You wouldn’t necessarily know to look at it now, but Williamsburg was at one point a working-class, blue-collar neighborhood. Today, the odd Polish immigrant living there is an exception rather than the rule—most of them moved to Greenpoint, while hipsters flooded the area. But now even the freelance graphic designers are going to get priced out, as one one prospective deal makes plain: The White Castle on Metropolitan Ave may get bulldozed andreplaced with luxury condos.
It was inevitable, of course, that rich yuppies would realize that the best view of Manhattan can be got from across a river (and they’re certainly not moving to New Jersey, thank you). The result? A minor outcry from fairly privileged twentysomethings about exceedingly privileged thirty-and-fortysomethings taking away their beloved drive-through grease purveyor of legend in order to continue a second wave of gentrification. The first wave was fair game, of course.
What will happen to the local flavor, you ask, when all our gritty fast-food franchises are wiped off the map? Oh, you know, some artisanal tiny-soy-burger place will pop up nearby, with marginally better ingredients and vastly inflated prices, and life will go on much as before. Every once in a while you’ll feel a twinge of hunger for the food of the common man, those scummy onion rings of yore. Luckily, you’ll be living in East New York by then. Problem solved.