03 March 2009

Bohemian Gentrification Out of Steam

From the NYTimes Fashion and Style section a report about a "fringe" neighborhood in LA:

... The tide of gentrification that transformed economically depressed enclaves is receding, leaving some communities high and dry.

...What happens to bourgeois bohemia when the bourgeois part drops out? ...

... in this downturn, Mr. de Velasco’s printing shop doesn’t seem to be hurting, nor is Tritch Hardware. The shops at risk are the ones playing the Decemberists in a continuous loop.

“Some of them tried niche things,” Mr. Tritch said, with no gloat in his voice. “That didn’t work out.”

...In bad times, neighborhood idealism can be compromised with one trip to Wal-Mart...

...“Those places are important — they dissolve some of the cruel anonymity of everyday life,” he said. “They’re part of the equation of making the local real to us. But they’re not the whole equation. They’re not enough. ...I’ve got enough handmade soap....”

... will probably return to being a neighborhood whose best qualities are well-preserved homes, old-school pizza and a really good hardware store.

But ...The cityscape will be dominated by Walgreens and muffler shops....

... the screenwriter, has given up her neighborhood shopping fantasies. “When we first moved here,” she said, “I wanted it to be cool. But that stuff doesn’t matter anymore.”

5 comments:

Randy Simes said...

The generic blah of American suburbia reigns supreme.

5chw4r7z said...

I've worried about this in the Q, once everybody has a candle and a Sigg, then what?

CityKin said...

Well, we still have furniture stores, a hardware store, garden store and a grocery store. On the other hand, it is not like every store must sell basic essentials.

gerard said...

"...In bad times, neighborhood idealism can be compromised with one trip to Wal-Mart..."

Ha. Awesome quote.

LA is such a goofy place. That kind of dramatic transformation would probably not happen in Cincinnati in such stark terms. That said, everything goes in cycles, and the success of OTR will be no exception. But we should still get a few good decades out of it.

VisuaLingual said...

I'm personally a bit offended that "bourgeois" and "bohemia" have become intertwined like this, but okay... As much as I really love everything I can find in OTR's boutiques, my day-to-day reality is pretty mundane and focused on things I need, not things I want. Niche shopping options are fun, and CityKin is that not every store has to sell essentials, but it's the essentials that people always need, in good times and bad.

Wasn't there a Ludlow St. survey that came out a year or two ago, that listed the drugstore, bank and supermarket as the services people there use the most? Sure, Ludlow has a reputation for its eclectic boutiques, but it's those mundane services that everyone actually needs.