Monday, December 05, 2005

A Little Too Nice

Gentrification has long been a word people not-so in the know used to discuss rising urban markets and its effects on the poor folk living in the path of development. Cue bad background music, enter clutch of 'concerned' 20-somethings sipping martinis.

Vodka Martini w/ Lemon: "Well, they are just displacing the poor for the rich, and I think its disgusting. Rich developers just seizing land like that, and damned be those who called that neighborhood home!"

Shaken, Not Stirred: "Really, it is repulsive. Hey, I really enjoyed talking with you, and was wondering if I could get your phone number so we could meet up again sometime."

Philadelphia has been facing a unique front on this war in the Gray's Ferry section of South Philadelphia. Long a ghetto in the shadow of the Philadelphia Gas Works /Sunoco Refinery, Grays Ferry wasnt a shoe-in for successful real-estate development. A recent conversion of nasty barracks & towers public housing into something resembling a neighborhood has changed all that. Nearby residents look on with envious eyes, and Philly's martini-set are talking about the big G in Gray's Ferry: Gentrification.

Frankly, gentrification isnt all that bad of a thing, as long as it doesnt cut existing residents out. I cant say or see how things will proceed in Gray's Ferry... but shit, the place has no where to go but up.

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