Underthecurrent


Hasta Luego
April 21, 2016, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Canada, overtly political | Tags:

When we moved here, the cab drivers from the suburb where there are regular gang shootings would say “you live in a bad neighborhood”.

Last week, a driver dropped me off and said “this neighborhood sure is changing.”

This morning I walked to the cafe that had good breakfast burritos and nanaimo bars, jonesing.  It was gone.  Brown paper in the windows advertising a new cafe.  The same thing happened a few months back with the best grocery store in the hood.  One day it was just shuttered, a sold sign outside.  Strange small businesses have come and gone – taking a risk on cheap rent.

We were late comers to this hood – years ago, cabs wouldn’t come down at all.  There’s no pretending to have true ownership here, we came to witness the end.

On arrival, it was perfect.  A heady mix of things within walking distance.  Sheltered from the crowds mostly due to incorrect fears.  An incubator for the small and interesting, a repository for roughed-up history.  It was friendly.  A bit weird.

It was also very obvious what was coming.

Now.  Upmarket spas and fitness options.  Replicated cafes, almost indistinguishable from each other, on each corner. Other parts of the city reach tentacles into the storefronts, making everything just a bit more uniform.  Tidy.  Many sources for cold pressed juice, all the cold pressed juice you can handle.  Little reference to what was before, spaces remodelled and wiped clean.  Made boring.

Mainstream press starts to trumpet the area as a must-see.

Personally, this is not, financially, a bad thing.  More people will consider buying this place because they are more comfortable in gentrified spaces.  This hidden enclave will have more visibility, curb appeal.

And we will disappear along with the others.

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