THE CHANGING FACE OF NEW YORK

The City Council recently passed a rezoning measure that will impact Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. How will this affect the community? Photographer Nathan Kensinger is here with his views.

Aired on April 17, 2018.

 

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TRANSCRIPT

> THE BRONX IS JEROME'S AVENUE IS HOME A BUSTLING COLLECTION OF AUTO BODY SHOPS SLAUGHTERHOUSES AND VARIETY OF OTHER SMALL BUSINESSES.

AND MARCH 22nd THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED A REZONING MEASURE FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD AFFECTING 92 BLOCKS OF THE AVENUE.

THE PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL CHANGES THIS PLAN BRINGS ARE AROUND THE CORNER.

BUT WHAT CAN LOCALS EXPECT?

CURBED NEW YORK'S RECENT ESSAY WHAT HAPPENS TO JEROME AVENUE AFTER THE REZONING VISUALLY DOCUMENTS THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE OF THE COMMUNITY AND DISCUSSING GROWING CONCERN OF THE IMPENDING GENTRIFICATION.

THE THE EE IS A SAY AUTHOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER JOINS US TO DISCUSS THIS.

NATHAN WELCOME TO YOU.

THANK YOU.

FOR FOLKS THAT MIGHT NOT BE AS FAMILIAR WITH THE AREA HERE, MIGHT HAVE HEARD ME SAY SHOPS, SLAUGHTERHOUSES.

YES.

AND OTHER TYPES OF BUSINESSES.

GIVE US A BETTER SENSE OF EXACTLY WHAT -- WHAT THAT STRETCH LOOKS LIKE NOW.

YEAH, SO BASICALLY WHAT THE CITY HAS DONE IS REZONED ABOUT 92 BLOCKS OF LAND AROUND JEROME AVENUE.

AND ALONG JEROME AVENUE ITSELF YOU HAVE FOUR TRAINS RIGHT ABOVE A LITTLE AVENUE MAINLY ONE AND TWO STORY WAREHOUSES, LOW BUILDING, MOSTLY AUTO BODY SHOPS.

ABOUT 200 AUTO BODY SHOPS THERE.

AND A WHOLE COLLECTION OF KIND OF SIDE STREET BUSINESS NAS INCLUDE LIKE CHURCHES, MOSQUES, RESTAURANTS, SLAUGHTERHOUSES, LIVE CHICKEN SLAUGHTERHOUSES.

WAS THERE SIGNIFICANT OBJECTION TO THIS?

THE ZONING PROCESS CAN BE VERY CUMBERSOME.

HOW DID THIS PAY PLAY OUT.

THIS LIKE A LOT OF REZONING IN THE CITY HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE CONCERNED ABOUT IT, A LOT OF PROTESTS THAT HAPPENED AROUND THE JEROME AVENUE REZBL.

WHAT WERE THE CONCERNING.

YOU ARE LOOKING AT NEIGHBORHOOD WITH MALL SBISS, LITERALLY MALL BUSINESSES AND WORRIED ABOUT LOSING THAT, THE LITTLE AUTO BODY SHOPS BUT LOSE THE FABRIC OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

WHAT IS THAT?

FOR THE FOLKS THAT ARE THERE?

YEAH.

WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT THE NOTION OF THE FEAR OF GENTRIFICATION.

UM-HUM.

HOW DOES THAT APPLY HERE DO YOU THINK?

WELL, I MEAN YOU LOOK AT THIS NEIGHBORHOOD.

IT'S AN EXTREMELY DIVERSE NEIGHBORHOOD.

IT'S VERY WORKING CLASS NEIGHBORHOOD.

AND IF YOU GO IN THERE AND YOU REMOVE, YOU KNOW, HUNDREDS OF JOBS, HUNDREDS OF BUSINESSES AND REPLACE IT WITH SOMETHING ELSE THAT'S REALLY GOING TO CHANGE THE ECONOMIC MAKEUP OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD?

IS THIS A COMMERCIAL DARWINISM WE MIGHT SEE PLAYING OUT.

I DON'T KNOW IF THAT TERM REPLIES.

I THINK IT IS.

WHERE YOU HAVE BIGGER BETTER BUSINESSES SAYING WE MIGHT TAKE OVER AND PUT THE SMALL ARE NOT SO GOOD BUSINESS -- YOU SAID HUNDREDS OF BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT SHOPS.

WAY DO WE NEED HUNDREDS OF BODY SHOPS HERE?

HOW DO YOU THINK THAT WILL PLAY OUT.

I MEAN, I THINK IT'S IN THE BIGGER SENSE IT'S LIKE A DIFFERENT VISION FOR WHAT NEW YORK CITY SHOULD BE IN THE FUTURE.

WE HAVE THIS CITY THAT, YOU KNOW IS EXTREMELY DIVERSE, TONS OF SMALL BUSINESSES, HAS NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE DEDICATED TO YOU KNOW AUTO BODY SHOPS OR SLAUGHTERHOUSES OR INDUSTRY.

AND WE'RE LOSING THAT.

WE'RE LOSING THAT ACROSS THE CITY.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS AREA IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE SHORTLY.

IT HAS PROMISED MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING, NEW PARKS, BETTER INFRASTRUCTURE.

ALL OF WHICH SOUNDS GREAT.

SOUNDS GREAT.

BUT I'M MORE INTERESTED IN WHAT WE ARE LOSING IN NEW YORK WHAT WE'RE LOSING IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD.

THAT'S -- I REALLY THINK WHAT WE LOSE THERE IS THIS DIVERSITY MAKING NEW YORK CITY GREAT.

DIVERSITY OF SMALL BUSINESSES, DIVERSITY OF PEOPLE, DIVERSITY OF, YOU KNOW, INSTITUTIONS, NEIGHBORHOOD INSTITUTIONS.

SO IT'S HARD TO SAY HOW EXACTLY THIS REZONING IS PLAYING OUT.

IT'S TAKING YEARS AND YEARS FOR THIS TO KIND OF COME TO FRUITION.

BUT I THINK PEOPLE'S FEARS ABOUT LOSING SOME ASPECT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARE WELL-FOUNDED.

WELL I THINK IT'S ANOTHER REPLAYING OF THIS KIND OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DRAMA THAT WE SEE PLAYING OUT IN THE STREETS OF NEW YORK CITY.

AND THIS WILL BE AN INTERESTING THING TO KEEP AND EYE ON WITH.

. NATHAN THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS.

IT'S COMPELLING TO SEE THE LANDSCAPE CHANGE.

WE'LL SEE WHETHER IT'S A GOOD THING OR A BAD THING.

WE APPRECIATE YOUR ASPEN BEING TIME WITH US.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

TAKE CARE.

Funders

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