Friday, May 9, 2008

Not another Up and coming article

In this AMNY article about Flatbush it talks all about the "wonderful" things that are happening. The article goes at length to talk about how Flatbush is an "up and coming" area. It even quotes one of the Real Estate brokers as saying that Flatbush is "better then it has ever been before." It's "an up and coming neighborhood". The one question I have is.. better for who? If something is UP and COMING then someone has to be DOWN and GOING. It might be better for the Landlords who will force families out of their rent stabilize apartments. The real estate agents that will undoubtedly make a killing of articles like this. But for the vast majority of the residents in Flatbush it is getting worst. It use to be a neighborhood for families of recent immigrants from the West Indies who came here for a better life for their children. These people worked hard all their life, some had shift jobs, some worked in factories,some drove taxi's and dollar vans, some worked 2 jobs just to make sure that their kids can go to college. It is an insult to the highest degree to call a neighborhood that they've lived in, paid rent, worked, raised kids as UP and COMING. It was always THERE. It was never DOWN. What will happen to the families coming after them? Will they be able to afford the doubling of rent in Flatbush? Discrimination by Landlords and Real Estate agents is at an all time high. As one agent puts it "more of the creative times are moving in" which is code for white people (doesn't really matter if they are creative or not, it's just code). The article talks about how Flatbush Avenue serves "Dominican, Spanish, West Indian, Jamaican and Haitian Populations" It's news to me that Jamaica and Haiti are not part of the West Indies or that we appently have allot of people from Spain that live in Flatbush. I suspect this person only wrote this article for a certain type of population. Why else would she detail shout out to all the Anchor Babies in Flatbush and only mention Fisherman's cove and cinco de mayo? How about Manna's Soul Food or LA Cabana which has been in Flatbush since the 80's. Or the countless West Indian Restaurants that serves better food that picket fence can only dream of ever serving. I have no idea if these real estate brokers have any special arrangements with these "Journalist" but the language that they use are eerily similar. This article did not come across as an in dept report on a neighborhood. It seemed more like an advertisement by local real estate establishments who are trying to push out and make a quick buck of the backs of hard working people who have endured and lived in this neighborhood for years.

51 comments:

Jazzman said...

You should remember that one of the oldest tactics of the ruling classes is to divide the working classes along racial lines; if black and white working-class folks are busy attacking each other, they won't get it together and take back some real power from the elite.

I'm a white guy, raised in Flatbush, moved out for a long time, and recently returned. First thing I have to say is that neighborhoods change, for better or worse. My grandparents lived here when it was mostly white, and they railed against the blacks moving in (and, just so you know, that would be racism...not everything is.) Nonetheless, many whites never left Flatbush, unlike numerous other areas of Brooklyn. It's been racially mixed for the past 50 years or so (and yes, East Flatbush is a bit of a different story.) Many people, myself included, are attracted to the area because of its diversity. I like to live around black people and white people - not just one or the other - and the more other groups, the merrier, as far as I'm concerned. I've dated several black women, and may well marry one some day, so the fact that Flatbush has become an attractive area specifically for interracial couples (which, whether you like it or not, you can't help but notice), is a plus for me. Friends of mine (a black-asian couple with children) are considering moving here for that reason. The two "newcomers" I've bonded with since I've moved back here are both black, both new to Brooklyn, and both "creative professionals"...so much for "code."

I just stepped out. Hit Connecticut Muffin, stayed for a while, as 7 black customers and 15 white customers were served. Stopped by Flatbush Food Coop - too many people to count, but as is obvious to any one who walks in, a good chunk of the clientele is black. Same goes for Natural Frontier. Oh, saw several black people waiting to get into The Farm.

I'm upset about the possibility of rents skyrocketing, of hardworking people being displaced. I'm upset about increasingly rich folks moving in, dropping $1M on a house and acting like Cortes after he landed in the Americas. But I think it's a mistake to view it along racial lines; and I also think it's a mistake to rail too hard against businesses or individuals that you might see as too "bougie" or too "pretentious." There are actual artists and actual creative people, of various ethnic backgrounds, living in Flatbush, who appreciate its social and economic diversity and who don't want to see it turn into Brooklyn Heights.

Nobody "owns" Flatbush. Not my grandparents...not you...and not the yuppies. But we all have to find some way to live here together.

