The changing color of our neighborhoods
Dwayne Williams has lived in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn for 38 years. He feels gentrification is pushing him out.
July 25th, 2012
11:33 AM ET

The changing color of our neighborhoods

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

(CNN) – The complexion of some of America’s cities is changing. According to the last census, four of the 25 fastest gentrifying zip codes are in Brooklyn, New York. Upwardly mobile families are moving back into urban centers, reversing a trend of the 1970’s commonly called "white flight."

[:57] “To me, gentrification is when a certain group of people move into a neighborhood and they totally take it over. They bring in all their values and their lifestyle,” said Michele Payne, a long time resident of the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, NY.

Middle and upper middle class people are lured by affordable prices and an underutilized housing stock into communities within an easy commute of work centers. They are changing the dynamics of neighborhoods that were once considered unappealing because of high crime rates, low performing schools and a lack of services. According to the last census, four of the 25 fastest gentrifying zip codes are in Brooklyn, New York.

[6:39] “If you own, then you’re property has appreciated. If you rent, your rent has gone sky high. Some people who were here for 20 or 30 years have sour grapes because they rent and they resent the prosperity they see in other people coming in,” said Grant Taylor, a long time home owner in Clinton Hill.

That resentment comes from a belief that poor people are being forced out of neighborhoods by the newcomers. Rising rents and property values make it difficult for some families to stick around according to Valery Jean, Executive Director of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, or FUREE.

[4:31] “It puts families in like this weird space. So not only are families being displaced but it’s also saying in a sense that the city doesn’t value you as a human being based on your color. So in a way it has translated into what we feel is economic segregation,” said Jean.

But Columbia University Professor Lance Freeman discovered something that turned the conventional wisdom about gentrification on its head. Poor people don’t move out of gentrifying neighborhoods at any greater  rate than they do out of communities that aren’t changing.

[5:03] “Generally what you find is that either residents in gentrifying neighborhoods are less likely to move or move at a rate that is no different than people who live in other poor neighborhoods or neighborhoods that haven’t undergone gentrification.”

The Director of the Urban Planning program at Columbia U. said poor people tend to move out of their homes at the same rate no matter what’s going on in their neighborhood. Those that do manage to stay in gentrified neighborhoods benefit from some of the accompanying changes like cleaner streets, more policing and better schools. Despite the potential benefits, Freeman said gentrification still elicits a visceral reaction from some people.

[6:13] “I think there’s always going to be some resentment about that type of change, because that’s their home and it’s changing and to some extent they can’t do that much to stop it.”

Do you live in an area undergoing gentrification? What do you think about this trend? Tell us about it and leave your comments.

soundoff (195 Responses)
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  2. Get A Girl Back In 30 Days

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  3. Denise

    As a Brooklynite who was born and raised in Brooklyn, I have seen the before and after of many old school neighborhoods completely changed from gentrification. I am of the belief that gentrification only happens if landlords didn't feel that low income tenants didn't devalue the landlords property. Unemployed tenants = lack of appreciation of property. Landlords are tired of warehousing people who devalue their property. Ergo they want people with jobs and income to pay monthly rent.
    Currently in Flatbush I have seen my predominantly low income neighborhood a attract more working class (whites)..Hey let's be honest if you own property as a landlord you want a steady income from someone who has a job.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gj2001

    A lot people look at the older cities and say, 'why those people don't want to work is beyond me'.
    It's not really that hare to understand when you put it in the perspective of, let's say, all the call center jobs that companies like at&t, verizon etc that moved those positions to other provider nations like India and the Philippines. How many people who loss jobs to other countries can afford to move to that country and work at a lower rate.

    So when people see the influx of 'new' people into their old previously scorned and forgotten neighborhoods they are probably thinking, 'so this is what advantage is'.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Social/Economic Darwinism? Really? Lets look at that closely...

    I can see that there could be a social and economic type of "Darwinism" going on. The more successful push out the less successful.

    BUT living amongst both rich and poor, I will tell you this from first hand experience:

    NOT ALL gentrifiers are there based on success or even wealthy.

    Firstly, lets point out that most, not all gentrifiers are usually rich kids. Their parents made millions perhaps and their kids now young adults, live off TRUST FUNDS, they live of their parents investments, and success really.

    Their parents have every right to pass on their success to their children and help them live better... BUT in the process they've created these... snot nosed adults who have NEVER worked hard for their money AND come into locations because of unrealistic, delusional perceptions of life.

    They have no bite. Most are cowardly and are geeks. They also stylistically feign poverty by dressing down. I can go on and on.

    Not to say there are gentrifiers who haven't worked hard for their successes or finances, there are, and some are nice people. But most of them... uh-boy.

    BUT I would rather have them then e_frring GANG BANGER MEXicans.ssss.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. New Generation of Conceits

    Its not that those that took to "White Flight" back in the day are the actual people coming back, its just a new generation of conceited, pretentious, vapid, superficial bunch of ____ that I are coming back to those neighborhoods.

    Back in the day, the original "white" population was calm, comfortable with themselves, educated, successful but not pretentious and immature and ridiculously delusional in terms of self-image that these new gentrifying hipster generation are.

    THATS the difference.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      The people moving back are urban pioneers – not gentrifiers.

      Tell me what all those knee grows did for 30 to 40 years to keep the neighborhood from going to pot and making them affordable? The answer is that the knee grows let the place go downhill to the point that the prices got so low a few urban pioneers decided to risk their lives and fortunes by moving back to the killing fields. If the knee grows had done what they needed to do to keep up the neighborhoods in the first place, the urban pioneers would not be moving back to take what really belonged to them in the first place.

      July 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Comeon

    I this article had been complaining about black populations moving into neighborhoods, then it would be label as racist, come on cnn.....

    July 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • minerran

      I agree. Why is there a double standard?

      July 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Downtown LA Gentrification

    I don't like it, I do like it.

    What I don't like is the sort of retro-like feeling they have to New York-isize what they call "Historic Downtown LA" which is really just an old, ugly are of Downtown.

    I was all for and still marvel at the fantasticalness that is the Financial District, with its futuristic buildings, forward moving modernism.

    But gentrifiers have come in and tried to make Historic Downtown LA like a mini-wanna-be Manhattan.

    But whatever. What was there before? Junkies.

    Walking through it today though, still it feels like junkie-ville. Gentrifiers can't escape or change the smell of urine.

    So I like that a more educated I guess, you can call it that, population is coming in and TRYING to improve and repurpose the area, cool, nice... maybe even great! But there's a pretentiousness that comes with it BUT I rather have that then what was there before.

    The Skid Row area is getting cleaned up by gentrification, so, its good.

    I used to feel that gentrifiers were moving poor people out like in other parts of LA like the Silverlake area, yes, one word, thats how its always been before the gentrifiers.

    Silverlake was a very diverse community, it had almost every kind of ethnic people from all walks of life and didn't necessarily have even crime, it was pretty cool, back in the 70's and especially the 80's when I lived there.

    Now its a hyper-pretentious are of out of towers coming in and making everything oh so "hip" and changing things that they have no business changing, like making a small park and its surrounding area streets into some weird, artsy-fartsy park... even the actual streets we're permanently closed and painted over GREEN with fake grass. Just ridiculous, stupid, pretentious "green" inspired ...park.

    Its not even a PARK anymore but some hipster art ...thing.


    Aside from that annoyance, and a few others ASK ME:

    Would you rather live around that or gang bangers or thugs or what we lovingly call the worst of the worst in the hispanic/latino community – CHUSMA.

    AND I WILL FROLIC, I will dance, amongst my gentrifying brothers and sisters, as e_ffe_d up geeks as they are... than to live with CHUSMA.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Infidel

    Cry me a river....Things change, people adapt, and the strongest (economically, physically, intellectually, or otherwise,) survive. It's funny to see the congregation of the church of Darwinism lose their religion when the scripture of evolution doesn't read to their liking.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mediasoldada

    This piece favors the perception that gentrification does not negatively impact the lower income residents, and that residents are poor because of their own shortcomings. Clearly, gentrified neighborhoods lack the economic and racial diversity they previously had. The fact is, primarily white, wealthier and now "hipster" communities are unregulated in capitalizing upon and any neighborhood they chose. Existing low income families are excluded from being apart of the emerging "beneficial" aspects of their neighborhoods and are forced to move. Who cares of their children can live, learn and play freely in the neighborhoods they were born to, just as long as spoiled kids can build new cafes, galleries, and dress shops. Those things would all be nice additions, if the existing residents were invited and able to build and enjoy them too.

    July 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • mediasoldada

      Not to mention that Columbia U is not the best example of having a productive relationship with the surrounding neighborhood.

      July 28, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveS

      The fact of the matter is...What are you complaining about? – That other people want to move into your neighborhood? If there are expensive Sushi places opening up where there weren't before, well that's because there is a market for that where there wasn't one before. If you own your home, you don't have to concern yourself with it. If you rent, you're subject to increases, just like everyone else, regardless of color. Diversity is a great thing, and without gentrification, urban areas became totally homogenous. Why is that ok?

      “To me, gentrification is when a certain group of people move into a neighborhood and they totally take it over. They bring in all their values and their lifestyle,"
      Couldn't the white flighters of the 70's claim the same thing?

      I grew up in a neighborhood that I cannot now afford to live in. I'm white. That's life. The city doesn't owe you anything.

      July 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marie Reilman

        yep! they complained about white flight, now they're complaining about the whites coming back. wah wah wah!

        July 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
        • minerran

          "yep! they complained about white flight, now they're complaining about the whites coming back. wah wah wah!"

          We are always guilty and the cause of everything, didn't you know that? If it rains on their picnic plans, its our fault.

          July 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveS

      hipster communities are "unregulated"? What does that mean?

      I agree hipsters and gentrifiers are annoying, but they are also what prevents the spread of urban decay. It's a cycle that needs to happen for the health of the city. Neighborhoods either go up, or down. Nothing is stagnant.

      July 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Are poor people or non-white groups regulated when they move into a neighborhood and "take over"? How did the neighborhood get to be "non-whte" in the first place – did it start out that way, or did non-wealthy non-whites move in over time and change the neighborhood?

