August 5, 2011

Do barrios ever gentrify?

A much-emailed New York Times article about the always popular topic of what neighborhood will gentrify next is "Striking Change in Bedford-Stuyvesant as the White Population Soars." It's about a black neighborhood in Brooklyn notorious for its crime at least as far back as Billy Joel's hit "You May Be Right:"

I've been stranded in the combat zone
I walked through Bedford Stuy alone ...
You may be right
I may be crazy

Here's a question: We've all noticed in recent decades famously black neighborhoods tip to another race. But what about Hispanic neighborhoods? Do they ever gentrify (i.e., turn white?) The lower crime rates typically found in Hispanic than black neighborhoods would make you think that gentrifying would be easier for whites, but perhaps the, uh, demographic vibrancy of Hispanics is more important.

A friend who is writing a book on race and voting in American history just got back from driving around the Southwest visiting court houses to scan in old voting records by precinct. By looking for precincts that voted for Catholic candidate Al Smith in 1928, he can see where Mexicans lived three generations ago. One of his findings: "Once a barrio, always a barrio."

I'm trying to think of exceptions: One might be Echo Park / Elysian Heights near Dodger Stadium overlooking downtown L.A. has been gentrifying.

From a 2008 LA Times article on vicious politics in races for Echo Park neighborhood council,
Earlier this month, after two years of rancor, leading candidates in the latest neighborhood council election divided themselves into two slates. Both made a variety of promises to voters. But there was no escaping the awkward fact that one slate, with Sigala at the top of the ticket, was made up almost entirely of Latinos; the other, with Peters at the top, challenging Sigala for the presidency, was almost entirely white. 
Peters lost to Sigala, and her slate lost almost every race. Nine of the 10 people on Sigala's slate won their races. In two election cycles, the Latino community went from a single representative on the neighborhood council to a dozen, Sigala said. 
Echo Park has a long and proud history of liberal politics; candidates on both sides considered themselves progressives committed to diversity and the working class. The caricature painted of those who lost, Peters said, was unrecognizable. 
"People here seem to believe that because they are angry they don't have to be civil," Peters said. "From my perspective, we've lost a sense of community." 
At this point, it is difficult to see how the two sides could come together.

But Echo Park is an extremely high value location due to easy commutes, views, and the L.A. notion that movie stars live in the hills. Personally, I find living on flat ground much more convenient than living on a winding mountain road where it's hard to walk anywhere, but then I'm not a movie star. There's an old apocalyptic meme in Los Angeles culture that suggests that when the hammer comes down [e.g., in Niven and Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer], you'd better have some defensible topography to work with. The traditional L.A. thinking is that the inevitable mobs of zombie looters will be slowed if they have to stagger uphill. But unlike everybody who is anybody in L.A., I like living on flatland with sidewalks, wide streets, plenty of parking, and a library and a liquor store on the corner.

A few Census tracts of nondescript Valley Glen in the flat central San Fernando Valley have been getting whiter, probably due to foreboding ex-Soviet immigrants moving in and erecting lethal security fences around their yards. (Grandpa fought off the German army at Stalingrad and raped and pillaged his way into Berlin in 1945, and I'm supposed to be terrified by some Mexican graffiti?) But I can't think of too many other exceptions.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

The hilly parts of Los Angeles north and east of downtown in general. Echo Park, Highland Park, even Glassell Park. Oh, and most famously, the Mission District of San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

Williamsburg in Brooklyn
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/12/14/nyregion/census-graphic-ny.html?ref=nyregion

Even though it doesn't show on this map, Park Slope, also in Brooklyn, has been getting more white, less Hispanic, block by block during the last decade or so.

Anonymous said...

"Bed-Stuy - do or die" - a popular local expression. It strikes a false note however. I've always associated such areas with sitting around more than with doing.

ironrailsironweights said...

Also Bushwick, which is right next to Bedford-Stuyvesant. Still primarily Hispanic, but with an increasing number of hipsters priced out of Williamsburg.

Peter

Anonymous said...

I think certain black neighborhoods tend to be around hip places around the city. And where there are blacks, though there's crime and that stuff, there's also jazz clubs and blues stuff, and that attracts whites.

Also, black areas may be less stable, i.e. inhabitants are less settled in the community, which makes them easier to move other places. Hispanic communities may be more culturally close-knit, therefore harder to uproot and push out. Chinatown is that way.

Anonymous said...

Sunset Park Brooklyn, has change from Puerto Rican To Chinese.

