The “Crown Heights vs. Prospect Heights” debate is often played out online, through spaces like Brownstoner and Brooklynian. It’s a hot topic. But how does this naming (or renaming) affect the residents? With a keen focus on Franklin Avenue – the neighborhood’s “contested border” – myself and another Crown Heights resident have interviewed dozens of area resident to get their opinion on the debate. We've interviewed newcomers, long timers, random people, and even some of your favorite local business owners to inquire about their opinions on and what they think their role is in the changes in the neighborhood.
We’ve asked uncomfortable questions like “what do you want the neighborhood demographic to be in 5 year - if the neighborhood turns 60% white, would you be okay with that?” and “who is more entitled to have their values reflected in the neighborhood – a long-time renter or a new property owner?” The answers have been surprising and candid. This has now culminated in a film we’re calling “Gentrifying Brooklyn.”
Gentrifying Brooklyn is a poignant and personal look at a community in the midst of gentrification.
When a neighborhood is renamed to attract more affluent buyers, what is the community response? In Crown Heights Brooklyn, while many long time residents take pride in their neighborhood’s identity, others are unabashedly repackaging its name, borders, and identity to attract more affluent residents.
Who’s entitled to the neighborhood? A film by Abeni Garrett and Laurel Brown.
A rough cut of an excerpt of the film will be screening at Five Myles on Saturday, June 19th at 7:00 p.m. We will then open up the floor for discussions and critiques about the film. Also, we are going to be engaging the audience in questions about the neighborhood changes more generally. We want this to be an opportunity to our community to share a meaningful conversation with each other about the neighborhood.
A very short sound bite is here: http://nostrandpark.com/wp-
And the write up is here: http://nostrandpark.com/2010/