Great documentary on PBS this week: My Brooklyn — Brooklynian

Great documentary on PBS this week: My Brooklyn

I saw MYBROOKLYN on PBS/WLIW last night, and it was fantastic. The documentary is about the city policies that encourage gentrification and how that affected the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn and the changes afoot at the Fulton Mall. I learned a lot from this movie, and wanted to let everyone know that it is out there. I have Optimum cable, so for me it was channel 132 on WLIW-World. There will be additional re-runs of the documentary over the next few days.


  • @crownheightster  Thank you very much for this.  I recorded it when you posted and finally go around to watching it.  Quite interesting.
  • edited June 2014
    I saw the film when it first came out, and found the tone of "surprise" to be naive.

    I kept thinking to myself,

    "Why does it surprise her that the city (specifically the Mayor) uses zoning to pursue its goals? Those with power use every tool and city agency at their disposal to achieve their goals: The police, zoning, HRA, sanitation, tax incentives, etc.

    That's why they want power.

    That's why you should be careful to only give someone power that you believe wants the same things as you.

    That's why it is important to decide whether to adapt or fight who is in power."

    ....the filmmaker doesn't seem like she had a poli sci class.
  • edited June 2014
    I think she is questioning the city's goals.  She attributed the goals to a greater agenda to push certain parts of the population, and the stores that cater to them, out of the area.

    I felt her underlying point was that the city gave incentives (particularly, increased zoning and tax abatement) without getting anything in return (particularly, affordable housing, affordable retail space for small businesses, and jobs for locals), which resulted in the locals being negatively impacted.

    If I'm not mistaking, she mentioned that economics itself, without the cities intervention/incentives, would not have caused the gentrification to occur so rapidly.
  • edited June 2014
    The city is getting lots in return. The returns just may not be the returns that she, you and/or I want.

    Our cost - benefit analysis may differ from the city's.

    She is correct, the city helped the process along.

    Did she seem surprised to you?
  • She may have seemed surprised to learn that incentives were provided for "nothing" in return.  I'm not sure I found her to be surprised at the gentrification itself.  

    She did seem conflicted by the fact that she is part of the gentrification, albeit early in the process.  In her perfect world, she would have wanted to move to an area for various reasons (diversity, lower rent, etc.) but wouldn't want others to move to the same area (likely, for the same reasons) because having too many people following will remove the reasons she moved there in the first place.
  • edited June 2014
    She didn't seem surprised at the gentrification itself, as much as her "discovery" that government plays a large role in such changes; they don't "just happen".

    This "new knowledge" then seems to drive her to make the film, to share the knowledge with masses.

    ....the assumption seems to be that the masses must be presently uninformed, or else they would stop government from doing such things.

    (Um, not necessarily.)

    I can't help but think of this clip about "discovery" by College Humor:

    It is really applicable.
  • Love the clip.
  • Hilarious!
  • edited July 2014
    Would making a sequel lead her to conclude that Bill DeBlasio is acting the same way Bloomberg did?

    Would singing help her?

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