Years ago, reports circulated that rising real estate prices in Park Slope were causing a lesbian diaspora, forcing the first-wave gentrifiers into outlying Brooklyn neighborhoods like Ditmas Park and Windsor Terrace. On Friday the Observer's Guelda Voien filed a piece of gentrification journalism on the neighborhood of Kensington, honing in on the recent lesbian influence: "Practical, and always in search of domesticity, lesbians are handy urban pioneers, dragging organic groceries and prenatal yoga to the 'frontier' neighborhoods they make hospitable for the rest of us. In three to five years." There's only one problem, critics say: This isn't happening in Kensington.
Many of the places spotlighted, like troubled coffee shop Vox Pop and others along the retail corridor of Cortelyou Road ("neighborhood epicenter of stuff-white-people-like"), are actually in neighboring Ditmas Park. If there's one thing that's going to rile up some folks, it's mistaking one fiercely protective Brooklyn neighborhood for another, especially when trying to out a 'hood as a poster boy?or girl, this case?for in-progress gentrification. Commenters pounced, and the Ditmas Park Blog isn't really happy with many of the writer's claims or about being confused for Kensington. Grab a map and pick a side: The quinoa is hitting the fan over this one.
· Lesbians as 'Canaries in the Urban Coal Mine' [NYO]
· Bad Gentrification Writing [Ditmas Park Blog]