Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Let the hippies be

After I came out against the Park Slope Food Co-op, readers might expect me to be equally negative about the pseudo-hippie artistic types who've set up a commune in Bushwick. And indeed, I once wrote a somewhat critical piece about these sorts of living arrangements. But while they're not for me (even if the Bushwick commune bears a superficial--though not economic--resemblance to the apartment I live in), I can't say I'm opposed. People have a right to be insufferable--or rebellious, depending how you see things--within the privacy of their own homes. Setting up an exclusive, interview-only community, where residents take pride in how different their pursuits are from typical American ones while owning iPods (see the slideshow), attending graduate school, having boyfriends, and getting clothes dry-cleaned, is just one of an infinite number of ways to set up one's living arrangement. True, to live in such an situation you'd probably have to be unmarried, but not necessarily, and presumably many members will eventually marry and leave, given their ages, so it seems unlikely that this set-up is a permanent one for most who are involved. The residents are not suggesting that anyone who doesn't pick up and move to a Bushwick commune is yuppie scum, they just like having a lot of roommates who share their creative/pretentious preferences, roll their own cigarettes, and so forth. They do not claim to be saving the world, are not exactly gentrifiers--ten people with two bathrooms will not attract a Starbucks, even if many of the ten are white--but just decided to live in a setting in which they'll feel comfortable.

But, as a Gawker commenter points out (albeit far more elegantly), $800 a month is a bit steep for co-operative living in a dangerous neighborhood. Non-hippie living arrangements in the city can be found for less, and in more gentrified areas. And what a good thing that is.


Petey said...

Good lord. What is the world coming to? Phoebe gets relaxed about the Bohos. Next thing you know, you'll be hanging out at Galapagos.

"They ... are not exactly gentrifiers--ten people with two bathrooms will not attract a Starbucks, even if many of the ten are white"

But they are the inevitable leading edge of gentrification. Bushwick will be happenin' in 10 years.

Anonymous said...

"...ten people with two bathrooms will not attract a Starbucks..."
Right, they'll be attracted to a Starbucks.