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Thursday’s Headlines: Nice White Parents, Part II Edition

We wholeheartedly recommend Jonathan Lethem's latest New Yorker piece on the creation of "Boerum Hill." Plus other news.

12:00 AM EDT on August 31, 2023

Gersh Kuntzman|

Wyckoff Street in Boerum Hill.

Sure, it's not about street safety or road violence, but I wholeheartedly recommend Jonathan Lethem's New Yorker piece this week about the creation of "Boerum Hill."

Functioning as something of a bookend with the Times's "Nice White Parents" podcast from 2020, Lethem's piece explores the twisted vines of gentrification and racism, though neither term was widely thrown around in those days when the "renovators" "discovered" a trove of hundred-year-old buildings on a few blocks between a housing project and Atlantic Avenue — then set about building a new neighborhood ... in the name of (though not really the spirit of) "integration."

The fact that they chose the name of an old slaveholder for the neighborhood is the cherry on Lethem's extraordinary piece, which, of course, is informed by his magazine's writing about the neighborhood and Lethem's own childhood growing up in one of the very houses described therein.

Just a great piece of journalism and writing. Please read it. Then comment below.

In other news from an excruciatingly slow day:

  • The Daily News editorial board offered full-throated support for speed cameras after the Department of Transportation's latest report showing their efficacy. Oddly, Tom Wrobleski hasn't weighed in on the report yet.
  • Curbed wrote about how e-bike owners are getting around the rash of new bans.
  • There's still time to sign Open Plans's letter of support for a Department of Transportation rule change that will finally bring sanity to "top of the T" intersections.
  • Don't look now, but people who have your credit card number can track your movements via the MTA's OMNY fare system. (Broken by 404 Media and confirmed by NYDN)
  • Get ready for lots of repair work on the M train. (amNY)
  • Nervous yet? Council Member Bob Holden's bill to require every legal e-bike to be registered with the DOT has 23 sponsors now, including many people who consider themselves livable streets supporters. Reminder: if this bill passes, it will dramatically reduce cycling, which will increase car travel and road violence. We'll have a lot more coverage of this soon.
  • And, finally, we liked this simple, yet effective, Streetfilms video about a new bike lane in Long Island City:

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