The Ultimate Hipster Irony
The search among urbanites for that ideal “authentic” neighborhood, rife with rustic brownstones, a diverse, culturally robust population, artisans, galleries, vendors, mom-and-pop shops, and familiar pubs pulsating with local music, has not only become banal, it’s destroying the very “authenticity” being pursued. So confirms the research of Sharon Zukin, a professor of sociology at CUNY, who discusses her look into the history and effects of New York City’s pattern of gentrification in today’s Big Think interview.
The stream of hipsters (which, per the SoHo model, gradually turns to young professionals, then the occasional lawyer, then hedge-funders) “pioneering” new neighborhood with a more classic, chain-store-less urban feel harms the areas both by dramatically driving-up the cost of living and generating a new and oppressive ideal of taste.
As Zukin explains, the logic of gentrification is almost absurdly self-defeating, as the hunt for authenticity is inevitably followed up with lobbies for new zoning laws, and Starbucks, condos, IKEAs, and strangely hip sushi bars begin to pop up awkwardly alongside the newly formed monuments of counter-culture.
Zukin also outlines the historic pace of gentrification and why it has accelerated so dramatically since the 1980’s and provides a fascinating description of the social dynamics that have shaped the history of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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