Spike Lee on Gentrification (Live in Brooklyn)

Daily Intelligencer on February 26, 2014 03:01

spike lee

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66 timed comments and 0 regular comments

  • John DeLello
    John DeLello at 6.26 on August 29, 2014 01:38

    Communities and realtors and politicians could care less about community or history, they are all high dollar call girls willing to play with the highest bidder.

  • John DeLello
    John DeLello at 6.56 on August 29, 2014 01:37

    Spike has a pointe two. It's not cool to have the newcomers calling the pope on your pop for playing acoustic bass. Nice restaurants and shi shi cocktail bars and nice looking people does not counter the negatives of gentrification. Every American knows that The NYC metro area is unattainable for even educated well employed people. This same phenom is happening to those that grew up in places like Reno, Denver, mountain towns in the west and farms in the mid-west. No one living in a beach town in Cal. Has the time or. Means

  • Runnin76
    Runnin76 at 7.16 on July 28, 2014 15:43

    "Reverse migration".
    Excellent point. This atrocity occurs nation wide. It's happening in my
    town. Basically being told, "to heck with you & the pursuance of the american dream"!

  • sheryl-bullock-hooper
    sheryl-bullock-hooper at 11.49 on June 09, 2014 23:36

    @maofdeuce: But having this been going on in Hartford, Ct since the 80's. I lived in the town from 82- 88, right across from St. Francis Hospital.

  • Victor Velasquez 12
    CORPSICLES at 8.59 on May 13, 2014 17:30

    So what? NYC is changing and dying.

    CORPSICLES at 8.34 on May 13, 2014 17:28

    Blacks having been trying to get out for years - its just easier to do it now - everything is cheaper.

    CORPSICLES at 5.22 on May 13, 2014 17:24

    Now you cant walk down brooklyn with a Knicks jersey on either.

    CORPSICLES at 3.45 on May 13, 2014 17:23

    This is exactly what I tell people who are upset with how bass-ackwards my neighbors are - you cant change the culutre!

    CORPSICLES at 3.45 on May 13, 2014 17:23

    Cultures change - despite how old it is.

    CORPSICLES at 2.52 on May 13, 2014 17:22

    MIchael Jackson dlept with little boys.

    CORPSICLES at 1.22 on May 13, 2014 17:21

    It tells me they are looking for crack.

  • Lenair tucker
    Lenair tucker at 5.24 on March 31, 2014 04:36

    This is why he is more than a Filmmaker. Spike is an Icon.

  • 6v4i76
  • StanLovesHouse!
    StanLovesHouse! at 6.45 on March 05, 2014 01:33

    I love that. "We've been here" we weren't important enough for these services and benefits. It wasn't profitable

  • neuronburg
    neuronburg at 0.17 on March 04, 2014 15:38

    an ignorant racist speaks

  • Akeem James 1
  • Akeem James 1
    Akeem James 1 at 5.47 on March 03, 2014 04:20

    I can't wait to see the new NYC

  • Akeem James 1
    Akeem James 1 at 4.22 on March 03, 2014 04:19

    Yo I can't wait till I'm back in NYC. I love living near The Whites.

  • Darren Bartlett ♭
  • Darren Bartlett ♭
    VIVVYDOLL at 9.25 on March 02, 2014 03:59

    Spike spoke the TRUTH!! ... folks can't handle the TRUTH!!

  • guitarwizardsofthefuture
  • maofdeuce
    maofdeuce at 11.49 on March 02, 2014 00:09

    I totally agree with Spike. I'm not from NY but I Love it, it's my other home & my close friends in Brooklyn, Harlem and The Bronx are being treated as if they're the outsiders when they've BEEN there the whole time!! I'm from Hartford, CT and we are experiencing the same thing.

  • ImanE II
  • Rakita O'Neal
    Rakita O'Neal at 6.31 on March 01, 2014 08:39

    Boom!!! Because it doesnt matter if its 1964 or 2014 our country still believes White is Right!!!

