Wednesday, 6 August 2014

gentrification or the YUN ones

The Daily Beast featured recently a bitter-sweet and thought-provoking interview and profile of a blogger who is passionately documented the death-knells of a great metropolis. New York City is being summarily and quickly terraformed into a suburban-idyll, a playground acceptable to American Mid-Western standards and values and is being turned away from its eclectic identity.

The main reasons behind this lamentable, and frustratingly unstoppable, transformation is clearly exponentially high rents that price not only residents but also small shops out of the market, with only monied franchises to act as place-holders and no real anchors of the community—plus the leadership of Gotham over the last decade that helped to sanitize the landscape and insert comfortable order. It is a warning, years in the making but accelerating exponentially, that other great cities failed to heed, like London, Paris and the larger cities of Germany, too, that are quickly becoming unlivable and sacrificing their character and drive, despite the hard lessons of the property-bubble and subsequent burst, tendered by the same conditions. There is another less flattering contributor to this change that is not easy to address: inheriting the success of the Yuppies, the Young Urban Narcissists (YUNs) are pleased to have this backdrop for their curricula vitarum without dealing with the grittiness and reminders of bootstrapping and failure that do not belong in the picture. What do you think? Is a balance possibly for urban blight? The blogger, though angry and sad to see this charm slip away, has no plans to leave because he also has the chance to find those redeeming malingerers.