Hey, have you heard about Williamsburg? Apparently, it's this Brooklyn neighborhood that used to be an industrial ghetto, and then it was a secret haven of artists and Orthodox Jews. Now it's a really cool and cutting-edge place to live—except that luxury condos rising on the newly rezoned waterfront are about to displace the last remnants of the old neighborhood. How nefarious! How shocking. Luckily, the Washington Post has come to town!
So this is truth: About eight nanoseconds ago Williamsburg was the national-magazine-certified coolest hood in America, with more vaguely employed white hipsters per square inch than anywhere on the continent. There are 22 clubs and 61 art galleries and enough pubs pouring fine Belgian beers to pitch any 22-year-old into a state of bleary-eyed ecstasy. Makis Antzoulatos was fine with all that.SPOILER ALERT! This grassroots group failed to stop gentrification.
But something nagged. As the neighborhood went hyper-hip and rents spiked, where would all the Puerto Ricans go? Or the old Poles who run the delis, and the Italians in East Williamsburg, where you can wander into a pasta joint at 11 p.m. and get a plate of scungilli and okay-but-slightly-headache-inducing Chianti?
Antzoulatos gathered pierced hipsters on the bare floor of his tenement living room and founded Gentrifiers Against Gentrification.