I love my neck of the hood but it’s rabidly rapidly changing and I’m not quite hip to the kinda hip that it’s shifting to. This once nitty-gritty part of the city is getting to be a bit too bourgeois for a regular joe like moi.
The ragged edge that attracted this Chi-town boy to her all those years ago is getting dulled down by the day. I walk her Deep streets seeking to breathe in her underbelly culture that once seduced my senses. Sadly I see her getting yuppified. Her storefront lined streets dating back to the freedman ages, filled with blues tunes booming down Elm, bustling with tattooed bohos, blues tunes dudes, pounding punks rocking, mad multi-colored mohawks moshing, head banging metal heads, rollers free falling head first into dive bars, flying out feeling ecstatically free.
Fast forward a handful of years and fat cat West Coast investors are pimping to corporate cookie cutter businesses, overpriced designer bars, boutiques and flashy fine-dining establishments, stealing away the local loco flavor outta this neck of the hood, replacing it with cheapened uptown-vibed hipster hell.
High-rises are starting to block the downtown skyline and more are in store. Monstrosities reaching a dozen stories or more, filled with $50,000 millionaires who came to the deepest of Ellum to feel like they’re part of this once edged scene. They came in waves and dulled down that edge and slowly but surely are choking out the roughened culture that once thrived on this side of town.
I sit on my stoop, thinking my Deep thoughts, wondering when they’ll come knocking on (or down) my door…