Bushwick news website The Burning Bush (which had to go by the domain name burningbushwick.com because theburningbush.com was already taken by a religious fundamentalist) has recently learned that in addition to Bushwick being a hub for drug dealers and dregs of society (though it seems like not that much has changed in this regard) in the 70s and 80s, it was also constantly burning.
Whether out of boredom/because it was a quintessentially 80s thing for homeless people to start fires in trash cans to keep warm, blazes were going off right and left in Bushwick during its era of decay. Ironically enough, it was a time when white people were discouraged from moving in to the neighborhood, nullifying the entire gentrification/colonialism “issue” that’s been plaguing the area of late.
Even back then, the landlords were Hasidic, and often employed bullying tactics to get the people they wanted into the neighborhood–or out of it. All in all, the constantly burning fires served as a symbol to punctuate the tumultuous nature of Bushwick at the time. Now, the only symbol we’ve got is The Burning Bush logo, designed with Bushwick’s former self burning in effigy in mind.
Written by Genna Rivieccio