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  • borealis
  • Administrator
Art and Gentrification
I'm not sure I agree with this guy. What do you think?


Quote
Some anti-gentrification protesters do. In one of the daftest and most perverse logics of the modern left, campaigners in the Boyle Heights neighbourhood of Los Angeles say that while they are "not against art and culture", they see the art galleries opening in their streets as part of the problem. According to activist Maga Miranda, "the art galleries are part of a broader effort by planners and politicians and developers who want to artwash gentrification."
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2016/jul/18/artwashing-new-watchword-for-anti-gentrification-protesters

...

The ideology feeding into Boyle Heights' "artwashing" fears is similar to what led London protesters to single out the Cereal Killer cafe in Shoreditch last year. But it is a destructive logic. Art, culture and, yes, cafes are not weapons of corporate capital. And even if they do add value to property, that is not all they do. There is such a thing as civilisation - and it has a way of looking a bit like "gentrification". All over the world, the most enjoyable, exciting parts of cities are the districts where galleries and bars flourish and where, as a result, hugely diverse crowds congregate in cultural enjoyment, collective pleasure, and community.

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #1
I'm not sure I agree with this guy. What do you think?


Quote
Some anti-gentrification protesters do. In one of the daftest and most perverse logics of the modern left, campaigners in the Boyle Heights neighbourhood of Los Angeles say that while they are "not against art and culture", they see the art galleries opening in their streets as part of the problem. According to activist Maga Miranda, "the art galleries are part of a broader effort by planners and politicians and developers who want to artwash gentrification."
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2016/jul/18/artwashing-new-watchword-for-anti-gentrification-protesters

...

The ideology feeding into Boyle Heights' "artwashing" fears is similar to what led London protesters to single out the Cereal Killer cafe in Shoreditch last year. But it is a destructive logic. Art, culture and, yes, cafes are not weapons of corporate capital. And even if they do add value to property, that is not all they do. There is such a thing as civilisation - and it has a way of looking a bit like "gentrification". All over the world, the most enjoyable, exciting parts of cities are the districts where galleries and bars flourish and where, as a result, hugely diverse crowds congregate in cultural enjoyment, collective pleasure, and community.


Which one?
The one arguing that art galleries drive out the poors?
Or the one arguing nuh unh?

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #2
nuh uh man.

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #3

So the poors can't have nice things because when they do, not poors move in and displace them?  And that includes art galleries?
There was an article about a not affluent neighbourhood getting a community centre and people were afraid that if the neighbourhood got it then people would want to live there, which would be a bad thing or something.

But then I do tend to take rent controls for granted until I want to move.
When the subway stop finally opens the area will be much better but my rent won't double because of it.

Although I never did understand Miller's plan of increasing access by blocking all means of access that he could.

  • ravenscape
  • Administrator
  • Triggered
Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #4
I think it depends on the gallery and its relationship with its neighborhood.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #5
To clarify, nuh uh man is the author, and seems indignant that the suggestion's even been made.

But I bet you've seen that exact sequence play out in Toronto, as I have in tiny Halifax. First it's earnest young people renting cheap little storefronts in run down poor areas of town. They start charming little cafes and thrift shops and tiny art galleries with all their friends' work. People start visiting the area, the street gets popular, university students like it and start renting any available apartment or flat above these storefronts. Landlords raise rents, the area has become desirable, and next come the home buyers, the upper middle class couples who can afford to renovate these century old wrecks. The galleries and cafes disappear - they can't afford the rent any more. And now it's just another neighbourhood lined with quaint looking but completely modern residential homes that are worth five times as much as they would have sold for a decade before. The working poor who lived there have been pushed out. So have the artists, the arts community, but they were the catspaw that pushed the button.

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #6
I think he is wrong and right at the same time. Gentrification is a really weird phenomenon. It has thoroughly taken over my neighborhood and city in general and I really don't like most of the effects.

But it is interesting that the process is destructive to itself in social spaces by replacing the climate that drew it in.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #7
To clarify, nuh uh man is the author, and seems indignant that the suggestion's even been made.

