Sunday, March 9, 2008

3-9-08 Liminal

The day was spent walking the blocks around my new place. I now live right on the border between Prospect Heights (beginning to gentrify, but still affordable to certain people who want to live near the park but are priced out of Park Slope) and Crown Heights (decidedly not gentrifying in the least, entrenched poverty, hardcore gang tags and run down buildings everywhere), and as with all borders, war is the order of the day.

Each street shows the scars of battles, in graffiti and garbage and half completed condos. Outposts of money (a Pilates studio, a cute bar, a coffee shop with indirect lighting and a selection of international brews) jostle up against poverty (the apartment building with garbage in the yard, the empty lot full of discarded auto parts lorded over by a single baleful-eyed rottweiler) and the old-guard of the neighborhood (a Jamaican bakery, a hair salon, an auto-parts store), all uneasy, suspicious each of the other, wondering who will take each contested block.

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