Gentrification and hipsters

Last week, a list of the census tracts with the highest level of in-migration of white people was going around. Steve Sailer posted a list here.

DC has three zip codes on the list. The first is (I’m pretty sure) Megan McArdle’s neighborhood – the one she moved to because she likes diversity and the one in which Yglesias got beat up on his way home from a party at McArdle’s.

Anyway, there are also four Brooklyn neighborhoods on the list. In light of this fact, it’s fun to re-read this older post from Sailer.

Basically, he notes that the stuff that gentrifiers (i.e. hipsters – the sort of white person that moves close to diversity) like appeals to an amazingly non-diverse audience. Why is that trendy, politically-correct white people who move to diverse neighborhoods seem to be bending over backwards to spend all their time in places that seem to be bending over backwards to cater to non-diverse clientele? I’m not smart enough to figure it out, but maybe someone can.

In the areas gentrifying around me, the businesses generally skip the early stages of development. For example, you don’t open a dive bar in a gentrifying neighborhood, you open a gastro pub that only serves micro brews from your favorite obscure geographic location. You don’t open a new apartment building with lots of efficiency rooms, you open luxury condos with all sorts of costly amenities. I also can’t figure this out.

It’s just all so mysterious.


12 Responses to Gentrification and hipsters

  1. asdf says:

    When a place first starts to gentrify, its cheap. And the new white people raise its value. You can’t gain in a place that is already white, it needs to be becomming white.

  2. Jim says:

    And when it has “integrated” into white, it’s no longer affordable to others. Gentrification is nothing more than a way to invest and make money all the while claiming to be inclusive, yet knowing that in reality you are being exclusive because of wealth. Sure you’ll keep some minorities around, but only those that fit the mold of what you want. And best of all, still have a clear conscious about it.

  3. Leonard says:

    I wonder if it would not be possible for a corporation to make money by seeding a gentrification event, i.e. by buy up a block of cheap housing in a bad neighborhood, then all of a sudden raise the rent and hire two full-time guards to walk the street 18 hours a day. Do a Starbucks deal and you’re set. But no, I have the feeling that doing it requires discrimination, i.e., ordering your guards to keep an eye on any youths hanging around in the street.

    • asdf says:

      I believe some have tried to do just that. You see planned communities here and there. The zoning can be difficult.

      When a race agitator finds out about it they will usually demand a payoff to allow the zoning to go through.

      • Jim says:

        They did that here but instead of a corporation, and group of investors purchased a former downtown hotel that was room and board to low income people that worked in the service industry. Where as before the rates were cheap and one could actually live there indefinitely, their first order of business was to raise the rates and ban smoking. So of course it rid the building of all its tenets and surprise, surprise, the remodeling process started to turn it into a boutique hotel. Unfortunately for them though, the downtrend in the economy put an end to it and the building now sits empty with a for sale sign on it.

    • anolen says:

      They do this all the time; Trump’s development company did this with a whole block in Harlem. They sit on the property and let it decay until the price goes up (the area gentrifies enough), then they flip them.

      What nobody talks about though, is that there are plenty of minorities who are happy to see this gentrification happen. Their property value goes up, they get more stable tenants, businesses want to open… Being a minority doesn’t necessarily make you value ‘community’ any more than being White does.

  4. totalesturns says:

    In the areas gentrifying around me, the businesses generally skip the early stages of development. For example, you don’t open a dive bar in a gentrifying neighborhood, you open a gastro pub that only serves micro brews from your favorite obscure geographic location.

    I’ve noticed this too.

    My best guess is that now that the gentrification cycle is well understood, developers don’t bother directly targeting the first wave of artists, hipsters and recent graduates. Lack of options will force them into the neighborhood anyway, at which point they’ll congregate by default at whichever local venue best caters to the young-white-and-educated crowd — what are they gonna do, go to the hip-hop club instead? So people with an eye on long-term profits might as well build with an eye towards the second wave of upscale young professionals.

    I’m not in the real estate or bar/restaurant business, so I could be wrong, but this seems like a plausible hypothesis.

  5. Matt says:

    I suggest that this is all quite unmysterious. Liberals who move to gentrified neighborhoods are quite honest both about their aesthetic preferences and their desire to live around racial diversity. They also recognize that non-whites don’t appear to be at all interested in the same things they do, and believe that it is because not enough has been done to ‘reach out’ to them, or conversely because it is too expensive. That non-whites are different and simply not interested in these things, due to nature or background or whatever, has never occurred to them. It’s sort of the flip-side of White Supremacism.

  6. dearieme says:

    If one were feeling satirical, one could open a pub called “Near to Canada”.

  7. Randy says:

    I’m confused. Rich people start going somewhere, that place starts catering to those people, this is bad and confusing?

  8. […] Here’s six of Foseti’s many posts on the subject in chronological order: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, […]

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