But I bet you've seen that exact sequence play out in Toronto, as I have in tiny Halifax. First it's earnest young people renting cheap little storefronts in run down poor areas of town. They start charming little cafes and thrift shops and tiny art galleries with all their friends' work. People start visiting the area, the street gets popular, university students like it and start renting any available apartment or flat above these storefronts. Landlords raise rents, the area has become desirable, and next come the home buyers, the upper middle class couples who can afford to renovate these century old wrecks. The galleries and cafes disappear - they can't afford the rent any more. And now it's just another neighbourhood lined with quaint looking but completely modern residential homes that are worth five times as much as they would have sold for a decade before. The working poor who lived there have been pushed out. So have the artists, the arts community, but they were the catspaw that pushed the button.

The Landlord Tenant Act is not perfect but it is backed up and enforced.
Although I'm not 100% about the residential apartments above storefronts.
If someone bought the place they can not raise residential rents more than a set amount without approval which has stringent requirements.

But the new owners don't have to rent out the apartment, or can have the tenants evicted to move family members in.
I'm sure that there have been landlords that have abused the process to get tenants to move out but over all tenants are fairly well protected.

Businesses of course have no such protection. When their lease is up the rent can be raised to what ever.
Back home the local barber had his rent more than doubled and could not afford the new rent.
But luckily for him the hair dresser next door only operated his shop 3 days a week and let the barber open up shop in his place.


ETA  I should make a visit to the Kensington Market to see what it's like these days.
(and maybe see if I can find any old episodes of King of Kensington online)
  • Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 10:44:52 AM by buttershug

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #8
I think he is wrong and right at the same time. Gentrification is a really weird phenomenon. It has thoroughly taken over my neighborhood and city in general and I really don't like most of the effects.

But it is interesting that the process is destructive to itself in social spaces by replacing the climate that drew it in.

Do you have rent controls?

And it reminds me of some of the new people back home.
They would move into a new house and then try and stop all new development because they wanted to live in a semi-rural area.
They should have waited for an existing house to come up for sale instead of financially supporting development then stopping it.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #9
I think he is wrong and right at the same time. Gentrification is a really weird phenomenon. It has thoroughly taken over my neighborhood and city in general and I really don't like most of the effects.

But it is interesting that the process is destructive to itself in social spaces by replacing the climate that drew it in.
Tbf I'm just recounting my own observations of a very small city over 4 decades. I've seen it happen repeatedly in Halifax, in a couple dozen neighbourhoods.

The waterfront might be the most spectacular example. In the late 60s it was an old-fashioned working waterfront, piers, old warehouses, a couple very rough taverns, unsafe after dark. But it also had lots of extremely cheap apartments, from the windows of which you could watch the water traffic, freighters, tugboats, sailboats, ferries, naval ships. By the early 70s it was already changing, students moving in, cafes, little galleries. A monster developer bought a lot of warehouses and docks. By 1980 the waterfront had a major marine museum, high end galleries and shops, exclusive and expensive housing, chain restaurants.

It's pretty nice now, you can walk along the wharves and be entertained, buy expensive stuff, take sailboat tours, drink and eat. But the cheap places to live and the restaurant that served up cheap greasy spoon fish and chips and hot chicken sandwiches were long gone.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #10
To clarify, nuh uh man is the author, and seems indignant that the suggestion's even been made.

But I bet you've seen that exact sequence play out in Toronto, as I have in tiny Halifax. First it's earnest young people renting cheap little storefronts in run down poor areas of town. They start charming little cafes and thrift shops and tiny art galleries with all their friends' work. People start visiting the area, the street gets popular, university students like it and start renting any available apartment or flat above these storefronts. Landlords raise rents, the area has become desirable, and next come the home buyers, the upper middle class couples who can afford to renovate these century old wrecks. The galleries and cafes disappear - they can't afford the rent any more. And now it's just another neighbourhood lined with quaint looking but completely modern residential homes that are worth five times as much as they would have sold for a decade before. The working poor who lived there have been pushed out. So have the artists, the arts community, but they were the catspaw that pushed the button.

The Landlord Tenant Act is not perfect but it is backed up and enforced.
Although I'm not 100% about the residential apartments above storefronts.
If someone bought the place they can not raise residential rents more than a set amount without approval which has stringent requirements.

But the new owners don't have to rent out the apartment, or can have the tenants evicted to move family members in.
I'm sure that there have been landlords that have abused the process to get tenants to move out but over all tenants are fairly well protected.

Businesses of course have no such protection. When their lease is up the rent can be raised to what ever.
Back home the local barber had his rent more than doubled and could not afford the new rent.
But luckily for him the hair dresser next door only operated his shop 3 days a week and let the barber open up shop in his place.


