The Last Bohemia

The Last Bohemia

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A firsthand account of the swift transformation of Williamsburg, from factory backwater to artists' district to trendy hub and high-rise colony Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is now so synonymous with hipster culture and the very idea of urban revitalizationa€”so well-known from Chicago to Cambodia as the playground for the game of ironized status-seeking and lifestyle one-upmanshipa€”that it's easy to forget how just a few years ago it was a very different neighborhood: a spread of factories, mean streets and ratty apartments that the rest of New York City feared and everyone but artists with nowhere else to go left alone. Robert Anasi hasn't forgotten. He moved to a $300-a-month apartment in Williamsburg in 1994, and watched as the area went through a series of surreal transformations: the warehouses became lofts, secret cocaine bars became sylized absinthe parlors, barrooms became stage sets for inde-rock careers and rents rose and rosea€”until the local artists found that their ideal of personal creativity had served the aims of global commerce, and that their neighborhood now belonged to someone else. Tight, passionate, and provocative, The Last Bohemia is at once a celebration of the fever dream of bohemia, a lament for what Williamsburg has become and a cautionary tale about the lurching transformations of city neighborhoods throughout the United States.After crawling around the site that night, I stepped back through the slashed fence and made my way to the street, sedans from Northside Car Service parked in a line, drivers dozing as they waited for radios to squawk. It was so quiet I couldanbsp;...

Title:The Last Bohemia
Author:Robert Anasi
Publisher:Macmillan - 2012-08-07


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