Kristiane Weeks-Rogers

 

Your November 2017 red sandwich-board
screams beyond the north Denver brick-box district:

 

Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014.

 

Not many people get you, but I think I get you.

Ink, your sign is like a high-prime meme of me.
This meme is a two-part picture divided in half:
your now-famous sandwich board post at the top,
underneath, protestors outside your door with poster-boards decorated with help from Hobby Lobby.
This meme states in white caps:
WHEN YOUR SARCASM IS SO SARCASTIC PEOPLE DON’T KNOW YOU BEING SARCASTIC.

But I am picking up your sarcasm. I see what you’re doing
here.

According to Merriam-Webster on November 27th the lookup for definitions of
‘gentrification’ and ‘gentrify’
rose 2500%

This data speaks to me in two ways, Ink.
Foremost, this 2500% isn’t focusing on how your statement is really working.
They aren’t looking at the function of the word             ‘happily’

Ink, these people are taking your sign seriously—like anyone would seriously
say something like that seriously. Sarcasm, you fickle friend. I guess people
don’t like when someone jokes about how they really are. I see these haters of your sign
saying “Don’t joke about something we do seriously, here!”
Fuck those people.

Because I know it is the opposite that you are evoking. I get you’re saying not happily, rather,
you are saying unfortunately.

Unfortunately this neighborhood has been plowed down to build
condos that cost more than a house
and “eateries” with menus containing five plate items at twenty-five bucks a plate.

Unfortunately this neighborhood is turning into bougie bullshit where
one can’t get a full pound of coffee for sale, only twelve fucking ounces
and do you know how much this twelve-fucking-ounce bag of coffee costs?
A day’s worth of meals for the homeless woman across the block.

(Unfortunately the protestors didn’t mind when the homes were bulldozed over to build
the next installment of Snooze AM Eatery)

Ink, you know what has been done for you to get to River North.
You want to talk about it. Thank you for reaching out. Admittance is the first step to recovery.

And I see how people are angry at you, Ink, for focusing on the word GENTRIFICATION
because white people can’t stand
being reminded they are pushing minorities out of neighborhoods
can’t stand being blamed for the huge gap between rich and poor
can’t stand being blamed for displacement,
displacement
which has been stuck to the bottom of whatever boots
and straps Americans are always trying to fuck with,
gotta look your best while stomping down the truth–
because it’s the word GENTRIFICATION that touches the truth
hardest. That offends the upper class. It’s similar to calling someone
a racist. They will loose their fucking minds to be accused of something
so horrible, so fucking true.

GENTRIFICATION is the mirror, and, we don’t want to shine that mirror
on ourselves, we just want to know it’s there, more like on the other side of the wall,
no need to double-check
that image of ourselves.

We know it is there.

But, Ink, because of you, society is remembering what GENTRIFICATION is defined as, and whether
this is a negative or positive attribute of a city that never stops renovating. (i.e., gentrifying.)

You started a conversation across this country about a subject
that continuously is swept under the renovation rubble that looks just like the rubble in Denver’s River North area.

So, I respect you for causing a 2500% rise in the lookup of gentrification.

I respect you shining the mirror in the extremely gentrified neighborhood of River North as crass as that may be. (Sorry, River North. But not really.)

 

 

Best Regards,

A Nearby Neighbor

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