An NYC native spoke to his friend and New York Daily News columnist Harry Siegel and described the sweeping gentrification he found upon being released from prison after 10 years.
Daniel Genis was jailed for robbing people at knife point when he was addicted to heroin. He ended up spending 10 years incarcerated in 12 different prisons.
When he got out, a lot about the city had changed. Genis, who now lives in Brooklyn, notes: “I shaved my beard off to look more presentable for parole, but I’ve got the porkpie hat and my pants are too tight and I wear suspenders. The ugly looks were for looking like a hipster, one of those strange invaders who will soon replace the bodega with something vegan my wife will like.”
These gentrifiers have contributed some positive aspects to neighborhoods, but Genis also says they’re a “threat … to the native community.”
Genis also noticed that people in New York “really stare at their screens all day.”
Many people in prison don’t realise how much the culture on the outside has shifted.
“When I said my wife was too hip to own a TV, a fellow muttered ‘broke-arse bitch’ at me,” Genis explained. “The lack of understanding is nearly as destructive as the rising rents.”
Brooklyn especially has seen sweeping gentrification over the past couple of decades.
For example, in 1990, median household incomes in Williamsburg ranged from $US25,000 to $US55,000 in 2012 dollars. By 2012, incomes soared to $US87,000 on the waterfront and $US53,000 to $US80,000 in other parts of north Williamsburg.
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