A Different Spread
Wealthy New Yorkers fleeing COVID-19 set off a chain reaction of displacement and cultural loss in rural New York and other regions. Artists and the creative class might receive blame for the dramatic changes in their communities. However, artists seldom win in stories of gentrification.
Keeping Cities Weird
Recently, I visited “To Fast to Live, Too Young to Die,” an exhibit showcasing the graphic art of the early punk scenes in New York and London, at the Museum of Art and Design. The exhibit captured a raw, wild creative moment in New York.
A Pencil Shop on Orchard Street
While walking through the Lower East Side in Manhattan on a recent Saturday afternoon, I happened upon CW Pencil Enterprise. The shop window read “Purveyors of Superior Graphite.” As a writer with very specific preferences in writing implements, I couldn’t resist.
A Local Seed Library
While returning several slightly overdue books–yes, I resemble the stereotypical book hoarder–at the Mid-Manhattan Library of the New York Public Library on a recent afternoon, I noticed a flyer promoting a seed library. Any library member could request up to three packets of non-GMO vegetable, flower, or herb seeds. My interest was piqued.
Yes, People Live in Lofts
When discussing my book, Left Bank of the Hudson: Jersey City and the Artists of 111 1st Street, at a public event or even among a handful of people, a fundamental question invariably arises: what might be done to retain–or better yet, draw–artists to a city undergoing development and gentrification?
Gentrifier: A Book Review
A trio of academics attempt an engaging and instructive experiment with their recently published book, Gentrifier (University of Toronto Press, 2017). Through their own lives, John Joe Schlichtman, Jason Patch, and Marc Lamont Hill explore and challenge the ideas and parameters of gentrification. Although the suburbs are anything but dead, an increasing number of Americans…
A Wrinkle in the Narrative: Gentrification & Small Businesses
In a few weeks on October 3, 2017, my first book, Left Bank of the Hudson: Jersey City and the Artists of 111 1st Street, will be published by Fordham University Press. To prepare for that and my accompanying book tour, I’ve been focusing on gentrification: reading about it, thinking about it, and talking about…
A Percent for the Arts: Needed in Jersey City
On the evening of June 14, 2017, Jersey City arts advocates crowded the city council chambers and dominated the public comments segment of the council meeting. Speaker after speaker approached the microphone and articulated the integral role of the arts in the life of the city. Arts contribute to the local economy. Arts improve the…
Riding the Model Train in Binghamton
On Memorial Day weekend, I woke at the crack of dawn and boarded a bus destined for Binghamton, New York to see an old friend for the first time in five years. To me, that city meant little more than name on a highway sign. My friend was visiting his family in Western New York. …
Jersey City: The Quiet Stories of History
Recently, a local historian and lifelong Jersey City resident shared with me his joyous surprise upon discovering a cache of newspaper articles concerning a prominent late-nineteenth-century resident of his neighborhood and this resident’s failed attempt to sell his private park to the Jersey City government. This nineteenth-century gentleman was Bernard Vetterlain. Bernard Vetterlain earned his…