ETA  I should make a visit to the Kensington Market to see what it's like these days.
(and maybe see if I can find any old episodes of King of Kensington online)

I see you've already noticed some of the flaws in the Landlord Tenants Act. :D

I was thinking of Kensington Market, and Queen Street West, and Yonge St. But haven't been to TO in so many years I don't know what they're like now. Can you still buy a giant live monkfish from a plastic fish crate at KM?

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #11
To clarify, nuh uh man is the author, and seems indignant that the suggestion's even been made.

But I bet you've seen that exact sequence play out in Toronto, as I have in tiny Halifax. First it's earnest young people renting cheap little storefronts in run down poor areas of town. They start charming little cafes and thrift shops and tiny art galleries with all their friends' work. People start visiting the area, the street gets popular, university students like it and start renting any available apartment or flat above these storefronts. Landlords raise rents, the area has become desirable, and next come the home buyers, the upper middle class couples who can afford to renovate these century old wrecks. The galleries and cafes disappear - they can't afford the rent any more. And now it's just another neighbourhood lined with quaint looking but completely modern residential homes that are worth five times as much as they would have sold for a decade before. The working poor who lived there have been pushed out. So have the artists, the arts community, but they were the catspaw that pushed the button.

The Landlord Tenant Act is not perfect but it is backed up and enforced.
Although I'm not 100% about the residential apartments above storefronts.
If someone bought the place they can not raise residential rents more than a set amount without approval which has stringent requirements.

But the new owners don't have to rent out the apartment, or can have the tenants evicted to move family members in.
I'm sure that there have been landlords that have abused the process to get tenants to move out but over all tenants are fairly well protected.

Businesses of course have no such protection. When their lease is up the rent can be raised to what ever.
Back home the local barber had his rent more than doubled and could not afford the new rent.
But luckily for him the hair dresser next door only operated his shop 3 days a week and let the barber open up shop in his place.
I think it depends on the gallery and its relationship with its neighborhood.

And I think it won't always be easy to determine if it is good or bad.
And I suspect that a lot of people will make up their minds on the matter, Dave Hawkins style.

But I suspect that at least some people who were opposed to the community centre were not thinking solely of the benefit of the locals.  I may try later and find that article.

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #12
To clarify, nuh uh man is the author, and seems indignant that the suggestion's even been made.

But I bet you've seen that exact sequence play out in Toronto, as I have in tiny Halifax. First it's earnest young people renting cheap little storefronts in run down poor areas of town. They start charming little cafes and thrift shops and tiny art galleries with all their friends' work. People start visiting the area, the street gets popular, university students like it and start renting any available apartment or flat above these storefronts. Landlords raise rents, the area has become desirable, and next come the home buyers, the upper middle class couples who can afford to renovate these century old wrecks. The galleries and cafes disappear - they can't afford the rent any more. And now it's just another neighbourhood lined with quaint looking but completely modern residential homes that are worth five times as much as they would have sold for a decade before. The working poor who lived there have been pushed out. So have the artists, the arts community, but they were the catspaw that pushed the button.

The Landlord Tenant Act is not perfect but it is backed up and enforced.
Although I'm not 100% about the residential apartments above storefronts.
If someone bought the place they can not raise residential rents more than a set amount without approval which has stringent requirements.

But the new owners don't have to rent out the apartment, or can have the tenants evicted to move family members in.
I'm sure that there have been landlords that have abused the process to get tenants to move out but over all tenants are fairly well protected.

Businesses of course have no such protection. When their lease is up the rent can be raised to what ever.
Back home the local barber had his rent more than doubled and could not afford the new rent.
But luckily for him the hair dresser next door only operated his shop 3 days a week and let the barber open up shop in his place.


ETA  I should make a visit to the Kensington Market to see what it's like these days.
(and maybe see if I can find any old episodes of King of Kensington online)

I see you've already noticed some of the flaws in the Landlord Tenants Act. :D

I was thinking of Kensington Market, and Queen Street West, and Yonge St. But haven't been to TO in so many years I don't know what they're like now. Can you still buy a giant live monkfish from a plastic fish crate at KM?

