, nothing’s complete without accessories. You without a ethnic girlfriend is like a messenger bag without thousands of buttons proclaiming your political leanings and your extensive knowledge of music.

Well luckily for you, here I am. Your very own, personal, cute, non-threatening, little Asian. What better way to piss off your wealthy blue-blood Greenwich-Hamptons family, without pushing the line, than to date a shy, quiet, non-threatening Asian chick? Yellow’s close enough to white, anyway. After all, you wouldn’t want your parents to cut you off from your monthly allowance – you might have to get a job and give up your dreams of being a rock star. Anyway, you majored in English and Music at NYU, and teaching’s not really your thing.

Also, you really need somebody to drape your arm around after your show, to hand you a beer as soon as you come off stage and to tell you just how good you were. You were SO good. Yes, someone who will complement your style without overshadowing you. Want to coordinate outfits? I’ve got a vintage crocheted minidress that would look so good with your tweed jacket.

I can be anything you want, baby. Want me to wear only black and white, sneer and blow smoke into people’s eyes? I can do that. Want me to dress like I smoked a bowl of ice and then hitched a ride with Marty McFly in the Delorean? I got you covered. Want me to impress your snotty friends with my extensive vocabulary and vast knowledge of International Relations? I’ll read-up on my current events just for you, even though I hide copies of Star magazine in my copy of the Voice. After all, I did go to an elite boarding school and then art-school, where I majored in graphic design.

If I hadn’t, would I be the well-dressed, cooler-than-thou hipster I am today?

Also, I’m stick-thin, fashionably bisexual and smoke bidis. I am publicly a socialist but am secretly a rampant materialist. Do you think I actually go to Sal-Val for these ironic shirts? Please. I shop exclusively at Andy’s Cheepee’s, Cheapjack’s and Screaming Mimi’s. So what if I have to pay the finder’s fee? It’s not like I don’t have a trust-fund, anyway. I just wait tables at the vegan restaurant to look like I’m slumming it. I don’t actually need the money.

So. You need to have me hanging like a wristband off your lanky arm and you know it. Please, bassists and drummers only – and send a picture. I only pretend I’m not shallow.

this is in or around Probably the L train
PostingID: 38889776

http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/nyc/38889776.html

“The Yuppies Are Coming? How To Know When the Bronx is Being Gentrified”

“The Yuppies Are Coming? How To Know When the Bronx is Being Gentrified”

by Mark Naison

During the last month, I have had the opportunity to lead walking tours and bus tours of Bronx neighborhoods for at least 6 different groups. I always enjoy these tours, not only because it gives me the opportunity to play some of my favorite music, eat my favorite foods, and talk about the rich history of the communities were are in, but because there is so much new construction taking place in neighborhoods which were once written off by most of the world.

However, one of the concerns that I have, along with many of the people I have led on these tours, is whether the Bronx neighborhoods undergoing redevelopment are going to remain affordable for their residents. Are neighborhoods, like Morrisania, Hunts Point, Melrose, Mott Haven, Tremont and Morris Heights going to eventually go the way of Harlem, Williamsburgh and the Lower East Side and experience spiraling rents and an influx of wealthy newcomers who will ultimately push out working families and people living on fixed incomes?

While I do not rule out some gentrification occurring in the Lower Concourse area or the neighborhoods adjoining Yankee Stadium, I would say, based on what I observed, that much of the Bronx will remain immigrant and working class for the foreseeable future.

As someone who lives in a neighborhood- Park Slope Brooklyn- which has been dramatically transformed from a multiracial lower middle class community into a wealthy white enclave in the last twenty years, I have learned to identify certain visual markers of gentrification. I am going to share these markers with you and then ask you to make your own judgment of whether Gentrification is transforming the Bronx

1. Yellow cabs. When I moved to Park Slope in 1977, you could see almost no yellow cabs in the neighborhood. Now, thirty years later, they are a regular presence at all hours of the day and night, taking people to and from work, and to and from Manhattan theaters and restaurants. During my six tours of the Bronx, lasting approximately 15 hours and encompassing almost every Bronx neighborhood South of the Cross Bronx Expressway and west of the Bronx Rive, I DID NOT SEE ONE YELLOW CAB!

2. Outdoor cafes. When you go to Park Slope, or for that matter Harlem, Williamsbugh, Fort Greene and the Lower East Side on a summer evening, you will see hundreds of people sitting in outdoor cafes eating dinner or socializing over drinks. These range from small places with three or four tables with larger restaurants with 50 to 100 people sitting outdoors. There may be some outdoor cafes in Mott Haven, but I did not see a single one in Morrisania, Tremont, or Morris Heights.

3. “Designer Dogs.” Neighborhoods like Park Slope, or Dumbo, where my daughter lives are filled with obscure and expensive dogs that you once only saw in the Westminster Kennell Club Dog Show- Bichon Frisees, English Bulldogs, Greyhounds, Weimeraners, Portuguese Water Dogs and the like. I have nothing against these dogs personally, but you will never see them in working class communities because they are incredibly expensive and make terrible watchdogs. When you have a critical mass of these dogs, the next step is the creation of dog parks where these dogs can socialize under the doting eyes of their owners. Are there any dog parks in the Bronx? Please tell me because I love to see Bichon Frisees and Chihuahuas play with pit bulls!

4. Sushi Bars” When I moved to Park Slope, the only bars we had were for drinking. Now, there are four sushi bars within ten blocks of my house. My dear friend and colleague Dr Natasha Lightfoot told me that a sushi bar just opened two blocks from her apartment in Harlem. Perhaps that is why she and her husband just bought a co-op in the Yankee Stadium area. Will the sushi will follow her to the Bronx. It hasn’t yet!.

5. Health Food Stores and Restaurants. I am all for healthy eating ( though I must say I like BBQ-especially Johnson’s BBQ- better than Tofu!), but there is no question that the opening of health food stores and restaurants is one of the markers of gentrification- they are all over Williamsburgh, the Lower East Side and Park Slope. As an intellectual exercise, I asked one of my tour groups to count the number of health food stores and our bus drove on Tremont Avenue from Southern Boulevard to Sedgwick Avenue, a distance of over three miles. The total-ZERO

6. Starbucks: No self respecting up and coming neighborhood is complete without its Starbucks. The coffee bar is a fixture of life for the young professional class, many of whom can’t imagine a day without their Latte. Needless to say, I did not see a single Starbucks in any of the Bronx neighborhoods I walked or drove through. Six years ago, Starbucks opened a store on Fordham Road four blocks from Fordham. Within a year, it closed.

Now that I’ve given you these markers of gentrification ( and perhaps you can give me others) make up your own mind. Is the Bronx gentrifying? Are its longtime residents- and new arrivals- being pushed out?

My own journeys have left me hopeful that our borough, even as it develops will remain a place that welcomes immigrants and striving families priced out of other sections of New York. The Bronx may not have Starbucks and Sushi bars, but it is full of mosques and churches, bodegas and ethnic groceries, hair braiding salons and travel agencies, and restaurants and take out spots where working class people can eat inexpensively. If we protect the borough’s supply of affordable housing, it may remain that way for the foreseeable future