Anonymous said...

I can think of several. Go take a walk on Ave C, or Clinton St in Manhattan, the lower east side is no longer exactly the Loisaida.

Anonymous said...

Actually there are quite a few in Houston. I am surprised that you dont remember the Heights- it is an area area that has been undergoing gentrification for over 30 years. Also there is 1st Ward/East End (area between downtown Houston and UH north of 45). Also there is the Lawndale area, which never completely tipped to Hispanic. Now that I think about it, all of the major gentrification areas in Houston are Hispanic.

Anonymous said...

The Mission District in SF (as Anonymous @7:45 said) is gentrifying. I think Bernal Heights is also expanding its reach.

Anonymous said...

Yep, the Mission District in San Francisco has been gentrifying since about 1995, roughly the start of the dot com boom. White hipsters have now taken over the length of Valencia street. Running parallel to it, only one block away is Mission street, pretty much Mexican / Salvadorian etc. for it's entire run south of the freeway to Bernal Hill. Funny.

milam command said...

In Houston, absolutely. In addition to the areas anonymous mentioned above, the whole area just north of downtown. Hipsters moving in, Hispanics out.

Anonymous said...

In Chicagoland, the black neighborhoods have always been untouchable. Not even Hispanics move into them. White neighborhoods turn Hispanic or black. Black neighborhoods stay black while their population decreases as each year passes, until it becomes urban prairie. Hispanic neighborhoods either stay Hispanic or become increasingly white from gentrification. Almost all the racial change involved in gentrification in Chicago is from Hispanic to non-Hispanic White.

If barrio gentrification seems rare, it's because barrios are fairly new, and aren't going to form where real estate values are already high. The only black areas that ever gentrify in the USA have been black for +50 years. (correct me if I'm wrong)

Ted Plank said...

I just moved from a ten year stint atop Echo Park Blvd., on one of those winding, one lane streets you mention, to the trashier but just as scenic Tujunga. People are a little less "hip", but you see no gangbangers in the neighborhood, no graffiti tags, no loud, booming ghetto mobiles, and oddest of all, no trash pickers going through your recycling.

In Echo Park our cans were picked through at least ten times a week, after two months in Tujunga I haven't seen one of the telltale shopping carts with Hefty bags attached.

There has been a rash of muggings in Echo Park lately, and shootings as well. Two black guys blew away the local pot clinic last year, killing what most aficionados agree was the coolest cashier, and a young employee of the Silverlake Trader Joe's met his fate at the hand of three muggers a couple months back.

There's talk that many of the local 'talent' that moved out to San Bernardino, Victorville and Palmdale in the past few years is coming back to the hood, along with paroled felons, and they aren't happy with all the effete white kids in vintage sweaters, driving up their rents.

A couple years back there was a killing two blocks down the street, entirely an inside affair of the local EXP gang. A mid 30's gangster who lived 20 miles away in Pasadena came back and shot dead one of the EXP OG's and a cohort (who lived), then drove over to Highland Park and shot dead another EXP member. All were in their mid 30's, all were members of EXP. Young Mexican kids seem to be more into skateboards and The Misfits, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin these days than into gang crime, which is an encouraging development. I almost get the feeling that gangs are considered square. Some of the hipster bars around Echo Park still pay protection money to EXP, I've seen the collections with my own eyes.

Silverlake was extremely Mexican 20 years ago, and has really seen a major demographic dive. Maybe they all moved to Lancaster? And Tujunga has really cleaned up from the old biker / methhead days. Up to Kern County?

Mr. Anon said...

Back in 2000, I remember hearing news stories on NPR about dot-com hipsters buying up real-estate in San Francisco's mission district and gentrifying (nerdifying?) that neighborhood.

Sideways said...

This is something I've been thinking about as we've been looking at housing in, among other places, northern Highland Park IL, which has had Mexican encroachment coming for the last 15 or so years now. Yes, I'm worried that freaking Highland Park is going to go down the tubes in the next 20 years.

The school farthest north in the district (in Highwood) is 2/3 Hispanic now. The elementary school serving the very middle of Highland Park is 20% Hispanic. Are they headed for a tipping point soon, or can the high property values of most of town inoculate them?

Reg C├Žsar said...

Er, Dodger Stadium itself was a proto-gentrification, or "urban renewal" as they called it, of a Hispanic neighborhood. The last privately-funded stadium was built on eminent domain.