      Nowhere in this article does it say anything about poor people deserving to be poor – it just says that it's not really true that poor people are being shoved out of their neighborhood at any faster rate than a neighborhood that isn't changing.

      Do you imagine that wealthy white people get together at the club and say – hey let's pick out a neighborhood to take over and kick out all those people who aren't like us and don't deserve what we have? Chosing a location to buy a home is something people do taking into consideration so many factors about it's location and style and where they work and where their families are. I have never met anyone who chose to move to a neighborhood because they wanted to cause harm to poor people.

      July 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. OpenUrMind

    Fritz, I am not going to blast you. If you're telling the truth and not trolling, you've lived far longer than I and seen more. I, too, am quickly losing my faith in humanity. People – as a group – are losing their compassion towards others at a great rate unless there is a great tragedy. We are letting ourselves be divided over things that do not matter – skin color, bedroom habits. What really matters is how we treat each other. (And before anyone jumps on a conclusion, I am not talking about evil things such as rape, child molestation, etc...)

    I, too, long for a mountaintop where I can separate myself from the hard that is spewed daily around me. However, I have chosen to live my life as an example of how kindness is not weakness, but strength. I try to show others by example how we can treat others. My home is my sanctuary from the wearying task and I have good friends who believe the way I do. There are good people out there, and I have faith that one day everyone will look around and realize that they are wasting energy in hating things that do not matter and concentrate that energy, instead, on helping each other. Imagine what could be done if that happened!

    Enjoy your peace, Fritz. I am sure you have earned it. I am looking forward to my mountaintop when I get to that point in my life.

    July 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • fritz

      Greetings Openyourmind. Thank you for understanding. I'm no troll. Would a common troll expose himself like this with such a long and disturbing diatribe? It was tough to write. I almost deleted it before hitting post. I don't hardly post anything much anymore because of the stuff I read on these discussion boards. Everything I said is true as I see it. But I know human consciousness is so subjective-colored by our experiences. I know I have a psychological problem with other humans from those experiences. But living far from them makes it seem invisible. Life is wonderful- Earth is wonderful-except for some of the people around me. I know there are kind, gentle and giving people out there but they are hard to find. When I read about all the stuff going on, shooting tragedies, pedophile coaches, pedophile priests, green haired child rapists, wars overseas, muslim men killing women over personal points of honor, I can only shake my head and wonder. Being a misanthropist is easy nowadays. But I'm not totally gone...yet. I used to be a commercial pilot and flight instructor thanks to the G.I. Bill. But I made more money in construction. I would have stayed with flying but I had no college so all I could fly were small twin engine planes for small outfits and instructing in little single engine planes like Pipers and Cessnas at small FBOs. A fun job but lousy pay. Never a chance with the airlines. Just no money for college and pilot ratings both. I'm grateful to the government for the G.I. Bill. But I have many other beefs with the government. What I didn't say was that I inherited my land from my mother who passed away on April 19th 2002. What's weird I found out later was that Charles Darwin also passed away on April 19h. A man Mom thought was misguided. Mom moved out here for religious reasons as she was a devout Christian Native American woman. No particular church. Just a believer in Jesus and the bible. Until they got involved with this christian cult. They were told to move out here by the Herbert Armstrong lead World Wide Church of God to await that rapture and tribulation stuff. A christian scam organization for sure. She finally broke away from the church after they were told after 10 years of living out there that they would have to sell the place, give all the money to the church and move into some commune out west somewhere. Mom loved the place and wasn't about to move away. Her faith in Jesus was shaken. I respected her faith because it gave her comfort even though I believed none of it. We just didn't talk about it. But her 'faith' began to fall apart and she went into a kind of depression over it especially after Duffy, my stepdad died leaving her alone out in the middle of nowhere. One reason I secretly despise christian people. I think they're arrogant nuts. I call it the 'Jim Jones' syndrome. Ha ha! My real dad was Jewish but although we're friends I hardly remember him as 'dad'. Strange combo, huh? When my third stepdad died and she was left alone out there she started calling me up asking me to visit to fix this thing or repair that thing then after much hinting from her, and thieves stealing her tiller and the insulation on her well pump, I moved in with her to become her arms and legs and to better protect her. Previously breaking up with my money grubbing girlfriend helped a lot. I didn't have to pay rent and all I had to do was keep the place up, mow the lawn and be her driver for shopping and doctor's appointments. I hated it for a while but we got into a comfort zone with each other and she became my life. I took her to a Neil Diamond concert in 1993 on Mother's day and what did she do? Took down her one picture of Jesus and plastered the livingroom walls with framed Neil Diamond pics! I never took them down. They're still on the walls to this day. "Hear that, Neil!?" I taught her football and we became football fanatics every Sunday aftrnoons and Monday nights. She loved Hank Williams Jr. Go figure. She loved Jeff Gannon, the Raiders quarterback. previously of the KC Chiefs, her favorite team. Miserable losers! She followed Jeff Gannon to the Raiders! Go figure. She would lose herself in video games I bought for her. I feel partly responsible for hastening her demise because she would spend hours everyday laying on the couch and chain smoking while playing all the final fantasy games. It worried me but Mom does what Mom wants. Losing her was a shock. I woke up late and found her dead on the couch, heart attack, the game controller fallen to the floor with the TV on and the game sound still blaring. I nearly went mad. I didn't realize until then how much I loved her. For the next 3 years I just existed in a psycho-funk alone out in the forest and missing Mom every day. I just went about the motions of living without enjoying anything. The only good thing about it was the knowledge that my worst moment in life had come and gone. I'll never suffer like that ever again. Then I had a strange dream on Oct 5, 2005 that trasformed my life. Mom was in the dream but it was the only time I ever dreamed about her. I was never sure why that was. Anyway, that crazy dream changed my life and put me on the road to develop the land into an ozark paradise. I'm calling it Ozark Oasis. I'm almost 7 years into construction and when finished it will be complete with 2 reservoirs built into the top of the hollow where I live. The lower levee holding back the lower reservoir will be an 800 foot turf runway. My plan is to make it into a small, pilot oriented resort for fly-in visitors. The upper reservoir will have white crappies and black bass. Groves of fruit trees-mostly peaches and pawpaws. Terraced gardens flanking the sloping grass runway. A 400 foot long circle driveway leading downhill to the bluff area, where the cabin is, from the public road made from giant stratiform stone blocks scattered about the property. My neighbors are mystified at how I'm moving them. Before Mom died, I spent most of my free time writing a novel. I walked away from it on the last chapter after 7 years of writing. My hairbrained idea was to get it published, make money, move Mom back to Florida and get on with my life. But she died and I walked away from it. The reason for writing in the first place was gone. My sis is now prodding me to finish it so I'm now back to work on the last chapter and Epilogue after 10 years of being idle. It's an 'end of the world' sci-fi epic titled 'Wayland's Future'. I'm going to put it on the web for anyone to read for free. It'll be copyrighted of course so no one can scam it off of me. I really don't care about making any money on it. I just can't stand others obsconding on my years of work. And I just don't want to die knowing 7 years of writing went to waste. The really good thing about all this is that I went from a smoking and drinking 205 pound lazybut mentally depressed lonely slob in 2005 into a vice free, ( I don't count my morning caffeine jolt) 150 pound lean and wiry chainsaw wielding powerhouse. At age 60, I've never been in better shape. So that's it in a nutshell...ha ha! Sorry. A big nutshell. I could have my book on the web within a year. You might like to read it. It's a horrific tragedy with a blockbuster ending. (9 mile wide meteorite impact in the ocean) When I'm finished with the land project, there will be a memorial stone with a stainless steel plaque stating who built it and who it's dedicated to. I'm dedicating it to Mom. She chose this land and was the first human to ever live here. I'm building it to last the ages. Not just mere centuries, but many thousands of years. It will disappear one day over geologic time (collapse into the gorge) in about 30,000 years or so. But it will last a long time has humans measure it. Again, thanks for trying to understand me and communicating with me. P.S. 'Fritz' really is my first name.

      July 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Obama

    You didn't build that. Someone else did!

    July 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mikzyspitlik

    I feel like CNN puts these stories up to attract racist. Most of the racist people I've come across are fucking losers and completely unproductive. I hope to "gentrify" one of these neighborhoods in the future because of the cheap homes and beautiful architecture. And yes, people should be able to live wherever they want and still be able to send their kids to good schools. How do you expect to end poverty if a child can't get a good education because he or she is poor? What's obvious to me is that most of these people commenting here have never actually met a black person. The way black people are portrayed in the media is completely wrong... but what can ya do.

    July 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • AdolphH

      Can't feed them don't breed them.

      July 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. T34MBT

    ... It all doesn't matter, we'll all be mixed in 3 to 6 generations anyways.

    July 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • AdolphH

      Mixing up the races has caused many of our problems.

      July 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • fritz

      Ya know? I think that as well and I think it's a good thing. What's wrong with a million shades of tan? Hard to be racist when everyone is their own unique shade of buff.

