Tuesday, October 15, 2019

13th Street, 1982

Here's a film worth seeing. In tandem with the Undesign the Redline interactive installation currently at the Art Mobile in Thomas Green Park, the Fifth Avenue Committee will be showing the 1982 Erik Lewis documentary Where Can I Live - A Story of Gentrification on October 26th. The film examines the harassment and displacement of working-class Black and Brown Park Slope tenants in the early 1980s. Its main focus is on a group of 13th Street residents fighting to protect their homes and their community. The film was shot just as the Ansonia Clock Factory was being redeveloped as co-operative housing, as were a number of smaller multi-family rental buildings, and as landlords & developers were emptying buildings as fast as they could to maximize rents & property conversions.

Where Can I Live reminds us of just how much more diverse Park Slope used to be - both racially & economically.  A neighborhood that loses that diversity is always a diminished one.

The film will be shown at 12:30 at 621 Degraw Street, home of the Fifth Avenue Committee. You can also watch it online, on Vimeo.  A word of warning: the online film has a very uneven sound quality, making some parts of it inaudible.  I imagine the screening at FAC will have overcome those issues.

Where Can I Live - A Story of Gentrification from Erik Lewis on Vimeo.

Looks like this film is no longer available, but here's a link to regional libraries that have copies either on VHS tape or on DVD. 

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