Like a lot of people, I belong to a number of neighborhood-centric Facebook groups. While the general Jamaica Plain group is broadly fine, there's also a private, invite-only group for complaining about the general day-to-day absurdity of living in newly desirable neighborhood of any increasingly-expensive city.
And that's where I discovered this glorious work of art (which, as far as I can tell after a Tin Eye search, originated from the fittingly-named Humans of Late Capitalism Facebook page):
According to these standards, my beloved home in JP is actually in pretty good shape. Though we are the home of the original Sam Adams Brewery, we only have one other brewpub (so far). We're also (so far) safe from the axe-throwing bar trend, and at least Boston Logan is a pretty good airport. In lieu of cows, we have an albino squirrel and those god damn Brookline turkeys. But otherwise…well, shit. I'm pretty sure I am "Guy with stories about band/artist who made it."
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I appeared on this week's Canadaland podcast (MP3) with Jesse Brown to talk about the promise of the internet 20 years ago, when it seemed that we were headed for an open, diverse internet with decentralized power and control, and how we ended up with an internet composed of five giant websites filled with screenshots from the other four. Jesse has been covering this for more than a decade (I was a columnist on his CBC podcast Search Engine, back in the 2000s) and has launched a successful independent internet business with Canadaland, but as he says, the monopolistic gentrification of the internet is heading for podcasting like a meteor.
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Dolores Park is a symbol of the clash between of the Mission District's low-income, non-white traditional residents and the flood of gentrifying tech world. Read the rest
Kirkwood, Atlanta, looks like a standard-issue gentrified urban neighborhood, a mix of yuppies and old-timers. Josh Green moved there and found a community ambivalent about the changes in its fortunes. But the story of his neighbor's family illustrates it better than house prices or property tax records ever could.
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Last autumn I saw Anita helping her brother and went across the street. She could barely look at the massive two-story Craftsman, purchased by a young surgeon and her husband, that had replaced her childhood home, though Al had tried to console her: It’s just like the grave site, he said. Something died; we buried it. And something new is coming up. Complicating matters, a couple of Anita’s older siblings were so incensed that she didn’t renovate the property and keep it in the family, she told me, they hadn’t spoken to her since Anna’s funeral. But renovations would have been too expensive, and Anna had given her blessing to have the home sold, encouraging Anita to take the proceeds and move back to some quieter place.
Zain Khalid pens the perfect McSweeney's humor-short: self-reflexive (snark, indeed!), demographically loaded, and ha-ha-only-serious. Read the rest
Snow is a new indie feature film set in Toronto, adapted from Benjamin Rivers's graphic novel of the same name, about a love affair between a young woman and her neighbourhood of Queen Street West, which is being transformed by development. Read the rest