Georgetown, D.C., was half black at the beginning of the 20th century, but was quickly gentrified by all the New Deal bureaucrats moving in.
WPA= Whites Preempt Africans.

Anthony said...

The Mission District is re-whitening, sort of. It was an Irish working-class neighborhood back in the 50s, and for a long time before that, but it was Mexican before that. Mission Street itself is still *very* Mexican/Salvadoran, but the hipsters are settling some of the peripheral streets closer to the Castro and Noe Valley.

However, the histpers aren't permanent. If anything makes the Mission end up non-Mexican, it will be the Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Read the wikipedia article on the mission district in SF.

Anonymous said...

I hope for my family's sake that barrios gentrify, because my northern California neighborhood started turning into one in about 1992, and it has been a barrio ever since. Of course, our property value is so low relative to the areas around us that we could never move anywhere within an hour (or more) of our current home. If you don't escape a neighborhood in decline immediately, it becomes a trap.

bjtubbs said...

I don't get it. Echo Park is a traditionally Hispanic hood and only now is it getting it's first Hispanic slate of politicians? Is that a case of too-late ethnic consciousness, now that the neighborhood is being taken over?

Simon in London said...

"Grandpa fought off the German army at Stalingrad and raped and pillaged his way into Berlin in 1945, and I'm supposed to be terrified by some Mexican graffiti?"

Funny. :) We seem to have a bit of a similar effect in London too, the mass immigration of foreboding 'Lithuanian' ethnic Russians and the less foreboding but still very tough Poles serves to re-whiteify the streets and seems to slow down Muslim (Somali, Pakistani et al) expansion. However the Somalis have a big advantage in that they are classed as asylum/seekers refugees, they don't work, so they get free council housing in relatively nice but non-elite white areas like my street, which working Poles & Russians generally can't afford - the Russians especially spend all their money on drink; the Poles drink a lot but also seem to feed their wives & children. I once met a Russian-Lithuanian woman in the playground, our sons were about the same age, ca 2, but hers was a little wizened-looking thing, blinking in the unaccustomed daylight. She explained it was his first time ever in a playground.

Anonymous said...

Pilsen in Chicago is turning white.

sabril said...

The upper west side of Manhattan between 96th Street and 110th street used to be heavily hispanic, now it's completely yuppified.

Anonymous said...

So the takeaway - there are lots.

Anonymous said...

Steve. Check this webpage out that explains ethnic changes in Chicago. You'll see that lots of neighborhoods, especially, Hispanic ones have more white residents today than in 2000.

http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/ward-redistricting/index.html

StephenT said...

The gay-ification of a neighborhood also tends to drive Hispanics away. Mestizo Mexicans in particular don’t like to live around gays. Partially it’s a Mexican Macho thing, but it’s also a reaction to the kind of order and tidiness that tends to spring up in gay communities. Mestizos like a certain amount of blight and random disarray and disrepair in their environment. Reminds them of back home. Dirt yards, graffiti, cars parked up everywhere dripping oil on the sidewalks, stray dogs running wild through the streets, etc. You bring a bunch of gays in there, next thing you know they are sprucing things up, planting perennials and hectoring their city councilman to enforce long-ignored housing codes and quality of life issues on the block. There goes the neighborhood. All that orderliness and enforcement of regulations feels very foreign and forbidding -- very Anglo -- to Mexicans.

Anonymous said...

There is only one reason Bed Stuy is gentrifying: It is a neighborhood filled with thousands of beautiful townhouses constructed in the 19th century to a level of quality even a half century of black degeneration couldn't completely destroy.

More importantly, blacks are selling these houses for a million dollars.

eh said...

My guess is that if they did, they wouldn't be barrios anymore.

Anonymous said...

Logan Square? White hipsters seem to be invading that mostly Latino area now that Bucktown and Wicker Park are getting too pricey.

Semantics Nazi said...

C'mon, people, this is iSteve.

"Hipster" = SWPL!!!

Anonymous said...

Please Steve, don't use "meme" again.

Carol said...

I'm 1200 miles away from socal now, but from what I've noticed it looks like La Canada-Flintridge is turning into a white or even white hipster refuge - ?

Anonymous said...

"Mestizo Mexicans in particular don’t like to live around gays."

They sure don't mind hanging around trannies.

creeping 626-ism said...

Yeah, Dodger Stadium supplanting the paradisiacal barrio of yesteryear was one of those much-commented atrocities I heard about growing up. Curiously unmentioned how it had overlapped with Chinatown before the Pasadena freeway went in.

