When urban decay becomes a set piece to be remodeled or romanticised. This is hipster economics.
Gentrifiers focus on aesthetics, not people. Because people, to them, are aesthetics.
Proponents of gentrification will vouch for its benevolence by noting it “cleaned up the neighbourhood”. This is often code for a literal white-washing. The problems that existed in the neighbourhood - poverty, lack of opportunity, struggling populations denied city services - did not go away. They were simply priced out to a new location.
That new location is often an impoverished suburb, which lacks the glamour to make it the object of future renewal efforts. There is no history to attract preservationists because there is nothing in poor suburbs viewed as worth preserving, including the futures of the people forced to live in them. This is blight without beauty, ruin without romance: payday loan stores, dollar stores, unassuming homes and unpaid bills. In the suburbs, poverty looks banal and is overlooked.
In cities, gentrifiers have the political clout - and accompanying racial privilege - to reallocate resources and repair infrastructure. The neighbourhood is “cleaned up” through the removal of its residents. Gentrifiers can then bask in “urban life” - the storied history, the selective nostalgia, the carefully sprinkled grit - while avoiding responsibility to those they displaced.
— Sarah Kendzior, The peril of hipster economics
"Did you ever say yes to a pleasure? Oh my friends, then you also said yes to all pain. All things are linked, entwined, in love with one another." - Friedrich Nietzsche
"I act and react, and suddenly I wonder “Where is the girl that I was last year?..Two years ago?..What would she think of me now?" - Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals