In Bushwick, the gentrification game is punctuated by a combination of delight and remorse (as are all the best things in life). On the one hand, you get to enjoy the bougie trappings of places like Hops & Hocks, Forrest Point and the local farmer’s market. But on the other, you’re the asshole who pushed out the people who were living in Bushwick since before you were born, like a goddamn colonialist. But, as the French say, “C’est la vie.” All we can do is feel disgrace and assess said culpability by tallying the top eight (yes, that’s a MySpace reference) most common symptoms of gentrifier’s guilt.
Giving money to performers, food sellers and pretty much anyone begging on the L train.
Shopping at thrift stores to make a point about how you’re still poor.
Never looking directly at a non-white person, lest you be “found out.”
Insisting that, by living in a three bedroom with five other people, you’re keeping the neighborhood affordable.
Lumping the topic of gentrification in the same category as other taboo topics like money, sexuality and religion.
Constantly talking about who broke you are, but always finding away to drown your sorrows/guilt at the bar.
Feeling semi-okay about paying seventeen dollars for a pizza at Roberta’s as it’s “supporting your local community.”
Letting randos stay on your couch whenever you meet a wayward one at the bar after drowning your sorrows/guilt with the alcohol you “can’t afford.”
Bonus symptom!: Watching every Spike Lee movie back to back to prove that you empathize with his infamous gentrification rant.
Written by Genna Rivieccio, sufferer of myriad gentrifier’s symptoms