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When In Exile

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The former president of Georgia has picked a somewhat surprising spot to spend his self-imposed exile: the epicenter of "Brooklyn," Williamsburg. Bunking at his uncle's apartment in a waterfront tower on North 7th Street, Mikheil Saakashvili "luxuriates in the neighborhood's time-honored tradition of mysteriously sourced wealth," goes to Smorgasburg, and entertains David Petraeus on his roof deck. Ever aware, he notes the neighborhood's evolution from a haven of mafia-killed dead bodies to a place with a "jazzy atmosphere" that's "part of the democratic transformation." If that's what the ex-politicians are calling gentrification these days, then sure. [NYT/NYM]