NY Times had an article titled Backlash by the Bay: Tech Riches Alter a City about residents fighting eviction at a rent controlled apartment from converting into high end apartments. In the article, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, a performance artist, commented that “they are also expelling the performance artists, the poets, the muralists, the activists, the working-class families — all these wonderful urban tribes that made this neighborhood a very special neighborhood for decades.” “One day,” he added, “they will wake up to an extremely unbearable ocean of sameness.”
Agreeing with Gómez-Peña, culture is the soul that makes a city unique. Without the diversity of artists and residents, there’s no creative expression. Without music in the streets, street vendors, and graffiti; there’s only corporate towers and big box stores. This is also known as culture-less Bellevue. Bellevue is a city 11-miles east of Seattle. Slowly, quirky coffee shops have popped up. However, the city lacks history (a sense of place), unique local shops and hosts a very tragic farmer’s market.
This week on This American Life podcast is House Rules, “destiny by address”, discusses the history and existence of racial housing discrimination. It’s disheartening to learn that as a nation, our mental models has not evolve. We are still judging each other by our skin color. We are not a first world nation—untrusting and scared of our neighbors.
For a moment in spring when I heard about Amazon’s new biodome headquarter in Denny Triangle, I was excited for new habitats and species. The excitement quickly faded when my apartment Leasing Office offered only a few months extension instead of annual renewal. The cost of living downtown is already extremely pricey and the fact that it’s going to increase because of Amazon’s new headquarter is disconcerting. I am not sure where we’ll move to but hopefully not to far into the suburbs that it takes hours of commute.