I was leaving Sun in Bloom vegan place over on Bergen Street off Flatbush a couple of hours ago, and I thought, Hey, $17 for one square piece of a pizza?
Seems I'm going to more and more places in Brooklyn where prices are zooming out of control and where I'm just about the only black person around
Regarding which: Last August I wrote a piece in the Daily News about gentrification and how it was hitting Crown Heights ("The New Fight For Crown Heights: A quarter-century after the riots, the Brooklyn neighborhood is battling to hold onto its history").
Immediately after the piece went up, a guy who used the name Thaddeus Stanley sent me an email asking why blacks complain when whites move into their communities, making them cleaner, with cafes and expensive eateries.
Thaddeus said he was tired of ignorant black people griping about safer streets and better food. He wrote that he and his wife had once gotten a bottle thrown at them by racist black kids in Crown Heights. He finally got a measure of peace, he said, when it hit him that those kids (and most blacks) would soon be priced out of Brooklyn, a place once called the capital of the Black Diaspora.
Here's what he wrote:
I read your prejudice (sic) "articles" on the daily news website. One question that I've always had about gentrification, a question that remains unanswered, a question that you personally must've asked yourself: why are white people able to take the same resources, same real estate, and change the neighborhood from a socioeconomic hell into a thriving economic engine while the native inhabitants allow these neighborhoods to rot?
My wife and I, both white, on a recent visit to crown heights, were assaulted with a glass bottle by black teenagers who mocked us with racist slurs. In the moment I felt rage and anger, but afterwards I felt some delight knowing that "their" neighborhood is only their neighborhood for a few more years. I hope all these opponents of gentrification, all these community coalitions, look back and think to themselves, "wow, if we only put in this much effort to better our community while it was our community, it may still be our community."
I hope you all enjoyed your existence in Brooklyn. I can't wait to enjoy an overpriced cafe latte and a farm-to-table meal in the space that is currently being used for your community gatherings.