East Harlem Gentrification Watch: Diary of a Gentrifier

"I am the face of gentrification," writes blogger Zachary Wilson, who lives in East Harlem and interns at a magazine (thanks Google!). And the Mississippi transplant is very willing to talk about life as a gentrifier, from overheard conversations in which natives reminisce about the taxi-free neighborhood of old, to the reassuring late-night waves from passing NYPD officers. He's come to grips with the impact of his presence on the neighborhood ("Whether gentrification is a good thing or a bad thing, I think it's inevitable"), but he's still unsure as to why he got such a better deal on a place than his friends on the Upper East Side:

I have two friends who share a studio apartment on East 94th Street and Madison Avenue for $1800 a month. Meanwhile, a mere ten blocks up but seven blocks into Harlem, I pay $1740 for a full two bedroom with a living room and kitchen. We ride the same subway, I just get off one stop after them. How is it possible that the two different areas might as well be two different worlds?

An interesting question. It probably has something to do with all the peeping Toms.
· Above the Upper East Side [And How]For more stories from Curbed, go to curbed.com.

Copyright CURBD
Contact Us