Proud to share how my other half, Cyrus, is bringing literacy to the clinic experience, collaborating with muralists. See Ruben Dario’s poemA Margarita Debayle (To Margarita Debayle) put into mural form in a pediatric clinic waiting room in Washington Heights, New York City, a predominately Latino neighborhood that now sees itself reflected on clinic walls and storytelling. A great follow-up to his Inwood mural project that brought Julia Alvarez’s The Secret Footprints to life to another pediatric clinic with graffiti artist legends.
Nice piece on art, real estate, neighborhoods, displacement and the human story in gentrification.
Found this in Latina magazine, pointing out how Latino neighborhoods are most vulnerable, and particularly, ones with significant Puerto Rican rooted populations.
“At long last, after many efforts, I am happy to report there will be a Vanishing New York book. From the official trade announcement today:
“Blogger Jeremiah Moss’s VANISHING NEW YORK, a critique of the ills of hyper-gentrification and suburbanization of our cultural hubs, a rallying cry for how we can stop it (in New York and other cities around the world), and a lyrical look at why cities need souls.”
Many thanks to my agent, Anthony Mattero at Foundry Literary + Media, and to my editor, Denise Oswald at HarperCollins’ Dey Street Books, for taking a chance on a cranky blogger. And endless thanks to everyone who reads this blog, and keeps reading it (even though it’s depressing), for all your support over the years. I’m grateful that we’re all in it together.”
Happy that Stephanie (and some of the Zoe Health family) were able to participate in a news clip highlighting the gem that is La Casa Azul Bookstore in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. As donors, networkers and (most importantly!) customers to this bookstore, it was a pleasure to share how La Casa Azul has enriched our lives, and how it does the same for the neighborhood.
This recent article in the Gothamist highlights some of the glaring ailments of gentrification, white privilege and inner truths of so-called “liberalism”. How a white graffiti artist feels entitled to put up her piece on private property and lash out at the property owners with savior-complex threats of retaliation for not appreciating how her work makes their building “more profitable”. The short article picks up on these themes of gentrification:
-the double standard of white privilege: If Black and Latino kids had done the same act of graffiti, they’d have to worry about police retaliation
-how local economies are often not supported in the gentrification process, helping speed its spread
-the intimidation native (or long-term) residents, and residents of color, may feel in speaking out against the gentrifiers, particularly if they are white and/or are wealthier
-how a simple act of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. on the part of the graffiti artist could have changed this story from the beginning. Ask permission to do it first. And if you didn’t, APOLOGIZE for causing harm and hurt feelings when the owners express it. The story could have changed there, too. Instead the graffiti artist responded with a threat against the owners.
-how “beautification” of a neighborhood, and rising real estate prices do not always work to the benefit of all members of the community (and how beautification is often a code word that goes hand-in-hand with the gentrification process).
-the dangers of the perceived benevolence of white liberalism, that when put into a corner, can express itself in terms of a missionary (James Baldwin) savior complex in which the target community should feel indebted and inferior to.
Early this year, The West Side Rag picked up a story we’ve been covering for awhile now, and published how the Central Park Conservancy and Parks Department have been using half the basketball courts and indoor space in the North Meadow Recreation Center (in the middle of Central Park around 97th Street) for office and parking spaces. Residents have attended community meetings, have gotten empty promises (or answers that reflect that the issue isn’t something they will take on), have collected hundreds of signatures from fans of the Recreation Center…And still the the public is being denied a slice of their tax-payer pie; the cars and offices are still there. Below is a collection of photos and a video from over the last few months documenting how cars block the paths of pedestrians and those wishing to use the courts for recreation. The only time the cars are removed seem to be when an organized team is playing in the courts, if not by whim of staff.