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'Face of Gentrification' Leaves East Harlem Because of Lady Gaga

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In 2008, blogger and Mississippi transplant Zachary Wilson arrived in East Harlem straight out of college, dreams of magazine industry employment dancing in his head. One of his first discoveries about life in the big city was that his neighborhood was different from the Upper East Side environs that many of his friends called home, even if his own apartment was just 10 blocks away. He addressed the topic in a blog post that began, "I am the face of gentrification," which we highlighted way back when. Checking back in after all this time, it seems Wilson did indeed find employment in his chosen field, but his East Harlem experiment recently ended. Where'd he move? East Village? Williamsburg? Try New Orleans, and the reason is simple: His asshole boss kept him from seeing Lady Gaga!

In a lengthy post last week explaining his break-up with New York, Wilson writes:

I wanted to go to Lollapalooza so I requested a Friday and a Monday off. They granted me the Friday but refused the Monday. It was the bitter icing on top of an expired cake with a gooey problem-filled center, and with that I left my old life, and my old ideas of what life should be, behind. "I'm 23!" I told myself. "I'm too young to have some asshole boss dictating whether or not I can see Lady fucking Gaga in Grant Park!"So he quit, and taking Patti Smith's advice, he decided to leave his one-time dream city for good. Guess we can call it a bad romance. So why New Orleans? Because Gulf Coast hipsters aren't phonies like the ones up here:When I ask an aspiring artist in New York what he's working on, he stumbles through some excuse about not being able to afford supplies. When I ask a young fashion designer what she's made recently, she carries on about her job as a retail assistant manager at some trendy Brooklyn graphic T-shirt store. But when I asked these questions to strangers I met in New Orleans when I visited for a week back in May — a toe-in-the-Gulf trial week — they were wearing their creations, they were carrying their sketchbooks and drawing in them at dinner.This New Orleans sounds like one hell of a place! Way to lie to us to keep us away, Treme.
· On Living 100 Lives; or, Why I Left New York [And How Blog]
· East Harlem Gentrification Watch: Diary of a Gentrifier [Curbed]