Can These Bones Live: Urban Decay Chic

I don’t remember how I came onto this blog, but the author of this piece (link below) makes a couple of very incisive points:

1) People who move into abandoned, decaying urban areas desire that type of environment, and any change, any improvement, will upset them, not just gentrification. This is a big problem in the “East Village” of New York, but one which is growing smaller as this population ages.

2) If people feel the need to live in these areas, they still exist. Cleveland, Detroit… Detroit! They privatized the government and turned off the water to those who cannot pay! If you’re an artist and need that type of deprivation, it’s there waiting for you!

Can These Bones Live: Urban Decay Chic.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Christopher Pugliese
    Nov 24, 2014 @ 12:53:01

    I disagree. People who move into decaying areas don’t always ‘desire’ that sort of asthetic or feel. More likely , they moved into those areas because they were affordable and offered some semblence of community. Concerning the East Village; In the 70’s and 80’s, while other’s were fleeing to the suburbs with their tails between their legs, some folks toughed it out and faught hard to save or even uplift the area. These people invested time, energy, and in some cases hard earned dollars, planting public gardens, opening small shops, rebuilding decaying buildings, etc. They succeeded in creating a ‘neighborhood’ in the mist of chaos and despair. They feel invested. Anyone who has invested their time in any sort of project whether that be raising a child, opening a business, painting a picture, whatever, should be able to understand how they feel about the East Village. Those feelings run deep. Being forced out by process you helped to start (Often by children of the people who didn’t care to stick it out in the first place!) has to be a bitter pill to swallow. Anyone who watches Burn’s 13 part ‘New York: A Documentary’ can easily figure out that NYC is forever changing and ‘belongs’ to no one. And I agree that no one should feel entitled to any part of NYC because it ‘belonged’ to someone else before you got here. However, it still seems sad and unfair that the very people who help tilt the wheels in the right direction are now being run over by said wheels. I think in 2014, any ‘improvement’ translates into another nail in the coffin of those struggling to stay in a community they helped create. Likely, if some of these ‘improvements’ came with a promise that your $1500 a month studio wasn’t going to be raised to $3,000 a month, you’d likely be all for the improvements. When instead it comes with the promise that the guy who’s been hemming your pants for the past 20 years won’t be able to afford to keep his shop, you might tend to feel differently.


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