  • Crighteezy
    Crighteezy at 6.07 on March 01, 2014 02:47

    White privilege is alive and well. Black people are not treated equally in this country. Period. Whether it's Florida or New York CIty, you cannot argue against this fact. Okay, so you're white? I'm white too. And you ask me, "why should I care?", "Spike Lee needs to stop bitching," "there's no such thing as first dibs!" Well, this is what I will say to that: Yes, it is true that poor white people (mostly immigrants) used to live in Brooklyn from the late 1800s through the 1960s before the area became more predominantly black. Some stayed and some left the neighborhood because of fears rooted in racism. Yes, it is true that neighborhoods are constantly evolving and changing. This is America, and in 2014 you can't tell someone that they aren't allowed to live there. This time it's different though and it concerns anyone that has ever had a love affair with a big city. In the middle of the 20th century Brooklyn changed because people chose to leave. Property values fell because of people moving so quickly, they didn't inflate rapidly like right now. And here's another key fact, Brooklyn was a WORKING-CLASS borough. European immigrants with white skin came to Brooklyn for the American dream. Irish, Italians, Jews, whatever. Some came up and became middle-class, some stayed working-class. It had a lot of genuine culture back then because of these white immigrants bringing some of their culture to their neighborhoods and New York in general. Then the neighborhood became predominantly Black (along with Puerto Ricans and Jews), and yet again a rich culture flourished. One working class community passing over the neighborhood to another working-class community. Fast forward to the mid-90s. Brooklyn begins to change. Legitimate artists come here in search of low-rent to do their art and still live in the great city that is New York. Other poor creative-types with day jobs begin to flock to Brooklyn soon after attempting to find themselves in the Big Apple. Coffee shops begin cropping up next to bodegas. "Hipsters" become the target of everyone's hatred. Sometime in the early 2000s developers really started honing in on how to capitalize on these neighborhoods that were currently really cheap and becoming "trendy." Now in 2014, you got post-modern lofts everywhere that cost $3000/month and Williamsburg is more expensive than almost anywhere else in New York. You got a bunch of rich assholes with no appreciation for culture moving in so they can be cool. Those "hipsters" you hated can't afford to live there either. The difference here people in this supposedly "natural" evolution and change in the dynamics of Brooklyn is that torch was not passed between one culturally-rich working-class people to another. The torch was taken by force by some rich dude who isn't a jazz musician, who doesn't even like jazz, who didn't even like New York until very recently, who thinks the 90s New York was a pile of shit with no redeemable value, who buys crappy art just to look like he has an opinion, who has a 401k, who feels uncomfortable around black people, and who treats New York like a playground of wine bars, and doesn't feel the least bit guilty about being partly responsible for a family being evicted across the street. For the sake of the argument I'm gonna remove racial issues out of the argument. As an average white guy from the midwest who is apathetic towards other races but thinks New York is cool, you should care about what's happening for one big reason- the essence of what makes New York is at stake. New York is not evolving and changing, it's just getting more expensive and douchey. Some bullshit argument about white people being there first isn't relevant because we're not talking about the same white people. It's not like Brooklyn is gaining more working-class Irish and Italian small-business owners who just wanna open up cheap delis and dive bars. It's just gaining more rich pricks who don't bring anything to the table that is the melting pot of New York City.

  • StillNatural
    StillNatural at 11.30 on March 01, 2014 01:14


  • StillNatural
    StillNatural at 2.30 on March 01, 2014 01:11

    I agree with Spike. The exact same thing is happening in Detroit. I was insulted in my city, where I have lived for DECADES by a group of white males on their way to a Lions game. I have been insulted in our suburbs before, but NEVER in my one city by racists. Yes, they have also been changeing the names of various parts of the city for the past decade. The AVERAGE current residents can't afford to live in these newly RENAMED areas...and yes, now the lights are coming back on, the police are being beefed up, along with EMS. The carpetbaggers are opening new businesses that are being hyped by our local media. Also, corporations actually run the city now and they are buying up the inner city for pennies on the dollar. We are supposed to grin and bear it AND act like we neither see NOR understand what's happening right under our noses.

  • Crighteezy
    Crighteezy at 1.57 on March 01, 2014 01:05

    @Nathaniel Fearghaile: I've lived in Filipinotown for years man. I'm white but I've seen white people come and go. My friend who rented a cheap ass room a block away just got evicted because some rich guy bought the house and evicted everyone living there. My own landlord just jacked up the rent on us last month trying to charge us extra for parking even though we've been living here for years and years. The Filipino family that lived below us for years moved out a month ago. Right after they moved out, the landlord renovated the shit out of it and made it way nicer than it was. As expected he jacked up the rent by about 30% so I wouldn't be surprised if he bought out the family below us to get them to move. That's the way this shit works unfortunately. Funny enough, the landlord isn't some caricature of a greedy white guy. He's a hard-working Mexican guy that does all the maintenance and renovations of the apartments himself and he spent his life savings in order to buy the building years ago. So it's hard to be mad at the guy because I know he's just trying to make as much money as he can with his investment. The side effect of this though is that this neighborhood will slowly lose it's character and become like Echo Park in 10 years. Sure enough some white couple from the midwest moved in downstairs and paid more money than the family did. I bet they'll leave within a couple months though once they figure out that it isn't like Echo Park Ave over here. Echo Park disgusts me these days. It's a shell of what it used to be. Fortunately, this side of the 101 hasn't gone that way yet. It's weird to say but I don't like seeing other white people in Gigi's bakery on Temple. It worries me. When they renovated that place it got nicer but even that worried me. I hope they don't raise their prices and lose their original customers. All those old Cuban dudes are gonna bounce and go hang out elsewhere if shit keeps going the way it's going. The only way to stop it is for landlords to not take the easy money, which almost impossible because everyone's trying to make more money. You basically need like a MLK, Malcolm X, or Caesar Chavez-type dude to be your landlord to stop neighborhoods from changing. I don't mind the Historic Filipinotown distinction these days because of how gentrified Echo Park has become, but I will never call this place fuckin' "HiFi." Get the fuck outta here with that booshie-ass acronym crap. All I ask man is that if you ever see me on the street don't lop me in with the "goddamn hipsters" you hate or "they" that you keep referring to. I do give a shit about renters man. I'm working in the field that I love but I don't make that much money. I'm getting pushed out just like you and I can't stop it. And like you I don't like a lot of the people I see on the street in Echo Park or what's become of that neighborhood. I'm that first-wave white dude that moved here because of the culture, location, and the low-cost. I'm not in the same income bracket as nor do I share the same views as the waves of gentrification that follow though.

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