Gentrifying Hipsters Mad That Target Is Gentrifying CBGB
In July, Target opened up it’s new boutique store in the East Village, New York, paying tribute to rock club CBGB and the neighborhood is not happy. The rock club closed its doors in 2006 and, while it has been closed for over ten years, the music that rose from this club-- the Ramones, Blondie and more-- still lives on. Because of its resemblance and stylish similarity to to CBGB, many of its gentrifying neighbors are accusing Target of once again “gentrifying their neighborhood.”
Many neighbors feel this has been a commodification of their local neighborhood culture. Chad, a caucasian NYU student originally from Portland, Maine, finds Target's gentrification to be “tasteless.” Originally moving to NYC to study philosophy, Chad responded to the store opening, “I really like the East Village. I like to wake up in the morning, buy myself cold brew from Whole Foods, ride my CitiBike to work, and pay the reasonable price of $2,000 for a studio. I don’t want that integrity to be lost because of capitalist, corporate greed.”
Jennifer, the President of the East Village Voice, an organization represented by community members concerned with an array of community issues, feels the actions taken by Target are tasteless. A banker who never went to CBGB when it was open because of its “risky crowd,” Jennifer felt strongly about the actions of Target. Jennifer stated, “CBGB was part of our culture in the East Village. Yes, I may have never attended because of a concerning crowd dabbling in drugs and excessive drinking, but it makes us who we are today. CBGB is not just some Disney ride that Target could syndicate; trust me, CBGB was one ride you did not want to ride. I was more of a Studio 54 kinda girl myself.”
While the city council and Mayor Bill de Blasio have not responded to this gentrifying opening, the governmental body representing the district, Community Board Three, responded during their open board meeting. The Community Board seemed confused by store, mistaking it for the reopening of CBGB rather than a fake version of it produced by Target. Community Board Chair Meredith Johnson exclaimed during their meeting, “We don’t want that ruckus of the CBGB mumbo jumbo filling the streets of our neighborhood again! All the drum playing and satanic worshiping needs to stop in the East Village.” No one corrected her throughout the meeting.
While Target has apologizes for the incident, there are no signs of an East Village exodus by the company. Neighbors and community members are extremely disappointed with the decision and statement. On an unrelated note, Target is having a half-off sale on all summer garments, so catch it before time runs out!
Photo by Adicarlo at English Wikipedia || CC-BY-SA-3.0 Unported