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Williamsburg Moves to Bushwick


Above: This is an artist's rendering of the Williamsburg of the future. In this scenario all hipsters who are under the age of thirty are banished (sort of the opposite of Logan's Run). Children run and play, and ask questions like "Daddy, what was a bodega?"

The great Williamsburg real estate boom is being reported on as far away as the wilds of Austin, Texas. This story (which was first reported in the Washington Post) features a hipster who flees to Boston. From my own experience folks just seem to move furher out on the L and J lines:

Williamsburg goes from hip to super-expensive
Former neighborhood of working class and artists changes dramatically.

"So this is truth: About eight nanoseconds ago Williamsburg was the national-magazine-certified coolest hood in America, with more vaguely employed white hipsters per square inch than anywhere on the continent. There are 22 clubs and 61 art galleries and enough pubs pouring fine Belgian beers to pitch any 22-year-old into a state of bleary-eyed ecstasy. Makis Antzoulatos was fine with all that.

But something nagged. As the neighborhood went hyper-hip and rents spiked, where would all the Puerto Ricans go? Or the old Poles who run the delis, and the Italians in East Williamsburg, where you can wander into a pasta joint at 11 p.m. and get scungilli and OK-but-headache-inducing Chianti?

Antzoulatos gathered pierced hipsters in his tenement living room and founded Gentrifiers Against Gentrification. They vowed to make common cause with Puerto Rican teachers and Italian bus drivers — who, not incidentally, gave Williamsburg the working-class edge that made it hip in the first place — and repulse the moneyed waves.

Whatever. Condos kept flipping. Antzoulatos dialed for a moving van. "I realized the struggle was about negotiating the terms of departure," says Antzoulatos, 28, who now lives in a working-class precinct of Boston.

Much has been written about gentrification and its discontents, but in few places has the speed and finality of that transformation been more startling than in Williamsburg, a formerly working-class Brooklyn neighborhood of 180,000 people along the East River. A wall of luxury glass towers is rising for 25 blocks along the "East River Riviera." Wander inland and check out the needle condo towers, selling three-bedroom places for $1.135 million."


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