Sometimes when my mind wanders I pretend to write a book in my head. Recently I thought I could write "Gentrification, a love story. " First chapter would be of my hometown in Florida, where there is almost no reinvestment in the black part of town. None. Zip. Nada. Of course the Florida Real Estate bubble popping, no, exploding, destroying home values in its aftermath didn't help. My parents' neighbors let their house go into foreclosure and abandoned it because the cost to repair and fix it was beyond the house's worth. At times my mother has threatened to let the bank take her house because of some needed repair, which wasn't going to get done, needed to be done. An improvement to my childhood home would be to burn the damned thing down. It's worth more as charcoal. Meanwhile, my late grandmother's house (not the mean one) slowly rots away as my aunt has no financial incentive to sell it nor maintain it. This is the wonderland free of gentrification.
I really hadn't gotten past the 1st chapter in my head.Vaguely there would be a chapter about what my neighborhood didn't have when I first moved here, and what negatives it did have. A running theme would be to compare gentrifying areas with areas across America like my old neighborhood, maybe someplace in Detroit.
Neighborhoods are dynamic, they change over time. They can go up and people can get hurt, in the case of gentrification. A neighborhood can go down with people abandoning it leaving empty skeletons of what were once homes, and those who remain, hurt too.