A while back Auster suggested that retail stores will have to change to adapt to flash mobs.
I think that’s probably right, but in some areas, it’s not new.
In areas that are "gentrifying" only certain types of stores open. Mostly it’s restaurants and bars that serve relatively expensive food and drink. All bars in gentrifying neighborhoods, for example, serve expensive, foreign beers. Black people rarely pay $8 or $9 for a normal sized beer, for example, so that’s what they serve. Then discrimination takes care of itself.
In the neighborhood near me that’s gentrifying, if you walk down the street you see that around 90% of the people are black. Inside any of the bars and restaurants, virtually 100% of people are white. This is not an accident.
White people like neighborhood shops though, so there’s a constant tension. They really want retail, but no one wants to open a retail store in these neighborhoods.
Here’s the plan the city has come up with in the neighborhood by me:
Starting this fall, the District will have $1.25 million to offer new or existing retail businesses that are “small and unique” along H Street. . . . Business proposals that include “entrepreneurial and innovative retail element[s]” will be given special consideration, according to the District law that created the grant. . . .
There are rules as to who can apply. Retail shops are eligible, excluding liquor stores, restaurants, bars, barbershops, hair salons and phone stores.
So basically no stores for black people and no restaurants and bars. Come on, "excluding liquor stores, . . . barbershops, hair salons and phone stores," that’s funny.