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Nostrand Park » Blog Archive » Gentrifying Brooklyn – The Buying, Selling, and Repackaging of Crown Heights

Gentrifying Brooklyn – The Buying, Selling, and Repackaging of Crown Heights

Check out this SOUNDBITE and let us know your thoughts.

“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 neighborhoods’ “contested border” – two area residents have interviewed newcomers, long timers, random people, and even some favorite local business owners to find out their opinions on the gentrifying neighborhood and the role they play in it.

The uncomfortable questions have been asked like “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 entitled “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.    The filmmakers will then open up the floor for their opinions about the film and the topic more generally.  The full program is Gentrifying Brooklyn – Program.



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  1. aleza Says:

    lauren- just saw this now, meaning i missed the screening. as someone who lived in prospect heights (underhill and washington) and now in crown heights (bedford and dean) pushed by gentrification that i know i had a hand in creating (as a white college graduate moving to the neighborhood from boston), this is something i think about a lot. i’d love to see the film at some point- is it screening again anytime soon?

  2. aleza Says:

    sorry- meant “laurel”, not “lauren.” ack!

  3. [...] The Buying, Selling and Repackaging of Crown Heights explores a neighborhood experiencing gentrification through the eyes of its residents, both black and white. [...]

  4. LaurelB Says:

    @aleza – absolutely, we’ll be having another screening. The reception to the first one was amazing! We don’t have a date set yet, but we will be sure to post it once we do.

  5. sam Says:

    Hi I’m a working class kid that moved to this area (Nostrand & Sterling) from San Francisco in 94 and totally fell in love with it, when will you be showing this again or is the film available in dvd ?


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