Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do You Live on Gentrification Row?

Gentrification Row runs along Bowery, north from Houston, south down to Chatham Square in Chinatown and all the way to Frank Gehry's Beekman tower on Beekman and Spruce Street. This corridor has yet to suffer the fate of it's northern half, where great affluence has enveloped the neighborhood, but is well on its way. Everywhere you look on Bowery, new luxury buildings are sprouting like tulips in the springtime. South of Houston, gentrification was developing in stages slow enough so that you could see it creep. The New Museum. 257 Bowery. But the completion of Gehry's tower on Beekman Street seems to signal a change. Newly constructed buildings in glass and steel are now arriving in working class Chinatown, signaling a new breakthrough in gentrification's advance down Bowery. The Beekman tower now plays the role of anchor and a beacon for money south of Bowery, just as Avalon on Houston was an anchor and beacon on the northern end. Combined, both developments have created a powerful wind tunnel up and down Bowery and environs that blows money and development around. If you listen on a quiet morning, you can almost hear the money whooshing around. And just as a river wraps around the bend, so too does did the gentrifugal force of gentrification, streaming down streets like Kenmare and Bond, enveloping nearly everything in its path. Do you live on Gentrification Row? (View a larger size map of Gentrification Row on NYC The Blog's Facebook page.)


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