The Village Voice's Neighborhoods column spotlights the South Bronx, aka Mott Haven, aka SoBro, with an eye on the progress of promised gentrification. So how's it going, dudes?
A recent visit to the neighborhood revealed dramatic improvements, though not a wholesale transformation. The sidewalks along 138th Street bustled with shoppers, many of them cooling off with fresh liquados from a streetside fruit vendor. Mothers and nannies chatted on benches in St. Mary's Park while their charges played in the grass. The row of antiques stores on lower Alexander Avenue (which were there long before the first loft conversion) buzzed at 10:30 in the morning. And telltale signs of real estate and economic rejuvenation—new AC units and satellite dishes—hung from many windowsills and cornices.Air conditioning! DirecTV! iPods (left)! Things are happening up there in SoBro. Or are they? Have a glance at the story's photo captions, which link to the photographer's blog. So what does Holly Northrop have to say about her time spent in the nabe? Check it out after the jump, but here's a little teaser: "I had to shoot the South Bronx for the Neighborhoods column and I swear to god I will never do anything thing like that again." She writes:
Supposedly, the South Bronx has a few urban pioneers hold up in a loft or two, although Martha and I didn't see a one, but for the most part me, my camera and my girlfriend were not welcome sights and it showed. White folks go up there to either buy drugs or buy property. Neither of which are well received. One keeps the neighborhood in a depressed state and the other drives up property values that will ultimately force generations of families to move from whatever cluster fuck of a community they have managed to carve out for themselves. It pushes or pulls in all the wrong directions and why yes, I do hate what I represent. I still don't want to be shot on a Sunday afternoon in the South Bronx.
· Close-Up on Mott Haven, Bronx [VV]
· Hipster Neighborhood Du Jour: SoBro [Curbed]