Monday, July 7, 2014

Art in The Hood: Tragedy on the third rail..

Sunset Park has always been a neighborhood abundant with street art. I have documented a lot of the wall art as I come across it in my Art in The Hood series. Some of the artists who appear in the hood are many times more often than not from outside the neighborhood and not all art appears on our walls. There was a heyday when the terminal at the 9th Avenue station was a primary target of  taggers before the MTA started to clean the cars. The Gothamist reports that a graffiti artist named Jason Wulf, 42,  who was known by his tag DG met an untimely demise by apparently deciding to try his art in the caverns of our subway system at the 25th street train station on the N line. It's a pity that a life is cut short by an obsession. Sometimes you take unnecessary or dumb risks and you pay the price for such folly. You can read more about it at the Gothamist here..

B37 Bus on third Avenue restored after a three year absence.

The Brooklyn Daily eagle has an article announcing the restoration of the B37 Bus line which had been eradicated when the MTA went through budget cuts a few years ago. Community pressure and organized pressured the MTA and pressure from local politicos to find the funds necessary to put the bus back online. You can read the entire article at the Eagle here...

More signs of Gentrification in Sunset Park

Jeff Bobula and Caitlin Mennen-Bobula with their son, Ellis, and the family cat.
CreditÁngel Franco/The New York Times

The New York Times recently published an article that typified the ongoing gentrification of Sunset Park proper. I think we can all mostly agree that the Greenwood Heights (so named by realtors) section of the neighborhood has already pretty much reached the peak of it's gentrification stage and is now well saturated with Hipsters and yuppies. The story is interesting in two respects. As rents and property values in the northern part of the neighborhood continue to inch up the pressure is to move further south in search for more reasonable rents and values. The second interesting part of the story is that there is a wave that is moving into the Chinatown section of the nabe providing a competitive pressure for housing and competition with the Chinese population. Nevertheless, despite a rather stagnant economy those who have well paying jobs and the cash to spend are moving ever southward into the neighborhood and the only result can be an upward pressure on rents and property values. For homeowners this necessarily means higher real estate taxes because those taxes are based on valuations. For poorer families it means that affordable rents at their income levels will be harder and harder to find.  You can read the entire article here on the New York Times site..