Venice went from white-to-Latino-to-white in a flash, but doesn't really fit your New York parallel. The area between South Pas and the unfinished 710 is prime for gentrification. Obviously the little cities like historically working-class Santa Monica were using rent control to keep away blacks but in the long run they managed to (further) gentrify nearby Crenshaw, Leimert Park, etc. Recently I found that Boyle Heights was nearly as expensive as living in a downtown brutalist high-rise with hipsters and people without functioning eardrums.

p.s. said...

Oh, from reading everyone else now, Silver Lake, of course. It's the mecca of old-money gays (in contrast to W. Hollywood noveau riche) though I wonder how much vibrant barrio authenticity it ever had. The tone was rather set by wealthier foreigners. I knew a straight Japanese couple who were friends of Neutra and lived in one of his houses there.

Anonymous said...

Jamaica Plain in Boston, long known to locals as "Jamaica Spain" for its large Latino population, has been gentrified by hipsters, the largest component being "woman identified", so much so that some have started calling it "J.P. Licks" after a local ice cream emporium.

Anonymous said...

Re: Sabril-you can say that again. Manhattan's 96th Street to 110th Street area was heavily Puerto Rican whaen I lived there circa mid-late 1970's, and the "vibrancy" of the neighborhood included occasional appearances, in force and in uniform, of the Savage Skulls gang, and multi-thousand dollar (to judge by the wads of cash being flashed) drug deals done on the street. Flushing (in Queens NY) is another area that flipped from Black-Hispanic. My relatives, who have lived on Ash Avenue for many years, were overjoyed when the Hispanic drug dealers across the street were replaced by Chinese and Indians.

Anonymous said...

My question is how much of the Asian equation plays in these gentrification trends. I've constantly seen lower Manhattan and Brooklyn as an example of these changing demographics but a lot seems to be as much Asian incomers as white (be it yuppies or swpl) incomers.

When you also take into account that Asians (east and south) are displacing traditional whites in both academia and white collar jobs at such a staggering rate, wouldn't the concept of gentrification be both a usurping process done by both whites and Asians??

Anonymous said...

Large sections of the south side of Santa Monica and Venice.

Anonymous said...

You live in LA and can't think of any examples? You need to get out of the Valley.

Echo Park, Highland Park, Glassell Park, Monterey Hills. Eagle Rock was never that Hispanic, but it's also getting whiter. The Mexican parts of Pasadena with nice craftsman houses now have lots of white yuppies.

Basically any barrio that has desirable attributes to wealthy yuppies (usually short commutes and nice architecture) are becoming whiter, as Mexicans move out to the desert for more affordable housing costs.

It's not as dramatic as what's happening in LA's black neighborhoods, because Hispanics have lots of babies, but it's definitely happening.

Anonymous said...

Barrios benefit from a neverending stream of southern migrants that want to settle in a place that reminds them of home.

Anonymous said...

"King of the Hill" (TV show on FOX) has a funny episode about the gentrification of a Mexican neighborhood in Arlen. You guys would love it. I'd suggest trying to locate it online.

anonymous said...

As to SF's Mission District, I don't know you can say it's "gentrified" much but here are my observations over the last 20 yrs. as a whoremonger in the area. Between '86 and '92 it was ridiculously easy to pick up young white and Mexican girls there. After '92, only about 10% of the streetwalking scene remained, and since about '04 it's been eliminated altogether, perhaps speeded along by a well-publicized incident of a Chinese resident dropping re-bar on the tops of John cars. Since at least '95, Valencia street, one block above Mission, has been the hub of lesbian bar activity, and since about '00, there's been an explosion of new Latino fruit/vegetable markets on Mission St., with much renovation of apartment buildings in the two blocks below Mission (South Van Ness and Folsom). But despite all that, to my eye the place looks about as seedy and moribund as it did in the '80's. The one thing I find noteworthy about the area now is that, despite cops being rather thin on the ground, young white hipster girls are walking or bicycling alone everywhere in the wee hours of the morning, as if there's no crime whatsoever to worry about. They're walking refutations of NOW-type blather of the danger of rape.

Anonymous said...

Bed Stuy was the setting for Spike Lee's movie Do The Right Thing.

Anonymous said...

In my experience, black neighbourhoods stay black neighbourhoods, at least until they eventually disintegrate into nothingness. Detroit, with its vast stretches of 'urban prairie', is perhaps the most extreme example.

Anonymous said...

