Grit, grime and…Anna Wintour? What once was a hotbed for little more than arson, looting and crack smoking, Bushwick today is increasingly frequented by A-listers seeking inspiration–or just brick-oven pizza–from the neighborhood’s neon-stained streets. Creative types shack up in shared urban loft spaces; industrial-style galleries dot the street corners, and music can almost always be heard buzzing dimly into the distance.
As Bushwick’s frenzied–and occasionally fabricated–rawness and the work of its roughed up denizens have gained notoriety among art circles, rent has steadily climbed, forcing some of the neighborhood’s veteran residents out. At a time of heightened economic isolation and inequality, street grit has become an object of passing interest for the world’s most high-end tastemakers: street struggles, or at least their illusion, are quite literally en vogue. Life in decay is no longer purely a symptom of larger societal problems; it’s an aesthetic.
Equity issues aside, such an event is common in a place that remains in a constant process of re-invention. As with everything in New York City, the Bushwick we see today will likely be unrecognizable in five years. Without further ado, we give you Bushwick. For now.