      July 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fritz

    I'm an unusual case. I've lived in both environments. Inner city slums to gentrified 'burbs' and I hate them both. My problem was racial. I'm an interbred. Half Jewish, half Native American (Miami tribe) with a smattering of Irish. I don't like living among white christian people because they are almost always able to sniff us out and peg us as 'different'. The evangelist crazies are the worst. Like those Westboro Baptist racist and homophobic nutcases. I've learned to see almost all white people like that. The main reason I despise conservative christians. My step dad who beat me for years for wetting the bed was one of these church going fools. I nearly beat him to death when I was 14 after he violated a restraining order and I came home from school and caught him beating up Mom with a piece of wood. I found a bigger piece of wood and attacked him. I was in juvenile detention for 2 days over it. They were divorced shortly after and after 11 years of misery I was free at last. He was fond of saying "God was going to get you and send you to Hell if you don't stop wetting the bed!" Something I had no control over. "These types are such pious racist money grubbing hypocritical jesus mongers who think they're better than anyone else because they have 'jesus on their side'. I'll take these white and black folks as individuals and even become friends with them. But I never want to mix with groups of them. Groups of these christian white and black folks just give me the creeps. I was bullied incessantly by christian white kids growing up. I recall being compelled to attend a Lutheran church by my Mom saying it was good for me. Those 'angelic' bullies from school were always there. During the sermon, one I recall glancing my way from another pew mouthing the words, "Wait until we get outside, punk." He grew up to become a cop and was killed by some wife beater while responding to a domestic dispute. It made my day reading about it. I recall saying to myself, "Finally got yours, eh, pig punk? Ha ha! Rot in Hell!" Grim satisfaction! I finally managed to convince Mom that church was a waste of time. I never complained about the bullies because I would have been labeled a rat and things would have gotten worse. I don't like living among black people either. Life with them is even worse because I pass for white and blacks are always suspicious of white people, considering them to be closet KKK slaver wannabes to be righteously victimized over centuries of slavery. You've heard Reverend Wright's and Pat Robertson's sermons? Both arrogant religious quacks. That will give you a clue as to how much blacks secretly despise whites and vise versa. Besides, the black kids feel free to bully the white kids because 'they have it coming' from their past history of owning blacks as slaves. I call it the 'white devil' syndrome. This is the life I've observed growing up. So that's my quandary. Not white, not black, stuck in the middle persecuted by both. My best friends have been Hispanic. I guess because they're in the same boat I'm in. Being fellow interbreds of both Native South American and Spanish descent. My ultimate best friends have been gay folks. They are the kindest and most gentle folks I've ever known. I just learned to ignore the flirting and to shut from my mind what they do behind closed doors. I know they are hated by both blacks and whites over this s-exual thing. Even my Hispanic friends hated my gay friends. I never lived among Asian folks so I can't make judgements about them since I have little experience with them. The few I've met I found to be polite, cordial and extremely intelligent and hard working. But they could be hard core racists for all I know... I consider myself a survivor. I survived the military with an honorable discharge, whatever that's worth. So that's it. My solution? I now live deep in the Ozark mountain forest on ten acres of ridgetop land. My nearest neighbors, white christian folks, are over a half mile away and I don't know them at all. I recently made friends with neighbors a mile away, but the guy and his wife try to proselytize their christian religion to me every chance they get. So I avoid them for the most part after getting into the man's face over his proslytizing. He finally shut his mouth and stopped proselytizing the jesus stuff and that's fine with me. Now we just talk 'gardening'. Sometimes you just have to put the scare in these people to make them leave you alone. The crazy JWs visit every 6 months or so. I accept their literature telling them it makes excellent kindling for my wood burning stove. The looks I get after saying that is priceless. But they keep coming back! Go figure. It's been tough living out here because the only work is out of the newspaper. But I've cultivated a good reputation as a reliable and hard worker so I've survived and prospered out here in the middle of nowhere. The best part is that I get to live apart from other people. No more living inside a human ant hive. Plus I'm developing a rainfall recovery system that will allow me to ignore droughts so I can grow my fruit trees and row crops. I can do anything I want out here without stepping on anyone's toes. If I want to turn my stereo to full blast to hear my old rock-an-roll while I'm working, I can do that. I can run around my forest naked if I want to without someone calling the pigs on me. Plus I have the best view on the planet. I spent 2 years carving out the forest with a chainsaw on the steep slope that is my back yard. Now I have a clear view of a two mile long, 600 foot deep stretch of river gorge with180 degrees of near horizon. My own patch of Montana sky in the middle of the forest. I can walk out onto the back deck of my cabin and dance a jig naked in the face of hundreds of miles of creation with no one to see me. At least not without a powerful telescope. I'm currently working on my stone sediment pools. Another big advantage is that I don't get sick anymore. At least not in the last 20 years I've lived out here. A year never went by when I didn't get sick from something another human gave me. Mostly the flu. But I've had it all. Mumps, measles, scarlet fever, whooping cough, chicken pox. But mostly the flu. I'm so used to living alone at the end of the line (county dirt road maintainance ends at my driveway) and the freedom I have that if I'm ever forced to move back into a human ant hive because of old age, (past 60 now) I'll off myself with a half ounce of heroin or something. I'm not afraid of dying because being humanist in my thinking I know there is no Hell for people like me no matter what the christian folks tell me. I know this is the only life I'll ever have and I cherish it as the incredibly special phenomenon it really is. But I won't live with pain and misery. And if anyone is critical of my way of thinking or life style, go screw yourselves. I know life has made me misanthropic and consider my fellow humans to be nothing more than bipedal clothed apes all running around trying to one up each other and chasing each others bananas, but that's the way it is. I know I'll catch heat on the discus over this but I don't care. Hurl your insults, I'll just throw them back. The reason I'm finally pouring this stuff out is because I don't have many years left so I don't have to give a rat's behind about what anyone thinks about me and I know there are others like me out there and I just want them to know that they're not alone. There are others out there. And you don't have to live persecuted alone inside a human infested ant hive if you don't want to. There's always a way out if you just look for it.

    July 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • El Grande

      You sure are effed up, Fritz.

      July 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • minerran

      "And you don't have to live persecuted alone inside a human infested ant hive if you don't want to. There's always a way out if you just look for it."

      Sure, you can just walk away from your devalued home and go live in a cardbox box somewhere. It annoys me when people like you say "there's a way out if you look...". We are looking for workable, practical solutions. I could shoot myself in the head, that's a "way out" according to your definition.

      July 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hunter Thompson

      Charles Bukowski! I thought you were dead!??!

      July 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  16. jon

    All races in America have a right to move,live and rent or sell anywhere they feel like it.

    It is racist to say whites,hispanics,chinese etc...cant move into a black neighborhood,just as its wrong to say blacks cant move into a white,hispanic or chinese neighborhood.

    July 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikzyspitlik

      Usually blacks, hispanics, and asians live fine together.

      July 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • minerran

      "All races in America have a right to move,live and rent or sell anywhere they feel like it."

      Yes they do. But when will we recognize that it usually does not work. Disharmony and conflict results. The ethnic groups are just too different and many times, incompatible. I am seeing it in my neighborhood. Large numbers of African Americans are moving in. Along came higher crime, houses that are not kept up, loud rap played in the street, etc. I am not against the people. I am against the culture they brought. My house will be up for sale as soon as the market rises enough so that I can at least break even. It is the behaviors that I hate, not skin color. These are the unspoken truths that nobody talks about. We just talk about "racism" but what is that? A catchword for any objection or disagreement between groups?

      July 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Randall

    the underlying tone is minorities moving because a bunch of white people coming BACK into the city to the neighborhoods in which they lived before they fled to the suburbs. they feel displaced because they feel it's their neighborhood but i bet the original people living in those neighborhoods 60-70 years ago felt the same way when things started changing on their blocks.i it's anyone's right to live where they want so if they want to reverse the trend and move back to these neighborhoods in the city that's their prerogative. it's no more "destroying" the community than what was done during the days of white flight 60 years ago.

    July 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Enough_is_Enough

    The U.S. continues to get worse and worse as the government continues to support those who are lazy and uneducated (by their own choice). The african american culture continues to breed like a pack of mosquitos, then they want the government to support them which unfortunately they do. Until someone steps up and says enough is enough, things are only going to get worse. Crime rates continue to increase due to these people and I am fed up with supporting and having to pay for them. Let them kill eachother off!!

    July 28, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • raysfirstwife

      AGAIN, another misinformed bottom feeder republican. Maybe if the report news on the bottom of a COORS box you would be informed that the only minority in the rise are HISPANICS. The Black race is batteling a new SIDS that is effecting the children being born up to age 2. CNN has reported that by 2025 Hispanci population will crush the White population being that the Black population will be around 12%

      Who are you gonna blame then, for the predatory against children, the mass killings of the innocents and all sensless other crimes. You gonna invent a minority?

      July 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  19. warren

    Steve Kastenbaum

    "proofread" next time

    July 28, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  20. shekon

    Who would want to live next to blacks and hispanics ?

    We Asians in NJ save and spend the most buying properties on good areas where we do not want to deal with trash from whites, hispanics and blacks

    Asians are the targeted by all other races we want a new state with only educated whites – no blacks and hispanics!

    Go back to Africa and South America you slaves and leaf wearning uncivilized jungle monkees

    July 28, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  21. MonaLisa

    Wow, when the opposite happens it's called progress. Poor people(mostly non white) move into nice neighborhoods(with more whites) change it, bring down home values, etc..it's ok. When well off people(again I'm guessing they are white) move into non white poorer areas, change it and IMPROVE home values, it's bad. It's 2012, if it's sounds offensive one way, it sounds offensive the other. Neighborhoods change, sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. Life doesn't stand still.

    July 28, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  22. Memphis

    It seems that white people are demonized no matter what they do. If they move out of the inner city then they are labeled as racist or if they move back in they are accused of pushing poor out. When White people try to help they are accused of meddling. When they don't try to help they are accused of apathy. Would the minority community make up their minds as to what exactly white people do that makes them so evil. Last time I checked ALL have sinned and fallen short...

    July 28, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • CYNDY


      "what exactly [do] white people do that makes them so evil[?]"

      We don't have that much time.

      July 28, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Joseph

        You are a professional victim! See how far you get in life with the an attitude like that.

        July 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Lynn B

    "you're" property? Proofreading, anyone?

    July 28, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |

    "To me, gentrification is when a certain group of people move into a neighborhood and they totally take it over. They bring in all their values and their lifestyle"

    To me, you don't know what gentrification is. What you described is change, not gentrification.

    July 28, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  25. Numyorangay

    Please see "Clybourne Park."

    July 28, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  26. Buttwheat

    We will never get rid of them they have 10 kids each in order to collect food stamps. I wish I could go back in time and prevent slave trade to North America. That was the beginning of the end, sad.

    July 28, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • w l jones

      The black were already living here when you came and made them slave before started bring them from Africa. Get an Education before posting none sense.

      July 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Teri

    Why does he think gentrification is a bad thing when it is whites moving into his neighborhood, but apparently ok when blacks move into a white neighborhood? This goes both ways. And, if you take a closer look, you will see that neighborhoods where black move in eventually decline in appearance and quality (both of properties, schools, job opportunities, etc) and neighborhoods where whites move in generally improve. I know it comes across as racist to say that, but it is backed by fact.

    July 28, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  28. DirkD

    19faye62, you point at Sandusky as representation of one white guy. Ive got a better one, PG County there were 148 homicides all comimited by blacsk. 140 different blacks murdering other people in one County in one year. Go to any metro dominated by blacks and you will see similar murder rates. What does that tell you?

    July 28, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • w l jones

      World war l and ll ...Said enough.

      July 28, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  29. Bumbly

    Closer to downtown should be more valuable because some people have to work downtown and getting there is becoming impossible. Poor people have to live further out or in rural areas. High speed internet is better in city centers as well.

    July 28, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Teri

      In the area I live in, only poor people live in town. Those who can afford to drive into the city for work or own large, rural plots of land choose to do so. I've always lived in areas like that and have always found it to be an oddity for people with money to actually live in the city. The whole NYC concept of spending so much money on a small apartment is just foreign to me. I realize it's location, location, location. But, in my area, it is completely opposite from what you see in NYC.

      July 28, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  30. DirkD

    thatgirl you are going to be really successful in life. LOL I hope your being sarcastic. So wealthy whites move into a neighborhood and it goes downhill? LMAO But poor black jobless men make a neighborhood flourish? LOL

    You need to get out more.

    July 28, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  31. cribbooky

    This is America. If someone wants to have a piece of the action, they need to become productive and earn it. Stop whining about entitled equalization. Should professional athlete's play a softer game to be inclusive too? I cannot make what they make because I don't have their sporting abilities so I cannot enjoy their celebrity lifestyle. Where are the laws to address this inequality?!!! It's a lame concept that does not work. Grow up and act as tough as you pretend to be on the streets.

    July 28, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  32. NorCalMojo

    Welcome to America. Things change. A lot of my high school friends have been priced out of the area.

    He can always move to Fresno.

    July 28, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  33. JG

    As much as everybody wants to talk about race, this isn't about that. This is about money. This is about supply and demand. Those properties in the city, with good locations, are in demand again. It's as simple as that. Those with the money are driving up the prices. It has nothing to do with race. Poor whites are being pushed out in similar situations in other cities.

    July 28, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • ccccc

      Absolutely, has nothing to do with race. Come to Boston, check out southie and charlestown, for decades they have been working class white neighborhoods (mostly irish) and now they have slowly become transformed into hip, yuppie, expensive neighborhoods. Whites are replacing whites here, but I guess thats racist right? I'm sure in those brooklyn neighborhoods, if some of the black kids worked hard in school, went to college, got a job, they too could live in these changing neighborhoods. But that takes hard work, much easier to cry racism and say life is unfair.

      July 28, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  34. steve

    then get off your @ss and get an education

    July 28, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  35. All I can say is...

    Dwayne and other humans like you....PLEASE move into my neighboorhood. You are 1 nice human and I like that. LU:-)

    July 28, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  36. Chris

    If inner city neighborhoods are to ever make it, then better quality citizens are needed to push out those bent on violence. Sad, but a simple fact of life is that there are millions of citizens in the USA who simply are not good citizens and need to leave permanently. Ridding a neighborhood of problems is good, but where they go is also a problem. No one wants problem people anymore. Turn into good law abiding citizens, good taxpayers, or go elsewhere in the world where your menacing tactics are accepted.

    July 28, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Map58

      This is so typical.........

      "That resentment comes from a belief that poor people are being forced out of neighborhoods by the newcomers. Rising rents and property values make it difficult for some families to stick around according to Valery Jean, Executive Director of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, or FUREE.

      [4:31] “It puts families in like this weird space. So not only are families being displaced but it’s also saying in a sense that the city doesn’t value you as a human being based on your color. So in a way it has translated into what we feel is economic segregation,” said Jean."

      An idiotic statement like this really pisses me off. It's not about color...it's about economics. I grew up in the Clinton Hill area on the corner of Clinton and Lafayette three blocks from where the above photo was taken, living there from 1958 to 1976. From 1964 to 1972 I would walk to and from school on Waverly avenue two blocks away. I was a white kid in a Catholic school uniform and when I'd get jumped by gangs of black kids that were always at least six in number, which would happen several times a year, THAT WAS ABOUT COLOR. Whites moved out of that area during that time because it was dangerous for them to reside there and the neighborhood went to hell. I've been back there several times since those days. It's better that it ever was. That's because the people who live there now have made the effort to keep it that way, and those people are a wide variety of different colors. They have jobs, earn a living, and take pride in their neighborhood, and residences. Valery Jean can kiss my ass! You want to live in a nice neighborhood? Take responsibility for yourself, stop sucking welfare from the public tit, and get a friggin' job!

      July 28, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
      • All I can say is...

        OMG that was fantastic! Thank you. I am looking for a job and I don't CARE where I work now. Who cares about a college degree and my student loan. I WANT TO WORK! I was raised that way. Oh well.

        July 28, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • WA2

      Actually, the Eastern European immigrants that have moved into our middle-class residential neighborhood seem to take more pride in their home and yard than some of our American neighborhoods. These are hard-working people, often working two jobs, to save the money to afford to live here. This doesn't surprise, because my parents immigrated legally from Europe decades ago and also worked constantly, saved their money, and have always kept their house and yard immaculate. What I don't understand is why people in poor neighborhoods often trash their homes and neighborhoods. You don't have to be dirty just because you're poor, and not everyone living in impoverished neighborhoods is a drug addict or criminal, so why not take pride in your neighborhood? Pick up the garbage, clean your house, etc.

      July 28, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  37. jony

    There is a very simple reason for the return to the city, illegals and legal immigrants now settle first in the suburbs often 2 to 3 families living in the same rental house. People that can afford the city are now moving back in to escape the decay now found in the burbs. So the reason for the movement is the same as what it was in the 60's and 70's but in reverse

    July 28, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  38. Soulful Breath Meditation

    The piece indicates that " Poor people don’t move out of gentrifying neighborhoods at any greater rate than they do out of communities that aren’t changing." So people aren't make a mass exodus our of their neighborhoods, but longtime residents may not like what's happening to the area. It seems to me it's the same thing as "white flight"- when the neighborhood no longer suits you or doesn't feel like home, you may decide to move.

    July 28, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  39. JerPell

    I have never seen blacks move into an area and make it better.......I have never been proved wrong!

    July 28, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • thatGURL

      I've never seen whites move into an area, even a black area, where they didn't bring their heroin, alcoholism, meth labs, pedophiles and child molesters with them. Sandusky?

      July 28, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
      • Dennis

        You never will by living in a ghetto.

        July 28, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
      • hansbronson

        Whites don't move into black areas. When blacks move into white areas then whites move out and more blacks move in.

        July 28, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
        • Jen B

          Yes, whites do move into black areas; one of the biggest gentrification uproars in New York was over Harlem. In a different vein, the East Village was also yuppified, when middle and upper class yuppies moved in droves thus driving out many of the lower income artists and gay residents.

          July 28, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
        • candy23

          I can not believe you said that this is what is wrong with the world today to much racism what what what religon you all should be ashamed of yourself

          July 28, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • david

      you said it

      same thing with the muslims

      July 28, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • inachu

      Mr. Freeman is a liar! Within 2 years my town experienced the pushout from Dc to maryland.

      My neighborhood went black overnight and so as the like, crime went up as well and the noise they bring.
      I am no longer able to sleep at night with the windows open becuase if their illegal smoking and loud chatter at night.

      Gentrification is racist and should be outlawed. Now you will see "white flight" in action.

      July 28, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  40. thatGURL

    A cop in my town stated he was concerned when a community leader gave him a list of individuals he wanted the police to run out of the neighborhood and the list consisted primarily of minorities. Anyone who believes gentrification is all about income and economics have no knowledge of American history and its historical practices against minorities, primarily blacks/but brown skinned browns and even Asians of a darker class and native american indians.

    July 28, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • DannyMac262

      Who cares, whites built this country for them. Blacks just stuck around when they were supposed to go to what is now Liberia. Whites are genetically superior.

      July 28, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
      • w l jones

        The Blacks were living in this country lone before White came with civilization from North America down to what is today Chile. By the way Black Nobilty started this country with people like the first president John Hanson. Said enough.

        July 28, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
        • hm

          so by your idiotic statement slavery never existed than? since blacks were here first as you claim

          July 28, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
      • BOIUDUM

        As a geneticist (that's someone who rocks a PhD in genetics) I can tell you whites are in no way superior to blacks. I hope to whatever God you believe in that you were joking. You cannot tell the color of someones skin through their DNA. Please kill yourself for the good of the world.

        July 28, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      Through violence and racists acts whites have also been forced out of inner city neighborhoods.It is a two way streeet.Just like whites who were forced out of these areas,they are forcing there way back into them.Sounds like fair play doesn't it?..Or is it different when the shoe is on the other foot?..What comes around goes around.

      July 28, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • latuya83

      Yeah and i'm sure the minorities on that list were a bunch of law abbiding peace loving people. Yeah right.

      July 28, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  41. Jason M

    I've seen gentrification occur in both Chicago and DC. Obviously there are benefits that come with these changes, but I always worry about those individuals who made investments into the community for the years prior. Ideally, I think that home owners who have invested in the community for 15 years (totally arbitrary number) should have their property taxes increased at a nominal rate. I think primarily of the elderly or others with fixed incomes who cannot afford higher property taxes as an area gentrifies.

    July 28, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  42. stefan

    gentrification pushed him out!lol my avenues used to be 99% white now its 80%black and 20%hispanic.

    July 28, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  43. Alex

    While I wish New York City had more affordable housing specifically for middle class people, I'm largely happy with the changes taking place. People care about their neighborhoods again and crime is down. I'm guessing the "values" that Dwayne may be referring to is that sometimes people from the suburbs bring their narrow attitudes into the city and try to shape the communitity to be more like a suburb unconsciously. For example, there is a popular club in the neighborhood whose patrons mind their own business and are really not all that noisy. It's been open for years and those moving in next to it knew it was there before they moved. However, not being used to an urban environment the new residents tried to get it shut down because they didn't want to expose their kids to those going to the club. This is the ugly side of gentrification–new residents trying to remake the city into a bland suburb–it's why they moved out in the first place.

    July 28, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  44. There. Are. No. Gods!

    Sounds like a load of butthurt from the long time renter. Some people will find anything to complain about.

    July 28, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • All I can say is...

      OH, and the The Villages people have LOTS of money!! But shame on you if you interrupt her visit to the beauty salon or to the plastic surgeon...or his visit for that matter. Money MESSES people up...check out The Kennedy's Tragedy in People Magazine and it will educate you (unless you already knew). Honestly, is hanging yourself something you should do if you are filthy rich? She (the Kennedy female) just wanted attention! Behaviors change with lots of $$$. It's all about love folks. Every single and rich man I met and dated was 'out there'.!!! I look at the heart and their actions. People from other cultures act differently, sometimes. But when it breaks the law here in America-let justice be served. Let us learn from our mistakes-even if they are shown by a jury where we disagree with their position. OMG-all I can say is that Ted Bundy could have been that guy that approached me on the beach when I was alone. Luckily it wasn't him and just some other guy who was 'out there' asking me if I could put my sunscreen on his back. I did but then made sure he needed to go.:-)

      July 28, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  45. thatguy

    Everybody condemned "white flight" as the author mentioned. Now their getting mad about gentrification. Where do you suppose people should move. Their ridiculed for moving to the suburbs and then ridiculed for moving back to the city. I don't get it.

    July 28, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      The only reason they don't like it is because they're white. It's ok when another non white race moves into a neighborhood and the crime pushes out tose who have always been there. No complaints then.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • thatGURL

      To: thatguy: No one's "condemning" gentrification. It's how it's being used to displaced primarily the poor and people of color. Anything, even the Bible, can be used for both good and evil. Gentrification is just a term. It's how it is being used in some cirties that's raising concern. Personally, I don't care who my next door neighbor is. I just don't think I should be forced out because that neighbor doesn't want to live next door to me. I don't care if a Saddam Hussein or Bin Laden became my next door neighbor. Or if I became theirs. Neither of us should be harassed to make way for the other. And that's what's taking place. At least one law enforcement officer admitted that he was once given a list of individuals a community group leader wanted the police to run from the community. The officer was surprised to find most all the names on the list were MINORITIES! And many law enforcement have been known to FOLLOW ORDERS and FOLLOW THEM WELL. That's the EVIL side of gentrification. In how it can be used for evil instead of unifying a community. If those same individuals or their parents ran from the neighborhoods in the1970s to avoid living next door to minorities you're naive to believe they've suddenly had a change of hleart and are now wanting to live next door to or in the same community as the very individuals they once took flight from.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
      • DannyMac262

        Its natural, its called Darwinism. If you don't like it then make yourself better.

        July 28, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
      • Dennis

        And why do you think they left those neighborhoods in the first place?...Does one's personal safety come to mind?..It is more than just fear or racism as you seem to think,it is statistics and survival.

        July 28, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
      • dumb

        @thatGURL....Both Saddam Hussein are Bin Laden are dead!! IGood Reference.

        July 28, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Minority Report

      If the complainers dont like it, then move to an island and gentrify the f**k out of it. All you see on here is complain about him/her/them. Pointing fingers....Look in the mirror "racists!" What is abundantly clear however is that urban areas are run down, rampant with drugs, prositution, and murdering. Facts dont lie. Ask yourself this: Why would the whites cross into that area? Two 18 yr old "white" boys drove into Detroit, went to see their uncle, and never came back alive. Two bullets in the head, they were left in a field because "the urbanites (I use that term very loosely) wanted their car radio. You tell me what "whitey" should do?

      July 28, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  46. erin

    Jesus, a lot of horrible racists in this comment section!! IMO, one of the biggest roots to many of our society's problems is the residential segregation that we put ourselves into. If neighborhoods had a diversity of cultures and income levels, I bet there'd be far fewer ignorant, hate-filled jerks like those on this board.

    July 28, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Stacy

      It doesn't work because we are all so different. some cultures have pride in their surroundings, some only want to trash their environment, just as some respect laws and others olymwant to break laws and cause constant chaos.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Bill

        What cultures "only want to trash their environment?" What cultures "only want to break laws" and "cause constant chaos?"

        Maybe you should read a little and then you'd understand that higher arrest and incarceration rates in some cultures does not equal higher violation of laws in that culture. Research has constantly proven that drug use is equal between Blacks, Whites and Latinos (in the United States), but that the police are more likely to *punish* Blacks and Latinos for those violations and the justice system is much harsher in sentencing those cultures. Oppression looks the same across cultures. Take a trip to Appalachia where the White people are living in the same squalor that inner city people are. And gentrification isn't strictly about White vs. Black. If poor white people were moving in, it wouldn't be gentrification. This is about *wealthier* people moving in. And because wealthy people are more likely to be White people, the color is changing along with the average income.

        Please don't comment on things you know nothing about. Thanks

        July 28, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
        • Feeling Weird near The Villages, FL

          Can we discuss older citizens? Not only do you have to watch out else they will laugh as they drive you off the road (accidents happen due to medical/health issues)-yes, this happened to me-the driver laughed as she nearly broad-sided me and reacted to my horn with a huge smile! There are places where you CANNOT live unless you are a certain age! How ridiculous is that? I see people with many different color skins in The Villages....ah...I look forward to when everyone interbreeds and race is a thing of the past. Hurry up humans, get real!:-)

          July 28, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
        • judeamorris

          Race and cultural are not necessarily equivalents. Cultural differences among neighbors are usually either predicated by immigrant origins and the retention of specific group traditions OR by socio-economic levels. Whether we like the facts or not, poorer neighborhoods are generally more run down in appearance (since poor people don't have extra money to spend on exterior aesthetics) and are generally noisier (again, economics forces hanging out at home and creating group entertainment) than more affluent neighborhoods. Certain ethnic groups are accustomed to playing their music not only loudly, but in public, in yards, on front stoops and sidewalks. Other groups find such behavior offensive and intrusive. Every racial group is divided by economics which is why we talk so much about blue collar and white collar workers, use terms like "redneck" and "trailer trash" and "yuppies." We are a culture divided by economics more than color.

          July 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      You can't get more reality-challenged than that post.

      "Diversity" means degradation, crime, and decay. Dat's da troof, sweetheart. Have a nice day.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      you couldn't have hit it more right on the money

      July 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  47. USminority

    Nothing changes a neighborhood faster than just a couple families of hispanics. Good thing we're so pretty so we don't get mentioned in these debates lol. BTW morons, gentrification is a term used when a neighborhood is improved by the city so much that the cost of everything inside and around it go up, making life much tougher on it's long time inhabitants. Has nothing to do with race but if you been to Brooklyn now and 15 years ago it's a world apart but a good example. Kudos to the author for not mentioning race but keeping as a upper, middle, low class debate.

    July 28, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      But you sure mentioned it in your opening, and btw way what you said is true. Nothing changes a neighborhood like mexicans moving in...instant slum.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Dave

        Jon, please don't generalize. I am a white American currently living and working in Mexico. Most Mexicans are wonderful people. By slamming all Mexicans, you are criticizing millions of people whom you have never met. Such cruelty is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

        July 28, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  48. Grumpster

    Sorry dude, but if you can't pay the rent, then it's time to find another place. Color has nothing to do with it. If what was there was full of crime and now it's being replaced with somebody who won't wreck the neighborhood....good for them....good for the city...good for everybody except the criminal or people who can't afford to stay.

    July 28, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  49. rich

    with no jobs in usa anymore,you ain't seen nothing yet....IMHO

    July 28, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • albert

      No Jobs? Do the math. If 8% of the working people don't have jobs, That means that 92% still do have jobs. Stop being so negative. The glass is more than half full.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  50. rla

    Maybe if the democrats and liberlas would stop dividing us by color we could get on with being as color blind as possible and actually get close to MLK's words. Too bad the black community still votes by color and not by intellect as they have been so brain washed!

    July 28, 2012 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JB

      Your ignorance is so apparent in this blog its unbelievable. The current President is a "Harvard" graduate. We don't vote on color only. You should try that idiotic line on one of your fellow Republicans who's only mission is to "Get that Black man out of office" That in no so many words came from one of your so call color blind intellectuals.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • albert

      Your comment is bias and untrue. Your comment should say "If Government would stop dividing us by color" You and people like you are part of the problem. Treating politics like a sport (choosing sides), has been dividing ths country for years. Without unity, race will always be a problem.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      And Republicans robotically vote for their candidates not realizing they are not looking out for their best interests,only the wealthy of this country

      July 28, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • w l jones

      The so call Blacks voted when theirs were not one Colored canidate on the ticket. Their no excuse for not knowing the history of our country.

      July 28, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  51. DB

    I'm not sure if I was a part of "white flight" or gentrification, but I moved out of my suburban home of 13 years when drive-by shootings and gang fights in my front yard became common place. I sold my home in 2006 for $142,000. The home sold again in 2010 for $38,000. I know the housing market plummeted during that time, but I have to believe that the cultural changes played a huge role in the housing prices decreasing so drastically.

    July 28, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  52. Lisa Wexler

    The blacks tend to lower property values. If this one is feeling pushed out then I suggest he find somewhere else like Harlem where he can likely afford.

    July 28, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      You are ridiculous. I'm a white middle aged man. I live in a middle class neighborhood. The white family 2 doors down is lowering my property value. The few black families in our neighborhood have some of the best kept homes in the neighborhood. Based on your comment, you are no longer qualified to leave comments. Due to ignorance, stupidity, and just down right hatred, I recommend you no longer comment on news articles.

      July 28, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom

        My article was supposed to show as a response to Lisa Wexler.

        July 28, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • albert

      The person who posted this is part of the problem. Keep hiding behind your keyboard like the coward you are.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  53. Leah Reis

    I am 85 years old and can't afford to move. Section 8 has ruined my neighborhood. I am surrounded by enpty houses and my few neighbors are unfriendly. I am afraid to even sit on my front porch.

    July 28, 2012 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  54. frombelair

    can a white person live peacefully in a black neighborhood ? can a white person live peacefully in a black city like Baltimore Detroit ? no they can`t, they are harassed insulted and pushed around on a daily basis : this is a black area get the hell out , blacks are more racist than whites, I see it everyday, blacks are not innocent, blacks are racists and hypocrites, we always see when a black is discriminated against by a white, we never see the opposite, it `s like it never happens, this is sick, if you are black go to a black church and a black neighborhood and a black store and stay there, hypocrites.

    July 28, 2012 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
    • From Detroit

      I don't agree. I grew up in a predominantly white suburb, then moved to Detroit in my late teens. I lived there for 20 years and was never made to feel unwelcome. Now I live in a very culturally mixed village in upstate NY and I don't see any harassment of whites by blacks.

      July 28, 2012 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
      • DB

        You've been fortunate in your experiences. I'm a white women living in the south, where prejudice is unfortunately still very much alive. My neighborhood experienced "white flight", with me being one of the last white holdouts to move. Before I moved, my house was vandalized, and my children and I were constantly harassed by black kids whenever we stepped outside. I taught in a school with predominately black teachers, administrators, and parents and experienced an extreme amount of open prejudice from all of them. It is possible to live in a multi-racial area and there be no prejudice (I've done it before), but unfortunately there is still too much prejudice in this country – both white on black and black on white – for it to always be a reality.

        July 28, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Yes, I've seen it. I've seen and unfortunately personally know some whites that are the same way. I am a professional white man that works with blacks and whites. We all connect very well and have no racism issues. So yes, there are the people in society that are racists, black and white. But I am thankful to not have to witness those types. I don't see the problem as prevalent as you see it. Negative and racists posts sure don't help us. I'm serious......this has to stop. I suggest that next time you meet a black man, make friends with him. Based on your post, I think you will be surprised how much he is like you. Go for it man.

      July 28, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • NooYawkah

      Exactly! A taste of their own medicine. How telling that whites push out blacks by changing neighborhoods for the better, making them more appealing, and therefore more expensive, while blacks push out whites by changing neighborhoods for the worse with their crime and animalistic lifestyle.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • RLGESQ1

      In East Nashville at times I was the only white in the supermarket or gym. I NEVER felt any racism toward me. With many 1960s-era housing projects and homeless shelters crime rate is high and schools terrible. Gentrification – gay and straight- is making EN much more high end as crack houses are being restored to their 1890s grandeur. A bumper sticker for 37206. our zip-code reads, "We'll steal your heart and your lawnmower." But crime is by the homeless, addict, or project thug w/o being racial. EN is a story about neighborhood redemption.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  55. Area Mann

    "it’s also saying in a sense that the city doesn’t value you as a human being based on your color. So in a way it has translated into what we feel is economic segregation"

    With some people there is just never enough right that we can do. I guess free money and free houses for all is the only thing that will make them happy.

    July 28, 2012 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  56. Brandon

    I don't know that gentrification is really a racial issue as much as it's an economic issue. People with money (that generally happen to be white) indirectly pushing people without money (that generally happen to be brown) out of neighborhoods. It's not fun but it's really just economics. People on lower economic rungs will always be at the mercy of people on higher rungs. Race isn't relevant in that conversation. It's not like people want the property because the people living there are black. They want to live there because it's convenient and trendy and (at the moment) cheap.

    July 28, 2012 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      true enough
      there are areas of west virginia where gentrification cause by upper middle class whites have pushed out poorer whites that were there for generations

      July 28, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy

      Brandon....You've posted the most intelligent comment here.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  57. Bobby

    Where was this author when "white flight" took place because of rising crime rates and the general deterioration of neighborhoods and schools caused by the folks who are complaining now.

    July 28, 2012 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  58. Abbie

    Do you think that "gentrification" happens only in urban, predominantly black communities? Look around at rural areas. In my formerly rural area in upstate NY, the small town I grew up in was predominantly a farming community, conservative, white, closed to change and "outsiders" – inevitably , the village began to die out. With higher incomes, people in the neighboring larger college town started moving from the larger community into the smaller surrounding communities. Gradually we began to see different races, different education levels, different lifestyles and, eventually, different local government leaders in the small community. The old guard fought tooth and nail to keep things the way they had always been but guess what? Change is inevitable. Along with alternative life styles, different dress styles, different education levels, and different races, we began to see a broader tax base, better teachers in the schools, better services in the village and town, MANY more local busnesses, and generally a much more vital community. Yes, the character of the village and surrounding area has changed, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. There will never be complete harmony between the old and the new, but most people find that, on the whole, their community is a place to be proud of.

    The important thing to take away from my description is that, with gentrification, there there is now a much more culturally and racially diverse community. And no selective persecution by the local cops, either – too much scrutiny.

    July 28, 2012 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  59. SitUbuSit

    The liberal plan: push everybody to the urban bubble. Then control every aspect of their life by rationing energy and silly carbon taxes while rich global warmists like Al Gore live in their palatial country estates, drive huge cars and fly around the world in their private jets telling everyone the sea is going to rise up swallow them.

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    July 28, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
    • El Grande

      Correctamundo, Ubu!

      July 28, 2012 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      I think you need to look up the definition of liberalism instead of listening to what someone told you the definition is.

      The other question is...why do you think people trying to protect the Constitution suffer from a mental disease?

      July 28, 2012 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      And the conservative way is to take what you have,laugh at you,and say "thanks,people like you are what make me wealthy,fat and greedy.Outsourcing of jobs and destroying the middle class is what conservastives are intent on doing,as long as they can add to their offshore Cayman Is. and Swiss bank accounts.Yes,conservatism is a mental illness and a threat to American society.

      July 28, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  60. Ed

    I love how the media ALWAYS finds the black victims. Truth be told, there were many whites renting in Clinton Hill who were priced out as well. Poorer renters are priced out, regardless of race. "Gentrification" doesn't mean white. LA's Ladera Heights used to be all white. It's now all black and more pricey than ever.

    July 28, 2012 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Blue

      True. I love how the writer went from poor people being priced out to the city not wanting you because of your color.

      July 28, 2012 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
      • NooYawkah

        Plus they find the sappiest "Me so saaaaad" looking negro to use for pictorial editorializing.

        July 28, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • G

      CNN doesn't care about whites unless they have an "alternative" lifestyle.

      July 28, 2012 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  61. warsteiner

    If you look at these places history,I dare say they were not origionally getto's. Many started out well kept, poor people moved in with there brood of a dozen kids each and because most live like pigs in a mud puddle the property value went down and the first inhabitants were pushed out. That happens were more often

    July 28, 2012 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  62. ..


    July 28, 2012 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  63. Will

    “To me, gentrification is when a certain group of people move into a neighborhood and they totally take it over. They bring in all their values and their lifestyle,”

    Funny, the same thing happened to my neighborhood, except it was blacks and Puerto Ricans moving in, and their "values and lifestyle" involved breaking into my house, stealing my car, and vandalizing my property.

    July 28, 2012 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
    • HotViagraGuy

      you forgot the loud music at night blaring from their boom boxes till 5 in the morning during the summer. don't forget the loitering in front of the bodegas too.

      July 28, 2012 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
      • El Grande

        And the drive by shootings.

        CNN wants to preserve the culture.

        July 28, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Will

      And another thing – when I, and my neighbors fled to the suburbs (funny, when we flee black encroachment and the related drug violence and crime we're being racist, but when these folks b*#$& about WHlTEY moving in it's a legitimate political statement), we were safe for a few years, but then the town we moved to decided to invite the criminals here too - section 8 housing. Huge swaths of this town turned into a third world dump within 3 years. You can't win in the New Amerikwa (unless you're some gabbering moron who collects welfare).

      July 28, 2012 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Mtheumer

      Would it have made you feel better is they were White?

      July 28, 2012 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
      • Will

        Mtheumer - no, not really. Do you think it'd make the folks in this story feel better if the rich folks moving in were black?

        July 28, 2012 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
      • El Grande

        It would have been more truthful if CNN told the FULL story instead of emphasizing "color". Liberals don't see us as Americans. They see us as groups who can be divided and played against each other for political gain.

        July 28, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  64. HotViagraGuy

    their neighborhood is rising in rents and they are pis sed off. section 8 housing (living free off the government) just won't cut it anymore so they are blaming it on RACE rather than hard earned dollars by the incoming residents. don't you love black people's mentality? blame it on "whitey." right.

    July 28, 2012 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  65. warsteiner

    Its about money not color or race,Ive herd this term thrown around and misused by blacks many times. I find it to be racist nonsense against white people just because they choose a zip code thats black use. Its the same thing when blacks or latino's move into a white neighborhood. All the white freak out and worry that their property value will go down. Middle income people move into cheeper buildings that are occupied by mostly renters who are on state assistance. Then the arguing starts when the new people want everyone to pick up after themselves. Low income and poor people tend to live messy and care little about garbage. This is fact not racism because I refer to income so I dont want to here the BS. JUDGE FOR YOURSELF

    July 28, 2012 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  66. BL B

    Johnsmax, If you're black I hope you feel that way the next time you, your son (if you have one) or someone you know is assaulted by one of your neighborhood's "finest" AKA ciops for simply taking a walk after dark in your own neighborhood where you were born, raised, went off to college, joined the military to SERVE YOUR COUNTRY and SERVE IT WELL! 'nuf said. The next time your brown/black wife, girlfriend, significant other are walking and the "neighbor" in your community pulls out his/her phone and calls the cops to report a "suspicious" character in the area, because that "new" lighter shade neighbor (not you) has been given the a direct number to the personal city issued cell phone of the cop and he comes out to "investigate" this "suspicious" character whose lived in the community for more than forty years. GOOD LUCK! And the other poster who stated the people who move into the neighborhood don't mingle and mix with the long termed residents who've always lived there. They walk around with openly drinking their beers and the cops don't bother them, but if you–the black neighbor is in your yard with a beer, you'll get arrested for having an "open container." And that's in your own FRONT YARD! Best of Luck TO YOU!

    July 28, 2012 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  67. BL B

    What this story doesn't tell you is, Yes, there's more policing in these neighborhoods, and their primary goal is to harass the poor into moving out. They receive their orders from and are normally controlled by the newcomers moving into the neighborhood, who specifically target minorities who own their own homes and have lived in the neighborhoods for decades. It's appalling and disgusting what some of these individuals have committed in the name of gentrification. Gentrification is NOT an evil term. However, like anything, even the Bible can be used for evil, gentrification in many areas of the U.S. has been used for just that, EVIL.

    July 28, 2012 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
    • warsteiner

      That is such BS, The police are called on criminals,White people call the police. When middle income people move into a lower priced building theres a culture change. Historically low income and welfare housing is riddled with criminals and the people care little about picking up the garbage. People with income in the middle buy condos and apartments as an investment and to save some money. So they clean and paint and expect others to at least pick up after themselves and not leave their garbage in the halls. The poor people hate anyone that brings any change and they think that they are being told what to do. They are people with little education so they are ignorant in many things. So when cops are around and they are told to not leave their garbage around they blame WHITE PEOPLE The real racist are the black low income and welfare people

      July 28, 2012 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
      • El Grande

        Well said, warsteiner!

        July 28, 2012 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  68. ron

    Here’s the thing about Gentrification. Agreeing with commentors above, gentrification is a mixed bag. U get your coffee shops, bars etc. Also u get your rising rents and displacement. What you also get is that the people who have lived in those neighborhoods become outsiders. Why do u have to slow down if you happen to be walking behind a white women or man as you walk home. Is she going to call the cops to say that a black person is following her home?When the cops responds, what happens to you. Does the gentrifier/occupier feel guilty. Should they? Why is it that you feel like an outsider in certain bars in the neighborhood. Because with all the gentrification, there isn’t a lot of mixing at social places. I’m black male btw, who lives in Bed stuy. I am not a thug

    July 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • BL B

      So true, Ron. This is the side of gentrification no one wants to admit. You, the long term resident who was born and raised in your own neighborhood becomes the "stranger" in the community, the newcomers will call the cops on in a NY minute. The cops, trying to flex their muscles and show in front of the cute little pixie types will assault you for simply walking and going about your daily business. If they saw a white boy running down one side of the street with a bloody head dangling from his hand and a clean cut black boy in a hoodie or military uniform walking on the opposite side of the street, they'll smile, wave at the white boy with the bloody head and stop and proceed to harass the black boy in the hoodie or uniform. That's their mindset. The way they've been conditioned and trained to "profile."

      July 28, 2012 at 5:58 am | Report abuse |
      • Bryansco

        BLB, I see that you like to assume what would happen in your mind and make excuses for those who are lazy dependents who could careless about their surroundings.

        July 28, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
      • Dennis

        Then quit wearing those stupid hoodies and start showing your identity.Is a hoodie part of inner city ghetto culture?..Oh,I forgot about pants hanging down around your knees or ankles.

        July 28, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • warsteiner

      Tell me how is a bad thing to have cops remove drug dealers and thugs and prostitutes. Tell me why white people are evil because they pick up garbage and expect that others will not leave their garbage in halls or on the side walk around the dumpster. How is cleaning up a bad thing,The people who leave,leave because they dont want anything better. I have seen it and lived it. Many poor or on welfare people live life hustling,Got fifty cent,you lookin for anything,you straight,need a date. That brings down everyone who want to live in peace. People who are poor but want better live love it,you can see it in them. They socialize and help the new people so its not a race issue its a money issue. READ AND JUDGE FOR YOUR SELF.

      July 28, 2012 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |

    go look at Columbus Ohio.their urban areas are being overrun by devellopers receiving funds from HUD and local tax abataments to build 500k condoes

    this guy is way off base.

    July 26, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  70. Jay

    Smithsmithsmith...he has nailed it!

    July 26, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  71. Johnsmax

    I am a 'gentrifier' in Washington, D.C.'s Shaw neighborhood. I've lived here long enough to remember when a triple homicide occurred in broad daylight on my block. Ten years later, row after row of once vacant shells have been renovated, empty lots are gardens, and back alleyways are now home to restaurants, small factories, and galleries. Kids of all colors play unsupervised until sundown. Yes, some people were forced out due to higher rents, but most (black) people had abandoned the neighborhood for the suburbs long ago anyways. All the families who stayed welcome the changes; the ones who gripe the most about 'gentrification' are the black churchgoers who drive in from the suburbs on Sunday, double park in residential streets, and lament how the neighborhood they once lived in (but abandoned for the suburbs) has been overrun by white people and asians.

    Gentrification is a natural part of urban dynamics. Every city benefits from it, including long-time residents.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  72. jeezlouise

    Dont you mean the "Ghettofication" of America thanks to that fraud Barry the Impostor.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  73. brad Lee

    Cry Baby your parents should have spent more time saving up and bought a house instead of Rims, Stereos, and Colt45. Out here in California its the same with hispanics thinking its unfair that Asians, and Whites own homes while they (hispanics) still rent. Its because they have 5 kids with no steady income, and spend heavily on wants instead of needs thats why I (an architect) have a target bought pay as you go cellphone but my hispanic secratery (4 kids and between husbands) just upgraded her 180 dollar a month Iphone for the 3rd time in May.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  74. James

    Gentrification and Miscegenation are two words whose time has been played out!. There is nothing about wealth in America that relates to being of " Gentle Birth". If there is anything like a "Gentry" it is certainly a distinct disadvantage in this parasitic, feed off your fellow man, society we live in. Why don't we just call it the Douche-bagification of what were once neighborhoods of character.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • USminority

      Put this in your URL: Define gentrification.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  75. ytuque

    If you have ever lived in a neighborhood where young men hang out on the street corners and shout and grab their crotch every time a young woman passes, gentrification doesn't look too bad. BTW, the sure sign of gentrification is the opening of a Starbucks in the neighborhood.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Hiway

    What about the gentrification that degrades a neighborhood. In 1976 I bought in an old Polish neighborhood of bluecollar and line staff people – working people who kept up their places and made it a nice neighborhood. Now we are overrun with a bad element moving into foreclosed homes bought by speculators and slumlords and older homeowners who can't manage our ever increasing property taxes and home insurance any longer.We have Zetas, M 13s, Mexican Mob and a plethora of lessor street gangs fighting for turf selling drugs, recruiting wanna be gang members, committing assaults, knifings, shootings, murders, and all the crimes that go with this element daily. They came in here, brought there lifestyles and customs with them and have torn up our neighborhood. Its loud rap music with filthy lyrics, screaming street brawls, and screaming domestic fights all night long. Six homes on my block were foreclosed and two the owners walked away from it all even though they owed little or nothing on their property. The minute I can get a reasonable price for my home I'm gone. There is a reason for white flight – its called a war zone.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Koki Teteya

    the changing demographic of NYC neighborhoods is not something new and recent. As long as NYC existed, the city has been changing and evolving. And if its Harlem, Cobble Hill, Bushwick or Red Hook to say these days, look at how all the other neighborhoods changed during the last 2 decades, or the entire city in itself. My neighborhood was gentrified some 10 years ago, i feel like the last standing relic in it. but most of the changes have been very positive. the area transformed into one of the premiere areas in NYC.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  78. skastenbaumcnn

    @Ryan, here's the reply I posted to SmithSmithSmith's comment. I think it directly addresses your comment, too:

    You're right, at its core this is a socioeconomic issue. But race is a factor in one's socioeconomic standing in many of our major urban centers. The fact is a disproportionate number of African Americans and Hispanics live below the poverty line in many of the larger cities in the U.S. I'm not sure that you listened to the audio report because the conclusion drawn at the end is similar to what you're saying; that it's not so much about race but rather whether you owned your home or you were renting when gentrification began in your neighborhood. Again, though, there is less home ownership among minorities in urban areas than there is among whites. Also, if you had listened to the report you would have heard Columbia University Professor Lance Freeman (who happens to be African American) saying that in his research he found that gentrification does not cause poor and minority families to move out of their homes at any greater a rate than they do out of areas that are not undergoing gentrification. Please listen to the report. Thank you.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Shacara

    We have lost our homes that we owned for years,they have push us out of our community we cannot afford anything. Washington, Dc Shaw Howard someone said to me ' you people cannot afford to take of anything you owned". And for a small second it dewll on me he was right. I wonder why is that? @realtalkslw

    July 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  80. MannyHM

    The poor folks will be displaced by the rich folks. Sooner or later, much richer folks will displace these rich folks.
    That's the Darwinian Law on survival of the fittest.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Winfield

    Wait, weren't these area's originally Jewish, Irish, German and Italian? It was sold to America that the colonial/cape/ranch in the burbs was chic and showed social status... People in general realized it was not and moved back closer to work

    July 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  82. SmithSmithSmith

    So I guess this guy read this article and decided to write his own version...


    sound familiar...

    July 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  83. The Student

    I think an issue that is not be addressed is about gentrification is the felling of lack of integration of these new people ( aforementioned gentrifiers) into their new community. Older community member feel that these new community members have moved into the neighborhood and then create their own community separate from the already established one. They feel this new community members like the area they live in but not the people that live there. While gentrification benefits the neighborhood as police beef up their presence in the neighborhood older community member are slighted because they fee that neighborhood did not warrant more police presence until the gentrifiers moved in.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      I can't believe some of the anti-gentrification comments, which surely are tinged with racism. People, white, black or Asian, have a right to move anywhere, put down roots and live. Are you complaining about being "pushed out", or is your complaint really that you lost your predominately black enclave?

      If I were you, I'd stop complaining about your new neighbors. They appear to me, based on the commenst in the article, to be the type of people that bring higher property values and a more vibrant neighborhood.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
      • sara

        America is an immigrant nation....thank goodness. The lower east side of NYC was once an Irish enclave, then an Italian enclave, then a Jewish enclave and now a rapidly expanding China Town.....that's America, change and rollover...love it or leave it, no racial or ethnic group owns a particular territory - it's about integration completely to all become Americans.

