When I started this blog just a few months ago it was 1) because I had just moved back to the neighborhood after spending my twenties in Staten Island between not one, but two, asshole ex-boyfriends and 2) it was a joint venture with my sister (hence the ‘s’ in Greenpointers).
Well, me and my sister had a falling out that as much as I would like to publicly decimate her for, I won’t. So it’s just down to me since pretty much a week after ‘we’ started.
A lot of the point behind this blog is the fact that I was born and raised here. My father was born and raised here and my Grandfather. I come from a long line of Greenpointers and yes, I am very proud to call myself a native among what is becoming less and less the norm in the nabe.
I feel that I have a different view to offer since I notice that a large majority (read: I didn’t say ALL) bloggers are transplants of some sort. Many of the blogs all around Brooklyn are of people who are new to their surroundings. Quite a few are based on “look at me in the big city” type of formats. Which is all well and good. Write what you know, more power to ya.
I do admit that I give shit to the ‘hipsters’ in some of my posts. To me, the word ‘hipster’ pretty much applies to most of the twenty and thirtysomethings that are simply not from here and in all likelihood will leave when the next new nabe shows up on the cover of some magazine. A lot of them are just doing the New York thing right now. In a couple of years they may find themselves out in Santa Fe or trying out Austin.
Then there’s the others who have been here five or ten years and feel that this is their neighborhood. And it is. But just as much as the people who’ve been here five or ten years want the acknowledgment and respect as being here before the newest influx, the people like me who’ve not just lived here but actually went to the schools here, grew up on the streets here and can usually name at least one person on virtually every block in the entire neighborhood that they know, we want it even more. Heck, we deserve it.
It’s not an elitist attitude, it’s just common pride. We’re losing a lot more than you. We’re losing friends and entire families that had been here for generations. All because someone, somewhere decided Greenpoint was the next big thing. So now our simple row houses are being torn down for new condos and everything about the neighborhood is being either changed or examined for change.
Greenpoint was never a hotbed of culture unless you wanted to see a Little Warsaw. If we wanted culture, we’d go to Manhattan. Everyone’s looking to ‘improve’ us. Nothing’s wrong with us. We like to walk up The Avenue, we like to sit on the stoop, we like to complain about the Poles. And now we’ve taken to complaining about the hipsters.
Greenpoint was pretty much one of the last white neighborhoods in Brooklyn that was untouched y gentrification. If Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst weren’t so far from the city those wouldn’t be the microcosms of Italian old school neighborhoods they are, either. But I imagine even their days are numbered as well.
And the new influx of people have the nerve to complain about us? That’s just fucking rude.
There are some natives who are on a kick to hate all the hipsters. I am not one of them. I’m not going to judge a specific person based on whether they were born here or not. But as a whole, yes, I guess I have to say I’d rather they were not here. Rents have gone up so much and so quickly that it’s just so fucked up that the blue collar folks who have lived here for so long have to get up and get out. In just the last three months I’ve had one friend move to North Carolina and two friends move to Virginia. There is nowhere left to live for the lower middle class in New York.
And it sucks.