As a follow-up to recent postings on urban renewal and gentrification, here is a “found” flyer from a Chicago neighborhood I’ve heard described as “the Bushwick of Chicago.” As in: Latino, gentrifying. Pilsen is named for the Czech town of Plzen — Pilsner, a delicious type of lager beer is, too — because it was populated mainly by Czech immigrants in the early part of last century. As Czechs made a better life for themselves and probably moved out of the city to the suburbs, Chicago’s growing Latino population moved in.
I get the idea that “hipster” gentrification has a frontier mentality that can be quasi-racist, or just plain ignorant. But “hipsters” (I apologize for the scare-quotes, but I can’t write that word without them), like Latinos, just want a place to live. Their enemy is not one another, but a system and culture that would pit them against one another in this fashion.
Note: The Fillmore in San Francisco was Japantown before WWII. It was the biggest Japantown in the States, ever, if I’m not mistaken. The WWII war machine turned the Fillmore into the Harlem of the West: the Japanese were interned, Southern blacks came to the West looking for work with the Navy. I wish cities worked differently, but a static city is a dead one.
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