Easter has me thinking about saving. So I thought I would highlight a campaign I very much like today, #SaveNYC.
#SaveNYC is a grassroots campaign with ever widening support devised by longtime anti-gentrification herald and effusive lover of New York City, Jeremiah Moss (a pseudonym). In the campaign’s own words “As our vibrant streetscapes and neighborhoods are turned into bland, suburban-style shopping malls, filled with chain stores and glossy luxury retail, #SaveNYC is fighting for small businesses and cultural institutions to remain in place.”
Astorians who know me know I carry a torch for the longtime establishments in the neighborhood, especially mom and pop shops and family run restaurants, so the #SaveNYC campaign appeals to me strongly.
Another thing that appeals about the campaign and its creator is the advancement of the strongest explanation for the current state of our city that I have heard articulated yet. In a recent interview with Huck Magazine, Moss says:
“New York, like other global cities, is also experiencing a reversal of the white flight trend of the mid-20th century. Urbanist Richey Piiparinen calls this back-to-the-city movement “white infill.” In short, young white people from the upper classes are flocking to New York from the suburbs. Many of them bring their suburban tastes and lifestyles with them. They want chain stores. They want Starbucks and Olive Garden. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. When you scratch the surface of that sentiment, it’s apparent that they don’t actually like the city. They are afraid of, and often disgusted by, the truly urban.”
As chain stores begin to proliferate in Astoria, as rents rise driving out long time residents, as glass box towers go up, ready to be filled with folks seeking something other than diversity, folks intent on creating a city with no past, made in the image of their own tastes, and likes and dislikes, saving NYC seems like an essential thing for us to do.
Find out more about the #SaveNYC campaign here, and get involved today.
Sign the petition to Support the Small Business Jobs Survival Act at Change.org.