A few years ago when he was hawking his Absolut Vodka flavor, we interviewed Spike Lee and, to put it mildly, he wasn't very interested in discussing the gentrification of Brooklyn. With the release of his new movie, Red Hook Summer, he's back out there giving interviewers a hard time, with the payout of pull quotes a plenty. Most recently, Vulture talked to the director at length, asking what happened to "Mookie’s Brooklyn."
"It’s so different. But it’s all different. There’s gentrification of Cobble Hill. Fort Greene’s gentrified, Harlem was gentrified, Bed-Stuy’s gentrified, and Williamsburg is gentrified. People lived on the Lower East Side and got priced out of there. Then you moved to Williamsburg—oh, it became too hip. Now they are going to Bushwick. What is going to happen to Bushwick? Next thing, after Coney Island, there is the Atlantic Ocean."
When asked about the gentrification of Staten Island, he burns the borough, saying, "I’m sure that will be the last resort."
As far as the gentrification of his old neighborhoods goes, it turns out Lee is totally cool with all the wheat-germ and Pilates places that have taken over his old 'hood, but what really grinds his gears is that the kids aren't playing stickball anymore—"What bothers me is that these kids do not know the street games we grew up with. Stoop ball, stickball, cocolevio, crack the top, down the sewer, Johnny on the pony, red light green light one-two-three. These are New York City street games."
Red Hook Summer will hit theaters on August 10th, and you can check out the trailer below—Think Progress calls it "2012′s Great Political Movie."