        July 28, 2012 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  84. Ryan

    I love when "journalists" make something about race that has nothing to do with race, as if they're trying to spark racist-tinged controversies.

    Pisses me off. There's no impartiality or logic in a story that fabricates a racial issue when none is present.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  85. SmithSmithSmith

    How in the world is this a white vs. black vs. yellow vs. red vs. brown thing?! This is about money and what is envogue. Giving statements like "in a sense that the city doesn’t value you as a human being based on your color" the pixels to print is giving voice to misrepresented facts twisted to serve one's purpose. If it happens to be that the folks living there can no longer afford a commodity they have been purchasing for an extended period of time how is it about color? Poor vs Middle Class vs Upper Class. I get that.

    Is there a problem with economic gentrification? It depends upon which side of the aisle you sit on. But this is NOT about race. Unless you want to report that signs are also being posted saying Blacks Need Not Apply, Redskins Not Permitted, This is Chocolate City or some other nonsense. But since this is purely the fact that the Global Economic Crisis has caused property value to rise and income has not risen well then I think we need to censor the BS and report that which is worth reporting.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • skastenbaumcnn

      @SmithSmithSmith – You're right, at its core this is a socioeconomic issue. But race is a factor in one's socioeconomic standing in many of our major urban centers. The fact is a disproportionate number of African Americans and Hispanics live below the poverty line in many of the larger cities in the U.S. I'm not sure that you listened to the audio report because the conclusion drawn at the end is similar to what you're saying; that it's not so much about race but rather whether you owned your home or you were renting when gentrification began in your neighborhood. Again, though, there is less home ownership among minorities in urban areas than there is among whites. Also, if you had listened to the report you would have heard Columbia University Professor Lance Freeman (who happens to be African American) saying that in his research he found that gentrification does not cause poor and minority families to move out of their homes at any greater a rate than they do out of areas that are not undergoing gentrification. Please listen to the report. Thank you.

      July 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • SmithSmithSmith

        The problem I have is the main thrust of the article is set upon the principle that color (the third word in the title of the article) takes a centerpoint position in the fallout of gentrification. I listened to the feed and found less substance to support the racial issue and more feasible facts related to the the exact principle you even elude to above. People who were renting were caught in the upswing of a particular real estate market.

        I recall a similar and counter point article in the Baltimore Sun some time back indicating that in 2008-2009 there was an increasing trend of families leaving the high taxes of the inner city (even though Baltimore was mid-stride in economic resurgence in many neighborhoods) to move to the more affluent suburbs. This article included all races, creeds and colors in both exodus and gentrification. The crux of that article focused on the real and tangible issues of tax incentive, volume of housing stock, education, and ultimately the cost of that same housing inventory.

        My Issue: To give wind to racial epithets when they are irrationally indicated as a controlling factor or even a direct result of a particular socioeconomic issue is to paint the barn the wrong shade of red with the misguided purpose of insensing a firestorm rather than a rational conversation. Its just irresponsible journalism.

        July 26, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • sanityhasleft

      I will have to agree with you. I am white, but by no means am I wealthy, I have watch rent go up to point where I cannot afford it and we are now renting from my husband's grandparents because any other rental property that would fit our family of 5 is too expensive for us, and we are middle class, not low income. What I have seen in my area is that low-income housing is full of Somolian immigrants now and the white people who already lived here are put on waiting lists for housing that is affordable to them. Is that about race, too? Is someone going to write an article about them? Is someone going to write an article about the low and middle income white people being pushed out of neighborhoods by the higher income people? My guess is not, because in all reality it has nothing to do with race. You cannot tell people they are not allowed to buy property that is for sale in a certain area because that was a primarily low-income black neighborhood and they don't want rich white and Asian people owning homes there.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  86. Garrett

    The trend to move back to the cities have been going on for sometime, i live in the San Francisco area, where North Beach has been coming to life, young couples, older couples or whoever. Works great for owners but renters no so much. Small business owners love when a area goes up market, more customers with more dollars.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Beth S.

    The point Steve makes in his comment response about empty storefronts turning over is exactly what happened in my old neighborhood, Cobble Hill, in Brooklyn. When I moved to Gowanus/Carroll Gardens in 1999, Smith Street had one restaurant and one cafe. The subsequent boom/restaurant row establishment turned a lot of boarded-up storefronts into working businesses again, which attracted newer folks, which forced the MTA to pay attention to the F Train, etc. and the neighborhood went from a ghost town to a great place to live. When my husband and I wanted to buy an apartment we weren't surprised we couldn't afford much in Cobble Hill but not because prices were so high—because the apartments were so small there. We bought a 2B/2B 1,100-sq. foot apt. with terrace and parking in Kensington at an affordable price in 2007. That apartment didn't exist in Cobble Hill or Carroll Gardens at any price.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • skastenbaumcnn

      @Beth S, – The interesting thing here in Brooklyn (you live close to me) is that in poor communities data shows that there are more protected rent-stabilized apartments than in other areas. So in theory, affordable housing should be maintained in neighborhoods that gentrify. But the ceiling for the price of rent under the current guidelines is set at a point that affordable housing advocates say is too low. They argue the rate of turnover is quick today which leads to more apartments breaking the threshold and pricing out of rent stabilization. That enables landlords to ask for much higher market rates, hence the benefit owners feel as a result of gentrification vs. some renters who get priced out.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  88. concernedcitizen

    I agree completely with Kvo. it is not just happening specifically in black areas. People are people and should be allowed to move in where they want. We all bleed the same color so why is a white person moving in so different? The sad part is the lawyer that moved in that was very open minded and was trying not to stereotype against blacks but was jumped and robbed. My neighborhood has been completely white for over 55 years. Now a few years ago a latino family moved in. Now there are 7 latino families. So what! As long as they are decent human beings why should anyone care. But to avoid the stereotyping the white lawyer should not have been jumped. Blacks need to work on issues within their own culture if whites are working on being accepting and avoiding stereotypes.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • 19faye62

      For you to say that whites are above being criminals is ignorant and prejudice...Whites tend to be pedophiles and terrorists. Just look at Penn State and the Colorado movie incident. Are you serious? It's not the color, jerk, it's the individual. Criminals come in all colors, not just black. Please get educated.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • davy


        July 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • truth

        You raise an excellent point!!

        July 28, 2012 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
      • DannyMac262

        Why don't you look at the percentages of the race and then try to make your argument. Yes some whites have been those terrible people but when you look at the overall percentage of whites your argument becomes null and void. Look at the percentage of the black male population that commit crime, I believe its hovering around 50%.

        July 28, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  89. fremont110293

    I no longer live there, but grew up in Harlem and have mixed feelings at what gentrification has done .It's not only the tenants that have been displaced: Mom & Pop stores, small grocery stores, butcher shops, the old time candy stores that sold not only candy bars,ice cream and potato chips & pretzels but also the newspaper and magazines have been replaced by Starbucks and Haagen Daz – anonymous walk-ons replacing character players. For old time residents not only is their rent becoming unmanageable but t hey cannot afford to shop in the neighborhood.
    What galls me most is reading articles in the TImes where the gentrifiers crow about what a bargain the rent is but lament that the neighborhood isn't chic like Brooklyn or Soho! I'll stop here for I'm on the verge of profanity. Namaste!

    July 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • skastenbaumcnn

      @fremont110293 – Steve Kastenbaum here, the reporter who put this story together. Columbia U. Professor Lance Freeman actually did a lot of his research on gentrification in Harlem. One of the things he found is while the character of the neighborhood may have changed there was enough vacant or underutilized housing in Harlem so that gentrification is taking place there without displacing a large percentage of the established population. In other words, there was a population growth rather than a shift. Also, while there's been an explosion of national brand stores appearing in Harlem, especially on 125th street, prior to gentrification there was a disproportionate number of vacant storefronts in the community. I guess the question that begs to be asked is is it better for the long time residents of a community like Harlem to have more retail businesses available to them if at the same time the character of the neighborhood changes? I grew up in the Midwood section of Brooklyn and that area has completely changed from when I was living there. It wasn't gentrification but rather a display of a New York City truism: neighborhoods are always changing.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kvo

      This isn't happening to just poor neighborhoods, to just blacks, it is happening all over this country. Small businesses are failing to the "Wal-Marts" of the world. These high volume stores can offer lower prices, but it comes at the cost of small businesses. Brooklyn, or Harlem are no different than Missouri City, Texas.

      People are upset that their property values are rising? Well that's what happens when things get better. You can't force people NOT to move there because it is convenient for YOU. Property tax reform is the true solution. It should be based on your income, not your property. Neighborhoods will likely have similar income earners and they will pay similar taxes. However, for those who don't make the same amount, would be still be able to afford their property. Private Property is a constitutional right guaranteed in common law practice by the 5th Amendment, aka "The Takings Clause." We are losing our rights by the government increasing property taxes to the point that it drives people away.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • skastenbaumcnn

        @KVO – I'm not sure how it works in Missouri City but here in New York it takes property taxes a while to catch up with changing market rates in gentrifying neighborhoods. Owners of commercial properties here tend to raise their rents when they see a change in the types of businesses moving in. In speaking with small business owners in my Brooklyn neighborhood, I've found an almost universal agreement that landlords raise the rent once a lease is up simply because they feel they can get much more for their storefronts thanks to gentrification. In a way, though, this leads to a sort of reverse blight in some communities. On Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, there are now dozens of vacant store fronts where successful businesses once stood just a year or two ago. It's my understanding that in almost every case the landlord arbitrarily decided to raise the rent and put it beyond the reach of the existing business. Most of those stores still sit empty today. Property taxes is a hot button issue in many areas, though. You're right.

        July 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
        • Al B

          Atlantic Avenue is a bad example. The Barclay center is soon to be completed and the Landlords are forced into inaction because the real estate price effects are yet unknown, but will probably boom shortly. This is far from "arbitrarily raising the rent".

          July 26, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
        • You got it...GREED

          Thank you for your comments.Honestly, I am more happy without alot of material things around me. I'm weird.

          July 28, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
      • DannyMac262

        Yes lets punish someone for making more, that will surely help everything. You must not be familiar with Darwinism...

        July 28, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |