Release date:March 6, 2013
Welcome to Williamsburg, New York's new bohemia. Or is it? In the late 1980s artists moved into this working class neighborhood, populated by small manufacturers, Polish butchers, and auto repair shops, just across the East River. SoHo took 30 years to change from an artists' bohemia to an art gallery hotspot, to an outdoor shopping mall; Williamsburg's demise has been much faster, due in part to a 2005 zoning law change. With a winning combination of wit, anger, and political savvy, filmmaker Su Friedrich, and co-writer Cathy Quinlan, record how the neighborhood has changed from when they arrived in 1989 to the rich-hipster haven it has become. Friedrich casts a jaundiced eye on the sleek granite kitchen counters featured at the condo openings she attends; she paints graffiti on construction fences ("Artists Used To Live Here") and comments wryly on her new neighbors ("What's with all the fancy dogs?"). She gives up mapping all new construction with building number 173. For anyone who has ever moved to an affordable neighborhood only to find that gentrification renders it unaffordable - this is the movie for you.