The Daniel Boone of Jersey City

The Daniel Boone of Jersey City, Nick
Mamatas, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood
The horror! In this amusing account of how quickly one can change
from victim to perpetrator, Nick Mamatas traces his journey
west–from the lower east side of Manhattan, pushed by the
‘invisible hand’ of gentrification across the Hudson River to
working class Jersey City, where he himself became part of a new
wave of gentrification. Writing in the quirky Manhattan-based
webzine Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, Mamatas recounts
how he settled in Jersey City after losing rent control on
Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Then, like Daniel Boone spying chimney
smoke, Mamatas noticed after a few years that ‘the big boys of
finance capital have caught wind of this smallish city on the wrong
side of the river.’ In the next few years, wherever he went, it
seemed, ‘revitalization’ followed. It wasn’t long, however, before
he realized he was clearing the path, hacking away the urban jungle
and helping his friends from the city move in, to boot. ‘Ew,
Jersey, I can hear them all say,’ writes Mamatas, ‘but they’ll
follow me eventually, and I’ll have played my part in the
destruction of another working class neighborhood.’
–Amanda
Luker
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