A perfect law is impossible.
For example, rent controls currently only apply for the current tenants.
It used to be for the unit not the tenant but that has serious problems as well.
I knew a guy whose parents rented out a basement apartment to an elderly couple and never raised their rent while they lived there.  (back in the days of double digit inflation.)
When the couple moved out the landlords found that they could not raise the rent to what it would have been had they not been nice.
And of course as far as I know the only new rental units in T.O. are condos, that are rented out by speculators.
Having rent controls on the units would make being landlord even less attractive.

One Schadenfreude thing about the LTA is that no matter what the lease says, or what the tenant signs, the landlord can not prohibit pets. What has happened to some people is that they sign that they will not have pets but then move in pets.
Later they buy a condo in a pet free building sign that they won't have pets and try and move in with a pet only to find out that it was the LTA that allowed them to have pets in a pet free building and it does not apply to condos.

I plan on getting a TTC pass or two and spend at least a day downtown.

Queen and Spadina looks similar to 15-20 years ago.
And St. Lawrence market is another area to check out.

And a little mall at Queen Street West which is actually close to the AGO.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #13
A perfect law is impossible.
For example, rent controls currently only apply for the current tenants.
It used to be for the unit not the tenant but that has serious problems as well.
I knew a guy whose parents rented out a basement apartment to an elderly couple and never raised their rent while they lived there.  (back in the days of double digit inflation.)
When the couple moved out the landlords found that they could not raise the rent to what it would have been had they not been nice.
And of course as far as I know the only new rental units in T.O. are condos, that are rented out by speculators.
Having rent controls on the units would make being landlord even less attractive.

One Schadenfreude thing about the LTA is that no matter what the lease says, or what the tenant signs, the landlord can not prohibit pets. What has happened to some people is that they sign that they will not have pets but then move in pets.
Later they buy a condo in a pet free building sign that they won't have pets and try and move in with a pet only to find out that it was the LTA that allowed them to have pets in a pet free building and it does not apply to condos.

I plan on getting a TTC pass or two and spend at least a day downtown.

Queen and Spadina looks similar to 15-20 years ago.
And St. Lawrence market is another area to check out.

And a little mall at Queen Street West which is actually close to the AGO.
Well, condo buyers who haven't done their homework aren't very bright.

In the early 80s I stayed with a friend who was renting in a Portuguese neighbourhood. It was neat. A lot of the houses had little Mary shrines in their front yards. On Queen Street there was a candle shop, and inside it was crowded with buyers, half of them New Age Wiccans and Pagans, the other half old Portuguese ladies all dressed in black buying Saint candles.

One evening after dark my friend took me out and showed me this little green space. It was full of wandering lights - flashlights being used by the community to hunt earthworms for fishing.

I've wondered if that neighbourhood survived.

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #14
People should never move from one place to another. Ever.

Obviously.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #15
People should never move from one place to another. Ever.

Obviously.
Don't be an obtuse dick, teeth. No one is saying that.

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #16
I'm not being obtuse. The cause of gentrification is geographic mobility. If you want to get rid of gentrification, you either need to limit mobility, or else you need to give people a good reason to stay in place. Which you're not going to have when professional jobs are so few and far between and when the workforce is so thoroughly internationalized. Poorer neighborhoods are especially targeted because a lot of younger professionals don't have the sort of wealth that would allow them to settle in wealthier areas, but they want all those amenities.

There's also sort of a reversal of historic white flight as more and more people want to live in areas with good public transportation and metropolitan culture. So, again, that's going to cause people to move into cities, where you have a lot of currently poorer communities. But whether that's a destructive process or whether it's a return to more normal urban geography following the historical weirdness that was white flight and suburbia isn't really clear.

I used to give a shit about gentrification and stuff like that but now I don't. Getting mad at people for moving around is silly. Getting mad that movement of people will change local culture and economics is silly.

  • ravenscape
  • Administrator
  • Triggered
Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #17
Getting mad about people being priced out and displaced from their neighborhoods is an issue, though.

The displacements happening in San Francisco over the last few years is bizarre.  So is San Francisco becoming an exurb of the Silicon Valley.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #18
I'm not being obtuse. The cause of gentrification is geographic mobility. If you want to get rid of gentrification, you either need to limit mobility, or else you need to give people a good reason to stay in place. Which you're not going to have when professional jobs are so few and far between and when the workforce is so thoroughly internationalized. Poorer neighborhoods are especially targeted because a lot of younger professionals don't have the sort of wealth that would allow them to settle in wealthier areas, but they want all those amenities.

