Hi readers: i just had to update you on my story “From Crack House To Condos” A story I Published about a month ago on Medium; here are the interview’s that i did for the story: I made sure that those people that did not want their name behind their statements was changed, and those that gave me the go-ahead to use their name in the story was acknowedged.

“From Crack House To Condos”


The Interviews

After knocking the door at 580, a young man name Nicolas opened and I gave him my pitch; hi my name is Jean Sanders and I’m doing a story about this neighborhood. I then ask if I could have five min; of his time? He said “I’ll give you one; I’m on my way out”. I said are you going to the train station?

Yes he said, I’ll walk with you if you don’t mind? Sure he said; as we walked the two and a half blocks to the L train station. I asked him how long he lives in that house.

About six months month’s he said, as we talked we pasted right by the guy that use to run the crack house that he was now living in, I had explained to him how the house was used as a crack den and how I used to be a part of that seen, “really he said”. On a later date I met up in the city, and over coffee I continued my interview with Nick, asking him, what was his view of the neighborhood?

Do you plan to stay? And if he had made any friends? Nick traveled the world and is very impressed with the different cultural and ethnic diversities that are represented in Bushwick. He has a deep philosophical sense for a person of his age, and plans on staying in Bushwick at least until his business gets better.

Nick has made a few friends and said the rent is low, he feels safe, and is glad the neighborhood has changed. I then said remember that day when I told you about the guy we just past? How he use to run that house? Did you look back? Or did you want to look back? Nick said no, but I went home and told my roommate. “She said this is Bushwick”; we both laughed on that one.

I met a lady that lives on Cooper St and Wilson Ave on the L line, she told me that she’s from Germany met her husband in Manhattan went back home got married, stayed to finished her BA then moved back to the USA, and into bushwick with her husband they pays 1500.00 a month for one room.

Fred has worked at the school for 25 years; said he has seen the change over the years; he remembers it being like the wild Wild West out here with all those abandon buildings. But feels that the rent increase has priced many low and middle working class people out. He said that all this talk about rent stabilized apartments is a smokescreen; who they talking about he says? Affordable for whom? Must people are working just to pay the rent, others live in apartments that are to small like one bedrooms paying high rent with two children.

Sarah from Bed’s Sty, visiting some friends said I remember when drugs where so bad out here that you could not walk down the street without stepping on a crack vile or a syringe, and all those buildings that were crack houses are now homes for working families, I love it.

Richie Bird from Long Island has a problem with the high rent and says that back in the day a single mother could live alright but now even section 8 renters can’t find apartments in Bushwick because of the high cost of living.

Another old head that lives in Bushwick is mad as hell, he says that soon we won’t have no place to live, I live with family and pay $500.00 a month for one room; they keep coming to the house offering cash for the it, I chase them away every time, I see them all over the place knocking on doors like the J W’s.

Neco from Germany lives in Bushwick for two years now, says he love it, feels safe, has friends close by and thinks that the change that is now going on in bushwick has opened up a door for people like himself will come more and more, because crime is down.

I also went to barbershops a Laundromats to ask some of the people how they feel about the Neighborhood? Many of them say that the new wave that has come to Bushwick is good; Jose said that he pay 2000.00 a month for three bedrooms. The rent is going up and the food also, he says that he has to pay almost 600.00 a month for food to feed his family; he has a wife and three kids.

Abdullah is the one that showed me the house he use to live in; they paid me 800.00 to move out, then they fixed up the inside and put on the Styrofoam front and now trying to sell it as a brownstone; there are a whole lot of houses like that around here, he took me to the house and showed me what he was talking about; we knocked on the Styrofoam and scratch it; you see he said, you can take a knife or an ink pen and put them right through it; this is not good, not good at all, he says shaking his head, the people that are buying these homes are in for a rude awakening.

As I walked through the neighborhood from Moffat sty to Halsey St and from Knickerbockers Ave to Broadway; I saw a lot of houses with this Styrofoam front, and even more under construction, I wondered if they too would have this false Brownstone facing put on them, then I too started to get angry; that’s when I had to call it a day.

On the way home I ran into an old friend who I went to school with, I told him what I was doing, and he weighed in on the subject; I’m not mad he said, we sat on our xyz’s and did nothing for 30 years and now they are buying up everything fixing them up and making money; and we got the nerve to get angry about that.

Just then another old head came up and put in his two cents; well he said they would not lend us the money to buy these houses, nor would the fed’s give us the hud houses for a dollar like the said, then they started to give us those adjustable mortgages and we started to lose our houses on foreclosure.

Between those two old friends I learned a lot, I wish that I can write all the things that they said; but it is mostly said that the new wave that is coming to Bushwick is both bad and good; it’s a question about which side of the fence you are on, no matter what you think are how you feel, Bushwick is going to be like what they did to Fort green Clinton Hill and Williamsburg and we can’t do nothing about it, are can we?

If youe want to see the pictures I took for this story? email me a request at jean.sanders1@gmail.com


Like what you read? Give Jean Sanders a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.