And I think you're reading too much into things; I know plenty of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans who throw around the word "spanish" interchangeably with "hispanic"; and most Haitians, Jamaicans, Trinidadians etc. that I know use the term "West Indian" to refer to the non-hispanic parts of the West Indies, and not so much to the spanish-speaking countries.

Anonymous said...

The goal is to push out an overwhelming majority of people of color, and fill the gap with white people. This is America. This is how this country works. People of color have always experienced this.

Anonymous said...

jazzman
Are you telling me that Wyclef, Talib Kweli and a bunch of other artist that came from Flatbush are not creative? You made some good points, but that Real Estate agent was wrong with that statement. Flatbush is practically one of the pioneer neighborhoods for the birthplace of Hip Hop. She must have been speaking in code.

Anonymous said...

"We're seeing young professionals and families, a lot of creative types [moving in]." Jan Rosenberg

That might be the most ignorant comment ever. Is she saying that Flatbush was not Family oriented, had young professionals or creative people before all this hype?

Herod said...

Jan Rosenberg is an old relic of the pass. That was really stupid of her.

outrage said...

I'm a white guy from the Midwest who just moved to Flatbush and even I think that was a racially loaded comment. It was uncalled for.

websical said...

Stupid Witch. What real estate ageny is she from?

Gabby said...

Guys I think we should give her a chance to explain herself before calling names. Maybe she just misspoke

Herod said...

Gabby What is she gonna say? That the creative people that she was talking about included blacks? but but but We always had creative black professionals living in Flatbush. Gimme a break! That was a blatant coded real estate racial double talk.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody else check out the Pictures that came with the article? Tell me they weren't trying to white wash Flatbush. They had one person of color in the whole Gallery and she was serving. Unbelievable. I was waiting for Sambo to come out tap dance and sing oh WHAT A WONDERFUL DAYYYYY.

hah said...

I'll bet Jan Rosenberg would love to see some Negroes tap dance lol

Anonymous said...

Brooklyn Hearth. I think they are in Cortelyou Road somewhere.

calio said...

Funny you said that jazzman. I just stepped into Manna's soul food. Guess what? NOT A WHITE PERSON IN SIGHT. BOOGY BOOGY BOOGY

justcool said...

How old is that woman? I just think that her time has pass and choose some really bad words. I hope she treats all her customers equally and not on the basis of stereotypes though.

Anonymous said...

they don't call it code for nothing

Ditmas Home Owner said...

It's another article showing just how fast those who were stupid and did not buy when prices were amazingly low will be sent packing.
The "real" Flatbush blogger is railing against the night.
BTW Rosenberg has been a home owner here for many years and worked hard to bring focus to our neighborhood.
And…
Yes creative types were here and bought when prices were low and new creative types are finding the prices low compared to Manhattan and other Brooklyn neighborhoods.
If you didn’t buy when you could afford it then the best thing to do is find the next “up and coming” area.
Save your money and buy something. Secure your future.
I am grateful I found this area when I did. I now pay half of what rents are for ownership.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Sambo was already booked for the next Vox Pop open mike

Herod said...

Safe it Ditmas home owner. I'm happy you got your home but that was a racist statement by that old woman no matter how hard you try to spin it.

nowa said...

"creative types" is a code word for white. That was Racist. It has nothing to do with the real flatbush blogger, He was just reporting what came out of that old woman's bigoted mouth.

Anonymous said...

Racism is racism. Maybe she still lives in the old days when it was normal to use racially charge words.

Anonymous said...

As a white homeowner from Ditmas Park. I don't care if you got your home when it was cheaper. What do you want a medal? That was an insensitive comment. Jan Rosenberg should be ashame of herself.

frankd said...

That comment was obviously divisive and had no place in the mouth of a professional Real Estate agent. People are people. Don't try to degrade them by using racial code words. I'm white and I've been to several Real Estate agencies that use nod and wink tactics. I find it disgusting.

Ditmas Home Owner said...

You nitwits are unbelievable, creative types include many people of color who have bought into the neighborhood recently. Musicians, web designers, theatre people etc.
SMART people of color who saved their money and made a good investment.
Looking for racism in that comment is racist in and of itself.

Anonymous said...

Ditmas home owner aka Jan Rosenberg if you think that comment you made was in regards to people of color then so be it. But the whole article had a certain feel to it. Just look at the Flatbush living picture gallery and you tell me if any of those people are "creative types" who happen to be "smart" people of color?

