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The Last Bohemia: Scenes from the Life of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (2012)
by Robert Anasi
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374533318, Paperback)
A firsthand account of the swift transformation of Williamsburg, from factory backwater to artists’ district to trendy hub and high-rise colony
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is now so synonymous with hipster culture and the very idea of urban revitalization—so well-known from Chicago to Cambodia as the playground for the game of ironized status-seeking and lifestyle one-upmanship—that it’s easy to forget how just a few years ago it was a very different neighborhood: a spread of factories, mean streets and ratty apartments that the rest of New York City feared and everyone but artists with nowhere else to go left alone.
Robert Anasi hasn’t forgotten. He moved to a $300-a-month apartment in Williamsburg in 1994, and watched as the area went through a series of surreal transformations: the warehouses became lofts, secret cocaine bars became sylized absinthe parlors, barrooms became stage sets for inde-rock careers and rents rose and rose—until the local artists found that their ideal of personal creativity had served the aims of global commerce, and that their neighborhood now belonged to someone else.
Tight, passionate, and provocative, The Last Bohemia is at once a celebration of the fever dream of bohemia, a lament for what Williamsburg has become and a cautionary tale about the lurching transformations of city neighborhoods throughout the United States.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:03 -0400)
A former resident describes the transformation of Williamsburg, Brooklyn which went from a gritty industrial district, to an artist's colony, to housing members of the dot-com boom, to an area now known for hipster culture and real-estate development.
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