I am actually a kensington resident. I stumbled upon your blog and read several of your older entries and comments. I grew up in brooklyn and can totally hear what you're trying to say. I wanted to comment on several themes I've read on your blog.On Race:I don't think you're obsessed with race- I think most of the mid-westerners/ yuppies moving in are not used to people talking about race at all and therefore become very uncomfortable/ offended when anyone brings up race at all. Growing up in Brooklyn, no matter your ethnicity or economic status, you have heard every racial slur on the books. In fact in high school you used to joke with your friends about it - "ie Do you know Chinese people are called chinks, and hispanic people are called spics." There are so many yuppies who faint when they hears such talk, but this is just what we dealt with growing up. Everyone has faced racial discrimination here even the white kids! There's nothing you can do at a point except laugh/joke/talk about it. Yuppies like to think that we live in a utopian world where everyone loves each other. By becoming so uptight whenever race is brought up, yuppies comes off like they believe racism does not exist. Mostly I feel they're just trying to suppress the racist instincts they feel inside by never talking about it.On gentrification:Your post on the PPS article was on point. It made it sound like PPS and ditmas park are a separate bubble free from the 'others'. The AM realty section seems like it's written by these discriminating Realtors you talk about. When the AM highlighted Kensington, it described it as a place to go when you can't afford park slope, except it lacks amenities, specifically a coffee shop. I found this to be horrible because I don't want kensington turned into Park slope. It's the worst place to find parking in brooklyn, because so many people go there to visit the restaurants. Why would I want to live in a neighborhood where I can't play ball in the street in the summer. Being a hood full of families I can't imagine why a coffee shop would do well but even after Bricklane opened on Church (an Albanian run business -too ethnic for thier taste) it wasn't enough to satiate the yuppies. They don't want a coffeeshop, they want a yuppie enclave, which is fine but the kensington blog is overrun with these whiners who hiss and cry about it, I wish they' just pool their money and open one up. I'm not against new businesses opening, I'm just annoyed that they propose things like a cheese shop?!?! Another note, these pretentious hipsters seem to despise working class people, which annoys me to death. My father's working class salary paid for my bachlor's and my masters, and I'm currently living on a professional salary. I shop for clothes at Macys, eat out at restaurants a lot, and order most things I can't find in the neighborhood online. But I don't for a second think I'm better than people who work hard for a living to provide for their families and improve their standard of living. The Bloggers:All these neighborhood blogers think they're doing so much more for the neighborhood then they actually are. Kensington Albemarle Neighborhood Association, a community group that has been around way longer than any blog/yuppie, successfully fought the Mobil gas station's attempt to install diesal tanks. When foodtown wanted to release a statement about their upcoming renovations, they went to the ANA meetings. My point is, community action takes a real community group not a blog. These blogs don't like opposing points of views and if you disagree with them it means you personally hate the blogger and should write your own blog. (I see these aren't the kind of things happening on your blog though so maybe it's just yuppie run blogs). The neighborhood blog claims to want to discuss local businesses but when a new hispanic beauty parlor opened up there was no post, yet one that catered more to them had a post. There are some posts which include non-yuppie businesses but they're often criticizing. I just think it's great that flatbush has a voice like your to counter the annoying "we're-making-the-neighborhood-so much-better-with-our-presence" attitude that plagues the neighborhood blogs dealing with flatbush/ ditmas park/ kensington.Sorry to have to make people deal with this rant but I wanted to put my views out there after reading so many comments that didn't seem to get your message.
The Wire is the best damn thing to ever happen to TV. Chad Coleman's character and his portrayal was incredible as is the rest of that special cast. . .
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