Herod said...

I love the way she has to ad the quantifier "SMART" people of color.

websical said...

Well we all know that ALL white people are smart and not all people of color are "SMART" so she had to make sure we knew who she was talking about you know.

Anonymous said...

My gut tells me Jan Rosenberg did not have people of color in mind when she made that comment. The article seemed more like a way to introduce white people to flatbush. Let's be real and call a spade a spade. *No pun*

jazzman said...

Calio,

If you were so sad that there were no white people in Manna, why didn't you just call up a couple of your white friends and invite them?

jazzman said...

There's no way to get inside her head. But I've heard the same kind of statements made about predominantly white neighborhoods like Greenpoint, Bay Ridge and Windsor Terrace...the statements are disrespectful to the people who already live there, but not racist...more a combination of classist and just ignorant. I know a couple in Greenpoint, solidly blue collar (construction worker/secretary, irish-italian-polish, 4 kids), also decidedly creative - they have a rock band, and she makes stained glass..and obviously family-oriented.) They were never offended by that kind of language...they just would laugh about all the "weirdos" moving in to Greenpoint.

Racism is real, and I see it all the time...I just don't see it in this particular example.

Anonymous said...

This blog is sort of a modern day witch trail. If you call someone a racist and they deny it, then you know they must be a racist.

Anonymous said...

The only thing that's a witch is that Jan Rosenberg woman.

Herod said...

I can't believe people are actually defending that woman. This was a divisive comment period. That woman is a thing of the past. She is an old bitter woman just like the rev wright. Obama was right in denouncing himself from that type of language. He said it best. It was divisive because different people will take a different meaning as to what was said and nothing will ever change. Jan Rosenberg needs to go under a rock somewhere just like the rev. Wright.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. She is a racist because of the words that came out of her mouth. Plain and simple.

dumpmaster said...

hey ditmas home owner. Can I take a dump at your new house?

Anonymous said...

Jazzman
Did you get a chance to look at the photo gallery that came with the article? You can't tell me they weren't trying to white wash Flatbush.

Anonymous said...

Yes I like to take a dump at ditmas home owner's house also. Maybe we should have a victorian take a dump house tour.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Wright and old Jan should get married and live happily ever after.

jazzman said...

OK - I read the hard copy, not the web version. The photo gallery is pretty weird - first of all, half of it is pictures of a new french bistro, and yeah, everyone in there is white. Picking the one business on Newkirk Ave. that sticks out like a sore thumb is not doing a good job of representing Flatbush accurately.

I do think that it's great that the article embraced the term "Flatbush" instead of ignoring it and just saying "Ditmas Park" or whatever (and I do find that kind of thing to be coded racism...people who avoid using the word "Flatbush" at all or say "Oh no, I don't live in Flatbush. Flatbush is over *there*."), but it does make it seem like "Victorian Flatbush" is the only part that matters; it gives very little mention to businesses on Flatbush Ave. or to the fact that Flatbush Ave. is, by definition, the neighbhorhood's main commercial street. Newsflash - Cortelyou Road is not the center of the universe. Maybe some people think they need a boat in order to cross Ocean Avenue.

Anonymous said...

Yep....
All white people hate you.
All the new "neighbors"...
Hate you.
All real estate brokers HATE YOU!!
Your land lord hates you.

To think of it...
Your girlfriend hates you.

It sucks to be you.

Anonymous said...

So apparently child abusers are now allowed to post?

Anonymous said...

Somebodies off their meds

Anonymous said...

Dude chill out. What the hell is wrong with you. Take a deep breath and stay away from dugs. It's ok.

whahappen said...

I'll bet his favorite band is rage against the machine

Anonymous said...

I meant DRUGS

whow said...

Novocaine Addicts of Flatbush UNITE

Anonymous said...

No my friend. It sucks to be you. Did you get a bad hand job from Jan Rosenberg or something?

Anonymous said...

That was the white rev wright.

Anonymous said...

What an idiot

hmm said...

You see little Cindy, everybody HATES you. NOW COME SIT ON DADDIES LAP. Yep sounds like the language pattern of a child buser. Good call

Anonymous said...

Oh BTW...

Your Mother called.
She doesn't hate you but she is deeply disappointed in you.

jazzman said...

Hey...don't knock Jan's happy endings until you've tried 'em ;-P