Monday, March 13, 2023

The fully homogenized Greenwich Village

Every now and then I'll see an old movie that makes a reference to those wacky bohemian artist-types who live in Greenwich Village, and it's always a shock from an early 21st-century perspective. 

Greenwich Village has been on the road to rich person domination for several decades now, but a recent article in the New Yorker makes it clear that it has just about completed its transformation, much like Disney completely transformed Times Square:

Perhaps it is also why so many have schemed to take over a money-losing local newspaper, and why so many followed its coverage and, later, its apparent theft. For Villagers, WestView provided a bit of friction in a neighborhood whose bustling tenements have been replaced by single-family mansions, and where life has become largely frictionless. One day, Capsis noted to me that the block has become eerily quiet. Some weekends, it seems that all the residents have left town for their vacation homes. The WestView saga, at least, gave its participants something to talk about. The squabbles, rumors, and side-taking enacted something like a community.

As the article mentions elsewhere, the only people who remember the bohemian days of Greenwich Village are very old.

And when, every so often, some friction is introduced, it outrages the wealthy of Greenwich Village.

Now that the wealthy have homogenized and deadened Greenwich Village, as they inevitably do to any place they gather in large numbers, perhaps it will lose its cachet and its properties will lose value and the cycle will begin again.