The L Train Does Not Go to Bed-Stuy, and Other Things We’d Like to Tell the New York Post About Its Terrible Article About Bed-Stuy

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It’s not news anymore that Bed-Stuy has become more and more attractive to prospective home owners and renters from all over the city. But, you know, just because something is not news anymore doesn’t mean that certain media outlets in this city can refrain from jumping on a bandwagon already overflowing with opportunists. And so it goes with the New York Post, which decided to report from the front lines of a real estate fight that is long since over (spoiler: gentrifying forces are winning) in a recent article titled “Bed-Stuy Real Estate Is Through the Roof.”

While the headline is innocuous enough, the content of the article manages to be not only bigoted and full of racial coding, but also factually inaccurate. Impressive! Jennifer Gould Kiel, the writer of the article—which is ostensibly about how many people are willing to move to Bed-Stuy because at least it isn’t New Jersey—manages not only to work in a reference to gang violence (“these days, the bloodiest turf wars in Bed-Stuy involve multimillion-dollar real-estate deals;” ha ha?), but also betrays total ignorance about anything having to do with the neighborhood other than how it was the location of a decades-old film (“the once-gritty outer-borough nabe, best known to outsiders from Spike Lee’s 1989 racial-tension drama ‘Do the Right Thing'”). Kiel also chose to talk to the kind of realtor who considers Bed-Stuy to be “the far regions of the universe,” rather than an area that is accessible by several subway lines and, for those places close to the A, a mere 30 minutes to downtown Manhattan, which is, presumably, “the universe” of which that realtor speaks. Perhaps most egregiously, though, is the article’s kicker, which states: “As long as the neighborhoods are on the hipster ‘L’ subway line, expect gentrification to continue.”

Which, well. Though served by the A, C, G, J,and M, Bed-Stuy is NOT accessible by the L train. The most basic fact-checking could have been helpful in that regard! But beyond that, even, the entire tone of this article is so tone-deaf and insulting to the thousands of people who have been living in Bed-Stuy even before Uma Thurman considered investing in a place there for her brother. Bed-Stuy doesn’t matter just because people who work at Vogue now know it exists. And basing an entire article on the explicit promotion of the gentrification of a neighborhood that you don’t know even the most basic facts about is beyond insulting and downright disgusting. But maybe we shouldn’t worry too much, because if the kind of people that are moving to Bed-Stuy are the sort of “savvy buyer” that only just realized the neighborhood’s proximity to literal neighbor Clinton Hill, then maybe this whole invasion of every last affordable neighborhood in Brooklyn is only a fleeting thing. Because if “savvy” now translates to “can look at a map,” then these people will all die out from natural selection sooner or later, right? Here’s hoping.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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  1. Bed-Stuy does still have serious problems with gang violence and has for decades. It is not “bigoted” or “racially coded” to acknowledge this reality.

  2. Don’t worry ; few, if any, of the yahoos who read the Post would ever consider moving to Bed-Stuy, or anywhere in brownstone Brooklyn.