Eagle Provisions to close, impoverishing remembered past

Eagle Provisions on 5th Avenue in the South Slope

Eagle Provisions on 5th Avenue in the South Slope

Combat! blog’s flirtation with reportage continues, and I’m about to spend another day in court. Yesterday’s jury selection was a thrilling glimpse of what 12 of your peers might look like. Fun fact: of 28 prospective jurors, only one had read Krakauer’s Missoula: my landlady. All of them raised their hands when asked if they had an opinion about the book, though. Also, one prospect opined that a woman might not resist a rape attempt because “nowadays, people lack courage, purity, and innocence.” She went on to add that she did not have a television or read the newspaper. She knows what people lack nowadays from church.

Anywhom, it was exciting, and today will probably be more so. While I observe the wheels of justice, how about you read this sad story Mose sent me about the closing of Eagle Provisions? In 2001, we lived a block away from Eagle in the South Slope, which seemed way too nice after Bushwick. It was the first time I felt like I had moved up in New York. Now, of course, I realize that I was the beginning of a 15-year wave of gentrification that would destroy the neighborhood, and I feel bad. Just kidding—gentrification is anyone who moved to the neighborhood after you. But I’m sure the present-day residents of the South Slope will be happy to have those luxury apartments instead of Polish sausage.

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  1. “Gentrification is anyone who moved to the neighborhood after you.” Well said. I would add that it’s also the social censure for aligning with overwhelming economic force. Force created by effective urbanization polices which create vital and livable cities, and effective multiculturalization which encourage whites to integrate instead of segregate. Gentrification is the name we give to the solutions of suburbanization, cultural isolation, inefficient transport and environmental unsustainability. It connotes something negative among those who have a fundamental misunderstanding of who in the system sets prices and who are the real economic beneficiaries of real estate transactions.
    “It’s just wrong how banks and real estate developers are pricing ground rent in neighborhoods that take off,” she said. “It’s like punishment for the small businesses that make the neighborhood famous and hot.”
    Someone should do something, dammit, to stop small, flegling businesses from becoming, um…too successful. Or making their neighborhoods too hot. Whoever’s fault it is, its certainly not the mass of preferences we call the “market” to which we honor and happily submit in every economic transaction we partake in, from the computer you purchased to read this words, to the power that runs through its veins.

    The centrality of free-choice economic systems does not mean social displacement is helpless but it does mean we need to articulate the problem rather than use the term gentrification which is dizzying in its doublespeak.

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