There's also sort of a reversal of historic white flight as more and more people want to live in areas with good public transportation and metropolitan culture. So, again, that's going to cause people to move into cities, where you have a lot of currently poorer communities. But whether that's a destructive process or whether it's a return to more normal urban geography following the historical weirdness that was white flight and suburbia isn't really clear.

I used to give a shit about gentrification and stuff like that but now I don't. Getting mad at people for moving around is silly. Getting mad that movement of people will change local culture and economics is silly.
I don't think I'm getting mad about it. We're talking about how it happens and the fact that the working poor get priced out of traditional neighbourhoods. They don't just have to move, long term communities are broken up, separated, left without a support system/network of known people.

You can not give a shit about it while still acknowledging that for whatever reasons it happens, it affects some groups more severely than others.

And in this instance, we're looking at the part the arts community may unwittingly play.

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #19
People should never move from one place to another. Ever.

Obviously.
Don't be an obtuse dick, teeth. No one is saying that.

Wait isn't that what Jane Jacobs, proposed?
j/k 

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #20
I'm not being obtuse. The cause of gentrification is geographic mobility. If you want to get rid of gentrification, you either need to limit mobility, or else you need to give people a good reason to stay in place. Which you're not going to have when professional jobs are so few and far between and when the workforce is so thoroughly internationalized. Poorer neighborhoods are especially targeted because a lot of younger professionals don't have the sort of wealth that would allow them to settle in wealthier areas, but they want all those amenities.

There's also sort of a reversal of historic white flight as more and more people want to live in areas with good public transportation and metropolitan culture. So, again, that's going to cause people to move into cities, where you have a lot of currently poorer communities. But whether that's a destructive process or whether it's a return to more normal urban geography following the historical weirdness that was white flight and suburbia isn't really clear.

I used to give a shit about gentrification and stuff like that but now I don't. Getting mad at people for moving around is silly. Getting mad that movement of people will change local culture and economics is silly.
I don't think I'm getting mad about it. We're talking about how it happens and the fact that the working poor get priced out of traditional neighbourhoods. They don't just have to move, long term communities are broken up, separated, left without a support system/network of known people.

You can not give a shit about it while still acknowledging that for whatever reasons it happens, it affects some groups more severely than others.

And in this instance, we're looking at the part the arts community may unwittingly play.

One thing that worries me a bit is, how do you improve areas without gentrification?
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/moss-park-519-community-centre-1.3656134

Re: Art and Gentrification
Reply #21
A perfect law is impossible.
For example, rent controls currently only apply for the current tenants.
It used to be for the unit not the tenant but that has serious problems as well.
I knew a guy whose parents rented out a basement apartment to an elderly couple and never raised their rent while they lived there.  (back in the days of double digit inflation.)
When the couple moved out the landlords found that they could not raise the rent to what it would have been had they not been nice.
And of course as far as I know the only new rental units in T.O. are condos, that are rented out by speculators.
Having rent controls on the units would make being landlord even less attractive.

One Schadenfreude thing about the LTA is that no matter what the lease says, or what the tenant signs, the landlord can not prohibit pets. What has happened to some people is that they sign that they will not have pets but then move in pets.
Later they buy a condo in a pet free building sign that they won't have pets and try and move in with a pet only to find out that it was the LTA that allowed them to have pets in a pet free building and it does not apply to condos.

I plan on getting a TTC pass or two and spend at least a day downtown.

Queen and Spadina looks similar to 15-20 years ago.
And St. Lawrence market is another area to check out.

And a little mall at Queen Street West which is actually close to the AGO.
Well, condo buyers who haven't done their homework aren't very bright.

In the early 80s I stayed with a friend who was renting in a Portuguese neighbourhood. It was neat. A lot of the houses had little Mary shrines in their front yards. On Queen Street there was a candle shop, and inside it was crowded with buyers, half of them New Age Wiccans and Pagans, the other half old Portuguese ladies all dressed in black buying Saint candles.

One evening after dark my friend took me out and showed me this little green space. It was full of wandering lights - flashlights being used by the community to hunt earthworms for fishing.

I've wondered if that neighbourhood survived.


how big a park?

Not Trinity Bellwoods Park, was it?  That is near Little Portugal.
But that one is a fair size park.

A couple weeks ago I found a spot in High Park that seems to be a shrine to a bird watcher.