Did you guys know that Williamsburg isn't as cheap as it used to be? Were those high-class infant apparel stores that opened up on the waterfront any indication? No? Oh, okay, well, maybe this will help put things into perspective: now even the artists are being priced out.
We already knew that Secret Project Robot, Monster Island and Mollusk Surf Shop were being demolished, possibly to make way for a Whole Foods. Today, the Brooklyn Paper takes a look at a number of other artist and gallery spaces who are being forced out. “This is a dramatically changing neighborhood,” said Not an Alternative gallery's Beka Economopoulos. “The hipster is on its way out and there is a new breed of resident here now.” Not an Alternative is being forced out of their Havemeyer Street location after seven years following a 240% rent increase. They plan to build a new space elsewhere in Brooklyn.
Other displaced galleries include Cinders, who were first priced out of their Havemeyer Street space (just up the street from Not an Alternative!) last winter and then kicked out again from their newer space on Marcy Avenue this summer. Momenta Art and Nurture Art have both left their Williamsburg spaces in recent months and moved into a new location in Bushwick, the latest hotspot for the north Brooklyn art scene. (At least until the Times comes along and ruins that, too.)
Economopoulos sums it up to the Paper thusly: “At our space we were dedicated to how we can leverage our role as hipsters to do something about gentrification. But we fell victim to the very narrative that we aimed to intercept.” And so it goes, Williamsburg. So it goes.