Signs of gentrification on Underhill Ave, Brooklyn

It’s only been six months since last I was in my old neighborhood of Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, but since moving back into my glorified storage unit, ahem, small bedroom in a friend’s apartment, I’ve been quite astonished at the multiple signs of change, to wit:

The refurbishment of the Brooklyn Public Library’s entrance is now complete. Tables and chairs dot the impressive stepped sandstone walkway, which is triangulated due to its commanding position at Grand Army Plaza and opposite Prospect Park. Water fountains bubble, a DJ plays on Saturdays for shoppers at the farmers market *** Grand Army Plaza itself is more pedestrian-friendly due to some strategic new crossings, so I’m not terrified of being run over any more *** An empty taxi is still an uncommon sight, but not as rare as it was last year – I managed to flag one down to get to Billyburg last week, just one block from my apartment (this never happened in the year I lived here) *** A film crew had blocked off the street one block further down, on a quintessential brownstone-lined avenue *** An ice-cream shop opened, with the secret weapon of a children’s play centre in the room out back – thus ensuring a constant supply of children, parents, and therefore ice-cream eaters ***The infamous smelly corner shop, known to several locals as “the cat-piss bodega”, is about to reopen after a complete refurbishment.

All of this constitutes change, yes, but does it constitute development? That’s for others for judge, and I suspect there are very different views, depending on how long you’ve lived in Prospect Heights.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Yeah, rght, I can hear the diehard locals in time to come: “I was here when the bodegas smelled like cat pee” (nostalgic sniff). Well, but I bet they’re glad you’re back, popsy!

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