I just got back from an amazing trip to New York where I was meeting with Placemaking experts, the DUMBO Improvement District and creative agencies for inspiration for future work projects.
On Saturday I went on a Municipal Art Society tour of East Williamsburg and Bushwick which was absolutely fascinating. Our guide took us all over the neighborhood and described the socio-economic background of different communities and subcultures, shared the rich and varied history of the neighborhood and tried to explain each delicate layer. Towards the end, a local activist came and yelled at us for touring his neighborhood. He accused us of being white people exotifing his home and scouting to buy real estate...which was not true as most people in the tour were New Yorkers genuinely interested in learning about the history-the real messy history-of Bushwick and I don't think any of them were looking to buy real estate. However,
I can understand his point of view and it must be hard to see your neighborhood transform and want to blame someone--it's just a shame he blamed the very people that were willing to listen to his story, that wanted to listen to his story until he became so abrasive and anti-for anti-sake that he just seemed nuts.
I think after that was when I got a little overwhelmed. All communities change and blend and evolve, and some are much more complicated than others, and there's not always a clear path for all the members of the community to evolve with it, which causes pain and deteriorates what some people think is theirs. But before that it really was someone else's and for better or worse it will probably be someone else's again soon.
I realized I needed to back for my west coast trip next week and I needed more water color paper. So I stopped at the Blick in SOHO, changed my train and came back to DC.
Here are some practice water colors I made while attempting to pack: