Wall Street’s secret society (Kappa Beta Phi) is a little less of a secret after a writer namedKevin Roose sneaked into the fraternity’s recent induction ceremony and wrote about it inNew York Magazine During the ceremony new members dressed in drag and made “bad jokes about Hillary Clinton, drunkenly mocked Main Street (the “99%”), and laughed at the financial crisis.” The fact that these authoritarian figures of Wall Street had the audacity to laugh at a crisis that resulted in housing foreclosures, ruined retirement plans, and a devastating unemployment crisis ….
Mayor Bill de Blasio has long been a proponent of providing free Pre-K and after school activities to all children in New York City. When the recently elected mayor gave his State of the City Address his focus on strengthening our cities educational structure was one of his main focuses. As one of the major cities in the world, New York is failing in education.
Justin Blinder is another Envision New York 2017 artist whose submission addresses gentrification. Vacated uses Google Streetview to highlight the vacant lots where new buildings now stand in gentrifying neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn. The work is ephemeral in the psychical world, but online it exists long after these vacant site become shiny new luxury buildings. The result is a virtual walking tour of gentrification.
Gentrification is a dirty word that is central to the discourse of New York City’s rapidly changing environment. It’s a major concern for longstanding neighborhoods of working class people. There are different perspectives as to whether gentrification hurts or helps the neighborhood’s vitality, but what should be evident to all are the drastic changes in many a neighborhood’s zoning. Old historic buildings are coming down at a swift pace, and new luxurious glass condominiums are popping up in their wake.