Saturday, November 21, 2015

the gentrification of Durham

On the way from my oh-so-chic converted tobacco warehouse lofts to the Farmers' Market (more kale! red mustard greens!), one passes a few lots that are still derelict and doubtless awaiting development, with rusting pieces of machinery on them, and some old cars, at least one of which has a tarp or awning fixed up over it, and seems to be lived in.  And today - a little way away from this, so we're likely looking at a population of an indeterminate size, here, there were clothes, and a blanket, and a teddy bear drying out, presumably after Thursday's rains.  I've been reading Dora Apel's new book, Beautiful Terrible Ruins.  Detroit and the Anxiety of Decline, which has a good deal to say about ruin lust, and ruin porn, and redevelopment, and the important question of whom redevelopment of decaying cities actually serves, when it comes to communities, and of course the juxtaposition of rusting vehicles and loft apartments sets up such questions with an almost caricatured degree of obviousness.  But that bear - that bear speaks to a level of resilience that must be catered to, and it does so with unpremeditated poignancy.  

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