Protecting Real Neighborhoods from Disneyfication

Great op-ed today in the NY Times celebrating real neighborhoods and the zoning laws that protect them, and lamenting the Disneyfication of our cities:

It’s funny how we crave the authentic, the unspoiled, the genuine — the un-globalized and un-homogenized and un-gentrified — only to destroy them.  And then, as if in remorse, attempt to create unthreatening Disney versions of the authentic, the unspoiled and the genuine….

I’m grateful for my New York journeys and for the zoning laws that make them possible. Wholesale gentrification deadens. There’s an untamed thread that binds button stores and stir-fried intestines with chili: They’re genuine. The fight for the genuine in the world’s great cities is also a fight for jobs, workers and creativity.

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