I moved from Stockholm, Sweden to Manhattan, New York in 1993 and moved to Brooklyn from Manhattan with my family in 2002. I have now lived in 3 different locations here and it’s now the 3rd time I am part of the “gentrification process” that is happening in Brooklyn. I have very mixed feelings about it… When we moved near Downtown/Fulton Mall where we are now, I was fascinated by the old grand architecture in disrepair, as well as the 99c stores. There is a building boom going on now and there is such a big contrast between all the new buildings going up, to what seems is everywhere, to what was once there.
Why I feel so ambivalent about this “gentrification thing” is partly that we so often forget the “slummification” that these areas went through in the 1950-ies. You can tell that Fulton street was once a grand shopping street “a la Paris”, but became seedy, unkept and somewhat unsafe when the “gentry” moved to the suburbs.
I fear that once again everything will be wiped away, instead of keeping an interesting mix of things.
I have felt a need to document this process and preserve some memory of what once was, as it will all be gone soon.