Tag Archives: Gregory Lobo Jost

Morning Matters 3/30/12

30 Mar

OK, we’re back with Morning Matters. Sorry to miss the last couple of days.

This photo by Ana Brigida is part of her exhibit on public housing conditions, opening tonight, at the Bronx Documentary Center in Melrose.

The Bronx Documentary Center, also in Melrose, has an opening tonight for an important exhibit called, “How the Other Half (Still) Lives: Bloomberg’s Legacy?” by Ana Brigida about conditions in public housing.

Speaking of Melrose, Legal Services is developing a building on a vacant lot near the subway station in the neighborhood’s southern end on Brook Avenue and East 149th Street.

Have you read the incredibly intelligent conversation taking place on Gregory Lobo Jost’s post on the Times declaring gentrification taking root in south Bronx? I’ve been meaning to mention that this isn’t the first time the Times has weighed in on south Bronx gentrification. This piece by the same reporter, Joseph Berger, focused on the artists and professionals heading to the Clocktower and other buildings in Mott Haven. The appearance of arugula in supermarkets and cafes is also a harbinger of a new scene in that piece. Hey, does arugula mean Kingsbridge is gentrifying? The revamped Foodtown on Broadway and 231st has it as well as a section of specialty beers. Speaking of food and drink, the recent Berger article quotes a resident who found a fantastic Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood, Xochimilco. But that restaurant, which I happened to be at a few days before that article appeared, is in the heart of Melrose, a whole other neighborhood (which has its own incredible story of rebound that I plan to talk more about here) at least a mile and a half away from the Concourse and 160s. (Incidentally, I had the best chicken mole I think I ever had in my lifethere.)

Though teen violence is way up at Riker’s Island, the Bronx DA’s office rarely prosecutes, according to an article in The New York World. The DA’s office says it’s hard to prosecute when victims don’t cooperate but critics say that wouldn’t be case in the world outside of prison.

A popular middle school teacher, Justin Bravo, was killed while riding on his motorcyle in the tunnel on Mosholu Parkway underneath Jerome Avenue and the 4-train. This tragic accident was virtually steps away from where a pedestrian died in December. Norwood News posted the funeral arrangements.

Hunts Point Express documents local efforts to battle the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, including murals to educate youth on their rights at Rocking the Boat.

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It’s Official: The Times Declares South Bronx Is ‘Gentrifying.’ But Is it True?

26 Mar

By Gregory Lobo Jost

This time it’s not even a prediction, but a bold declaration that the south Bronx has been gentrified. Based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence, Joseph Berger of The New York Times Metro section has painted a picture of an area of the south Bronx on the Grand Concourse as a new middle class hub where white folks don’t just go for Yankee games.

While the amazing housing stock along the lower Grand Concourse — mostly built in the 1920s and 30s and chock full of art deco gems — is no secret, the area has been largely working class/working poor with a smattering of middle class black and Latino residents (think public sector workers) for the past few decades. (Tip: Read Constance Rosenblum’s Boulevard of Dreams if you are looking for a great book about the housing on the Concourse and its fascinating history. I appropriately read it while on jury duty on 161st Street a few years ago.) Berger simplifies the complicated reasons behind the decline of the area down to “white flight and urban disenchantment,” though to be fair that’s not the point of the article.

The point, rather, is that “more middle-class professionals, many of them white, are … buying co-ops with sunken living rooms and wraparound windows for under $300,000 in Art Deco buildings that straddle a boulevard designed to emulate the Champs-Élysées.” While this is likely true, the question is whether the numbers are significant enough to declare something so controversial as gentrification having already occurred.

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