Making our residence in one of the more unique neighborhoods on the west coast- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiteaker,_Eugene,_Oregon we thought the subject of gentrification would be one we could easily identify with. We’ve gone from having neighbors found dead of overdose in their driveway, to intentionally giving the wrong directions to well bred aging hipsters. Remember Otho from Beetlejuice?
It seems as if there’s a new Otho on the block every week these days, but we still make room for the burnouts, weirdos, shut ins, homeless, could have beens, should have beens, beatiful losers, dreamers and inbetweeners.
Such is not the case however, in 2005’s NYC lower east side documentary Bowery Dish. Covering everything from the jobless alcoholic who runs errands for a few dollars to make rent in a flophouse, to the the trendy new Restaurants that require their own publicist, Bowery Dish paints a very heavy picture of this neighborhoods destruction and revival known as gentrification. The question posed is “are we gaining taste but losing flavor?” It’s that question that leads one to consider what happens when the dust of these trends settles, and economic hardship comes to a point where there’s no clientele to frequent these establishments. These are the issues that are implied, so of course there are no real answers, just theories like the ones supplied by an NYU professor and interview subject.
This film is for anyone who remembers their old neighborhood or enjoys finding treasures at second hand stores.