Bedford Ave All the World's Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

it's been fun, but I don't really know anyone here. I don't really do the bar scene, and that's pretty much what everyone else who lives in my building does. So I guess it's time to look for somewhere else."

Required: A Little Extra Green

Although those living in Manhattan would probably still think of the neighborhood as a bargain, by a more objective standard (and during a recession), the rents are certainly not conducive to anyone without a firm standing in the upper ranges of the middle class.

A 1000-foot apartment at Bedford and Third, for example, boasts "recent renovation" at $2,900 a month.

Whatever might be left over after rent might be spent at Antidote Chocolate. One particularly interesting aspect of the fact that this chain has moved into the neighborhood is that most of its stores reside in far-pricier and more established neighborhoods.

This suggests not only that people living in the neighborhood (or shopping there) are not only fairly well off but that, through such stores, they are becoming linked to the larger New York metropolitan area. This is an important aspect of gentrification, for homogenization is a part of the upscaling of any neighborhood, and one of the arguably more tragic aspects of it.

The chocolate store offers flavors including lavender and red salt, mango and juniper, almond and fennel, banana and cayenne, and ginger and gooseberry.

Surely these are the kinds of chocolates that the community residents want to be able to talk about eating more than they actually want to eat them? A couple of women in their mid-twenties holding hands and looking at the wares seemed to agree. One commented:

I'm looking for a present for my mom for mother's day. She loves chocolate. but, seriously, what could I get her here? This is not the kind of place that people who actually love chocolate shop. This where you shop to get one of the cool bags that you can then show off."

Transition is the Only Constant

Every neighborhood is in flux. No neighborhood, even the seemingly unchanging one that some of us remember growing up in, is ever static. The trees grow taller, and then die. The residents grow older, and then die. Buildings that were once well-tended begin to lean and then they too are killed off by a new generation coming in with different values and different goals.

In neighborhoods that are primarily residential, there may well be a certain consensus on the direction that these changes should take. Places where people live tend to be most precious and important to them. People are more concerned about their neighbors, and more eager to impose their own standards on those neighbors. This can be good, but is often not. (There are few organizations more pathologically controlling that Home Owners' Associations.) but there is also the fact that in residential neighborhoods there is often some sense of responsibility to one another. There may be little or no sharing of cups of flour over the picket fences, but there are people to turn to when things get dire. We may not know our neighbors the way that our grandparents did, but there are usually people that we feel a connection to.

This is much less true in a mixed neighborhood like the one that has been focused on here. In a neighborhood where a few people live, but most others come to drink or buy gourmet dog food or gourmet chocolates, there is little sense of actual community. Ask someone from his neighborhood where he or she is from, and they are likely to answer with the name of where they lived before they moved here. This is, as noted above, not a place where people are from, and not a place where people intend to stay.

One recent afternoon, a women shopping the wares at Antidote Chocolate, summarized what seems to be the overall atmosphere of the intersection of these streets.

I like it here. I never really thought about this as a place to shop and certainly not a place to live. It seemed, well, pretty dark and gloomy. Not a place that you'd want to make eye contact with most people.

But now you look around and people are walking their dogs, there are more restaurants. People on the sidewalks look like they might be interesting to talk to. I like that.

People who look like they might be interesting to talk to. But despite the fact that she works and shops here, she hasn't actually talked to any of them yet.


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NYC Pet. Retrieved from, 2011. Retrieved from -- 1rjevj0kynq3v#lat=40.715583&lon=-73.960139&zoom=20&previewId=1rjevj0kynq3v&previewType=listing&detailsOpen=true&listingTypes=rental, sublet, room, corporate&loan=30,0.0525, 2011.

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