On going north
The great irony of being a hipster is that there are so many of them. They come into a down-and-out neighbourhood because the rent is cheap and the early ones can pretend that they are way more authentic than their friends who still live at home ("Pushed out," Feature by Hilary Beaumont, August 8). But then they all start to come and before you know it you're sitting in a funky cafe drinking your skim milk decaf latte and eating an almond croissant the size of your face, surrounded by strollers, and realizing that even though it's mid-August, everyone is wearing a scarf. Because this year they're all the rage. Or didn't you know?
Diversity for hipsters means the number of cool eateries you have in your neighbourhood---not how many poor ethnic people live around you. Who wants to be around smelly people?!
The poor are always the first to go. For 10 years I watched as wave after wave of hipster gentrifier came into my down-and-out lower east end neighbourhood in Toronto. They brought their Starbucks and their antiques and their cheese shops. And then they brought their furniture stores and their charcuterries. And then they brought their cafes. So many cafes.
The price of real estate quadrupled in a decade. Now it's the most fashionable place for families-to-be.
Sorry poor, original down-on- your-luck north-enders. It's off to Spryfield or North Dartmouth, for you.
As for me, I think I'll cycle up there (because cycling's cool) and get a gourmet burger (hand-killed beef), and maybe some imported sea-salt fries. Maybe I'll stroll along Kaye Street and look for a little vanity table for our newly renovated bathroom. —S.J. Hines, Halifax
I am a senior and a former resident of Vancouver. As a result I am familiar with alternative press and lots of it. This note is to let you know how much I appreciate your/our paper. It gets better and better! But this week's cover is FANTASTIC! It's about time we stop being polite about what is happening to this city and pull out all the stops. A great cover and a new career for your artist. This city is experiencing some of the worst urban abuse I have seen to date.
The editor and all the staff deserve a huge thank-you from the residents of Halifax for attempting to draw attention to the terrible management or mismanagement of the city. Such destruction in Halifax has a long history, including Africville, but today the standards of destruction are much higher. The abuse is unbelievable and soon this city will not resemble the Senior City by the Atlantic it always has been. Halifax historically will be no more. It has to stop. —Diane Voripaieff, Hammonds Plains
I'm not sure I see the real problem. There are many places I cannot live as well, even though I don't receive rent-geared-to-income subsidy. People who do receive this subsidy may be living in social housing, which targets rent at the necessary level, and this housing isn't being redeveloped. The open market housing for people on low-income is tighter because it's impossible to make money from building 100 percent low-income housing, and the province doesn't put enough money into subsidies for new stock/rents. There are, however places to go that may not be in the neighbourhood. Services follow where patrons go.
If you can find housing elsewhere maybe the question is: What is the importance of neighbourhood identity and sense of place? Do people have rights to their neighbourhood? At what point is your neighbourhood YOURS and you then have more rights to it? Should people have the right to keeping their children in one school for the entirety of their schooling? What about landowners---should they have the rights to rent to the highest renter? How far is appropriate to have someone move to find housing?
If I were a longtime homeowner on Creighton Street and I were to sell my home---should I be limited to selling it for less-than-market value to a landlord renting out to people on low income? —posted by Mary T. Thomas at the coast.ca