Ridgewood, Queens, the only neighborhood I have lived in while in New York City, is primed to become the next Williamsburg or Bushwick—if we are to believe recent writing about the neighborhood. While consciously witnessing a change in residents of the neighborhood, I became increasingly interested in gentrification and how the concept relates to spatial politics. Essentially, gentrification is part of a healthy city climate; it often leads to improved infrastructure, better schools, and more commerce within the community. It also means that many individuals and families of lower incomes can no longer afford their housing—some having lived in that particular area of extensive periods of time—and are, quite literally, pushed out.
I was interested in developing an intervention that would criticize the sweeping and forceful nature of gentrification, while also embracing its inevitability. Tension between native residents and newcomers exists, and perhaps a consideration of either side would benefit this phenomenon. Placing this project within space in order to provoke critical thought and even discussion was one of the primary goals. Using streamers, based on the most common of decorations for birthdays or 'welcome home!' celebrations, I wanted to invite some light-heartedness into the conversation about gentrification while maintaining a critical understanding of, and reference to scenario described above.