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Recommended reading

💻 When Black people move in, white people move out. It’s an old pattern that still plays strong in cities across the US. When the whites go, nearby businesses go with them — even though the Blacks that move in are likely of the same socioeconomic class. But this begins the neighborhood’s inevitable decline. Pete Saunders asks: how can we keep Black neighborhoods in the mainstream? Read The Life Cycle of Black Urban Neighborhoods

Cameron Fence
Pentax ME, 50mm f/1.7 SMC Pentax-M, Kodak Panatomic-X (expired), LegacyPro L110 Dilution B, 2020

💻 Marcus Peddle shares thoughts and photos of the scooter culture in Korea, where he lives. Read Scooters

💻 By every measure, it’s harder for young adults to day to succeed financially than it was for their parents. But that doesn’t mean today’s young adults have to fully be victims of their circumstance. You can still get ahead. Scott Galloway offers a plan: focus, stoicism, time, diversification. Read The Algebra of Wealth

💻 You might know Louis Armstrong primarily for his song, What A Wonderful World. J. P. Cavanaugh looks at his whole life, including his early music. He was an incredibly influential jazz musician in his day. Read Louis Armstrong Plays West End Blues – And Therein Invents Modern Jazz

📷 I’d never heard of the Mamiya 35D, and neither had Giacomo D’Agostini when he found and bought one. He put it through its paces and gave it a review. Read Mamiya 35D review

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16 thoughts on “Recommended reading

  1. Andy Umbo says:

    Interesting article about the change of neighborhoods from predominately white to black. I’ve always lived in neighborhoods that were “bridge” neighborhoods, so I’ve seen this going on for years. In addition, my parents last two houses were caught up in these changes as well, and as lower middle income people, they could not afford to lose money on a house! They passed away while owning their last house, and altho their neighborhood is currently more crime-ridden than when they moved in, it stabilized and is probably no worse than other “bridge” neighborhoods in the city.

    The last 2/3rd’s of my work life was working in retail advertising, so I have to comment here that one of the big neighborhood “killers” is when the retailers start abandoning neighborhoods! They leave blighted, empty buildings, and lack of services. One of the things I learned while working in retail is that generally each individual store has to pull it’s own weight: there’s no funding a losing store in the inner city with profits from more successful stores in the suburbs! When the “shortage” level (i.e. theft) gets to a certain point, that store gets closed if it can be done with the lease it holds etc. I’ve seen store shortage levels in the inner cities and bridge neighborhoods be in the double digit percentage level, when region wide it might be two or three points. Those stores won’t stay open.

    I will also say, one of the most stabilized areas I ever lived in was Oak Park, the first suburb West of Chicago, and home to the Frank Lloyd Wright home studio and a lot of arts and crafts houses. Oak Park had mortgage insurance; you could not lose money on your house! This resulted in people staying in their neighborhoods when the crime in Chicago reached the western borders. When you take the possibility of losing money on your property, due to racial changes in your neighborhood, it stabilize them. There are republican that consider this gross socialism, but it saved Oak Park!

    • Re: retail pulling out, that definitely bolsters the author’s point. Vacant retail looks like blight, too. Even if the adjacent neighborhoods are in good condition, the vacant retail signals it won’t be for long.

  2. My wife’s family experienced this very thing. They lived at 38th and Winthrop in Indianapolis, right near the State fairgrounds. The home had been in the family for a long time, but when the neighborhood began to change around 1970 it took them a long time to sell their house.

    I step back and wonder today if the concept of a “black neighborhood” isn’t a concept that needs to be rethought. Long ago there were Irish neighborhoods, German neighborhoods, Jewish neighborhoods, etc. All of those neighborhoods tended to group by ethnicity and there were people of all income levels there, for sort of a self-contained community. Those ethnic neighborhoods went away long ago as the ethnicities melted away as the primary focus of peoples’ lives. The problem with what people call “black neighborhoods” today is that they are poor neighborhoods with high crime. Black people have been moving to the exurbs and suburbs for decades and there has been no “white flight” in Carmel or Fishers. As hard as some are working to prove otherwise, I like to think we have mostly moved beyond the “us vs. them” mentality that either forced black people into “their” neighborhoods or made those residents feel the need to stick together. I could, of course, be wrong about this, but I hope not.

    • In my old neighborhood near 56th/Kessler/Cooper, this very thing played out. When I moved there in 1995 it was probably 40% Black. When I left in 2017 it was probably 75% Black. Slowly but surely during those years, more and more businesses closed. What followed, if something followed at all, wasn’t nearly the same caliber. The only exception is the opening of the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Michigan Road, which was a wonderful addition. But otherwise by the time I left shopping over there had gone from merely ok to terrible.

      • Andy Umbo says:

        To some extent, I agree with what JP was saying…no one moves out of their neighborhood because a black doctor, black lawyer, or black business man moves into it; they move because crime moves in, of any color, and property values drop. Virtually all segregation in a lot of secondary cities I’ve lived in, is really financial, not race based; altho you can certainly prove that education and opportunities for urban people of color has been “gamed” over the years to their disadvantage, and created this problem.

        Most people including my parents, are (were) barely affording their houses, at least at the start. Hopefully over a thirty year standard mortgage, your income rises and you get a little more breathing room; but if you’re locked in your house due to crime, and the value of your property starts dropping so you have no options, you are in trouble, and you will find it difficult to leave. You might not even be able to cover the amount owed if you sell.

        I live in an apartment building in a “bridge neighborhood” right now, and I live with many people from poor working class whites, to LatinX, and black. We are all complaining because our area has become a “go to” area for crime that the cops can’t seem to patrol. In the past two years, we’ve had car break-ins in the whole parking lot, two times, lately we’ve had 3 or 4 cars stolen out-right, and even had a person robbed at gun-point at 5am , while going to work. If you saw my neighborhood, you would not believe why this is happening here! The average house price for beautiful, well built 1920’s era homes is between 350-500K! I have excellent high-end grocery stores 5 minutes from me, that I can even walk to in the summer.

        But, people are already talking about moving out of my apartment because they will not stand for the crime, and when that happens, the apartment owner is going to get far more lax about vetting the people that are moving in here, in order to keep the place full, and then that’s going to cause even more people to leave. And then, you’re back in the “loop” of neighborhood downturn.

        • Crime is certainly one driver. But I think another driver is visual. Do the people who move in take good care of their property? (Often because the houses become rentals.) Do they drive older cars in poor repair? That’s what happened in my old neighborhood. As the original owners died, increasingly the houses were bought by landlords and rented out. People didn’t find these neighborhoods to be attractive anymore to own and reside in the homes.

          I remember renting in a complex when I moved to Indy in 1994. It was fine until, due to vacancies I presume, they started accepting Section 8. The quality of my neighbors went downhill fast and I started having trouble with minor crime, including a whole load of my jeans stolen from the dryer in the laundry room in my quad.

  3. Indiana is over 80 percent white (59% in New Jersey). My neighbourhood is 33% Asian. Regarding black neighbourhoods, as a Caribbean immigrant, I can say that there are nuances, at least on the east coast.

    https://scholarship.law.gwu.edu/faculty_publications/1213/

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.2050-411X.1989.tb00977.x

    https://scholarship.law.gwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2465&context=faculty_publications

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