There Goes the Neighborhood…and the Fishing

How long do you have to live somewhere to earn the right to say: “There goes the neighborhood?”

Do you need a multi-year subscription to the local newspaper, or know of at least three community blogs that talk about all the change that’s going on? What’s the rite of passage like?

It used to be that the phrase “there goes the neighborhood” was once reserved for the mostly white upper class. It was usually uttered with a heavy accent of disgust and triggered by the threat of new neighbors, minorities, people of color and immigrants pursuing their own American dreams.

A short video that introduces this larger story. More below.

Now, it’s reversed. San Francisco. Portland. Los Angeles. Brooklyn. Cities like these all share a neighborhood where the gentrifying market forces of real estate, development and business opportunity are kicking out the the poor or middle class. It’s the curse of capitalism — someone has to lose and you don’t think about that when you’re dreaming.

If Stuart Vorpahl had his way, East Hampton would always remain a fishing town. But, we can’t all be winners. His community now blends into the moniker of “the Hamptons” — where the rich go to summer. With family ties that go back to 1639, Stuart has a right to claim the neighborhood has changed.

But when Stuart starts talking about the king of England, it’s tempting to dismiss him as a crackpot stuck in the past. Is he crazy or does he have a point?

The story of Stuart Vorpahl begins here:

Note, this is the first part of a two-part story. The second part will come out later this summer. Who knows, maybe in that time you can earn the right to say: “There goes the neighborhood.”

What is Some Noise? It’s a podcast about the foolish pursuit of life, clarity and context. You can read more about it here.

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