Wednesday, November 16, 2011

happy anniversary lone wolf

tonight i attended the one year anniversary of our beloved neighbor new business, lone wolf. it's a bar. it's cozy and dim like a bar in the middle of nowhere should be. the best part of the decor is an old from-who-knows-when heavy metal refrigerator that i wish was mine. i was very happy for them.

sitting at the bar, i looked around and felt a warmth in my heart as i scanned the busy bar and thought about our own one year anniversary and how that was only 9 months ago and yet it feels like ages. getting to the one year mark was an uphill battle. in my personal census of the bar, i noticed so many faces i've never seen, it really hit me how much and how fast the neighborhood is changing. i guess gentrifying is the word people are using. the word gets a bad rap but it's a word that fits perfectly in a socio-economic phenomenon that's been occurring for decades in all major developing cities. and now here, it's happening right before my eyes. i feel like i'm watching a movie sometimes. i am now a historian of bushwick, or can be if i put in more time living here. what will it be like when the hood is no longer hood? what will bushwick be like a year from now, 5 years from now?

to me it's a little bitter sweet. before it was like a small town in a big city with quirky characters intersperced with rough hood folks and old local inhabitants that are the real historians of this small town i have grown to love. now, very rapidly, the influx of the gentrifying population pour in and we realize that this is only the beginning.

for business it is good. for all things, except for the people who have lived here before and who will be displaced due to raising rents. everyday at little skips, i notice more and more new faces. the new building across the street from the cafe seemed to go up in the blink of an eye. now i hear just yesterday that there are only two units left. there is another building a few doors down on willoughby that i hear use to be a mental hospital or nursing home (probably a little bit of both) that got shut down by the city for malpractice and abuse. it's big and scary and i feel bad vibes from it but i know this place, once it's converted in to apartments for the gentrifiers will fill up quickly as well. megan, one of our original customers who i believe also does real estate for the area says, "then you will be busy all day, everyday." oh boy....

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