Whenever we ogle the renderings of future buildings slated for construction, our eye is drawn to the aspirational humans within. They’re always pretty good for a laugh, and an idea of what the developers are after, despite their lip service to affordable housing and community spaces.
Where are the teens of color hanging out, street vendors selling fruit or tamales, Chinese seniors doing tai chi? Maybe architecture firms should take a cue from Barbie and diversify their paper dolls? Here’s a roundup of some of the “types” we’ve glimpsed traipsing through the future versions of North Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. Welcome your new neighbors!
1. The Dogwalkers
When you start seeing people in heels walking their dogs, your neighborhood is one step away from becoming the West Village. Don’t believe me? Just ask twitter.
“You know when you see white people running w dogs in the morning your rents is about to triple” – Best Uber Driver Ever #Williamsburg
— theoaronson (@theoaronson) December 17, 2015
Pre-gentrification: neighbor lets dog excrete in the yard. Post-gentrication: neighbor takes dog on walk to excrete in someone else’s yard. — fortasse (@fortasse) January 20, 2016
The biggest sign of impending gentrification in a neighborhood is probably when a regular bakery turns into a dog bakery
— cute dog whom fat (@MrPhetz) February 14, 2016
“Let me just slowly kick off my three-inch heels while basking in this amazing view, surrounded by my latest Gucci haul. Don’t you judge me, Fluffer! This is a building with 30 percent affordable housing!”
3. The Long-Suffering Doorman
He’s always there, smile plastered on his face, waiting for your on-demand HelloFresh packages (and maybe more Gucci). Did he get lost and confuse the Lower East Side with Upper?
4. The Bikers
“Let’s see about these fixies all the kids are talking about.”
5. The Loving Loungers
“You know honey, our therapist was right. Moving into a building with a fire pit and pagoda was just the trick!”
6. The Urban Farmers
Nothing like a stroll through the rooftop corn stalks to kick off your morning. What’s our modern-day farmer carrying– a milk pail?
7. The Hipster Buskers
“When I was a kid, I always dreamed of playing CBGBs, but this mall is way cooler, right?”
8. The Rooftop Royals
Rooftop savants, swirling wine while they survey their kingdom. “What are the peons yelling down there? They want more cake?”
9. Daydreamers in the Park
The crush of new neighbors doesn’t bother this dude. He’s just laying on this backpack, watching the world go by in the shade of a tree. That, or he collapsed from the stress of having to commute without the L train. At least one guy (let me guest, a local?) has stopped to smh.
10. The iPhone Addicts
“Just heading into traffic while texting, no big deal.” This is the guy you always bump into when you’re trying to get off the subway.
11. And the pièce de résistance…
This video rendering, of sorts, has it all: tats, skateboards, beards, beanies, coffee, horn rims, vintage bikes, and creative types passing by street art, all reveling in the Bushwickiness of their existence.