These days, I am feeling a bit unsafe in my home, in my hood, and on my walk from the train in Bed Stuy in general.
Being part of gentrifying a neighborhood can be amazing and brutal at the same time. Bed Stuy is in the middle of what I think is the most racially diverse swing in Brooklyn. Before I start, I am aware that I am "generalizing", but this is how I feel.
My take: Park Slope = white, Clinton Hill & Ft Green = blacks and whites with some money, Bed Stuy = blacks and newer whites with less money.
So here on our colorful block, crime is up this week. Cars have been getting broken into like it's Prospect Heights, people are getting jacked on the street supposedly at gunpoint early in the morning. The laundry mat got robbed 2 days ago and that's just what I heard or saw in the past few days.
Gentrification doesn't stop crime but it does lessen it, more police presence . But when a neighborhood like Bed Stuy is gentrifying for reasons not related to coffee shops and hipster bowling alleys what's gonna happen? White people who are not well off are moving here because the blocks are beautiful, it's close to the train and you can rent a huge 2 bedroom brownstone for like 1400-1500 a month. So is that even gentrification? Is it getting the best bang for your buck or is it an invasion?
I think it's an invasion and we are part of it. Sure it's a plus that the late great Frances White and Jigga are from Bed Stuy but, we moved here because it is what we could afford. Now I'm second guessing it. Our lease will come around in April and I am not sure if we will be putting in a third year in 11216. I know people are broke, unemployment is up and times are hard. I am just not fond of the idea of getting stuck up. I'm also not fond of the idea that we need to bring our light and dark brown asses to Park Slope or Carroll Gardens to feel safe.