As to SF's Mission District, I don't know you can say it's "gentrified" much but here are my observations over the last 20 yrs. as a whoremonger in the area.

First Albertosaurus and his Bay-area sex clubs, and now this.

Y'all No'Cal-ers are a breed apart.

Anonymous said...

http://www.cnbc.com/id/44032122/

"FEED ME!!! FEED ME!!!"

Little Shop.. Little Shop of Horrors,
Little Shop.. Little Shop of
Horrors...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVsgpTaBhSY

Justin said...

South Phoenix has gentrified in the past 10 years, with lots of upper-middle and upper class tract housing. Downtown Phoenix to a lesser degree, from the "artsy" crowd.

Recently I read an article about the "lost Hispanic" neighborhoods of downtown Tempe, that were lost when the city gentrified following WW2.

Ted Plank said...

For what it's worth, I recently had reason to drive from the 110 over to Crenshaw on Slauson, for the first time in 10 years. The number of Latino shops, businesses and storefronts have moved at least a mile west into traditionally black territory.

In 2000 - 2001 (when I drove a taxi in LA, and the only place to stay busy was in the 'hood), the dividing line between black and Latino was the 110 itself, with the neighborhood just east of the freeway a tense mixture of the two. I get the impression now that the Mexicans are on the march, and blacks seem to be abandoning their old neighborhoods.

As has been touched upon in the media and here on your blog, both Watts and Compton have already gone majority Latino. Once Crenshaw and Inglewood flip, that will be the epitaph.

Some of the best soul food joints have already closed their doors!

Eric said...

...but the hipsters are settling some of the peripheral streets closer to the Castro and Noe Valley.

I hear gay people complaining on a regular basis that straight white hipsters are pushing them out of the Castro. The place used to be a mecca for gays, with over 14 gay bars. I think there are two left.

Though it may just be the gay population never recovered from AIDS.

Ted Plank. said...

I took my mom through Castro a couple years back on her first visit to SF. I explained to her that it was a pale wisp of its former self. AIDS was like a neutron bomb for the gay community. In the 80's, it seemed like half of the male homosexual population of Seattle, Portland, SF and West Hollywood vanished.

Fun side note, many of my gay pals in LA hit up Home Depot for a little illegal alien rough trade. Apparently it's a common phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

Why do people insist that Latinos are anti-gay? It seems like there's a lot of acceptance of effeminate and homosexual men in their culture.

Anonymous said...

Why do people insist that Latinos are anti-gay? It seems like there's a lot of acceptance of effeminate and homosexual men in their culture.

Actually, the same could be said for southerners.

If I had a nickel for every obviously bisexual yet married Southern Baptist man that I knew, then I'd have, well, a heckuva lot more money than I have now.

ironrailsironweights said...

I hear gay people complaining on a regular basis that straight white hipsters are pushing them out of the Castro. The place used to be a mecca for gays, with over 14 gay bars. I think there are two left.

I don't see why the two groups can't coexist. Hipsters rarely if ever find the presence of gays offensive, and gays - known for being quite affluent by and large - aren't in danger of being priced out of newly trendy neighborhoods.

Peter

Mr. Anon said...

"ironrailsironweights said...

""I hear gay people complaining on a regular basis that straight white hipsters are pushing them out of the Castro. The place used to be a mecca for gays, with over 14 gay bars. I think there are two left.""

"I don't see why the two groups can't coexist. Hipsters rarely if ever find the presence of gays offensive, and gays - known for being quite affluent by and large - aren't in danger of being priced out of newly trendy neighborhoods."

Sure, cool hip young people like gays. They like the "gay" apect of homosexuals, but they don't really like or feel comfortable with the actual homosexual aspect of it. The Castro district, with its bathhouses and pick-up bars, was pretty icky. Even young, liberal, Obama-voting hipster couples (who probably want to have children someday) don't want to deal with extreme fag shit like that.

Antioco Dascalon said...

I think Steve mentioned this invasion cycle before:

1. High crime neighborhood full of blacks but bordering nicer neighborhoods, often with historic architecture.
2. Gays are the first to invade (along with houses full of male college students if college is near by) because a household of childless men has a higher tolerance for neighborhood violence and are looking for low rents.
3. If an area is known for having lots of gays and students, it will become trendy and hip. SWPL-types will invade, bringing along Whole Foods and Restoration Hardware. And raising the cost of housing.
4. The remaining minorities will sell out and the students and gays will leave for cheaper housing. The cycle repeats.

I've noticed this myself. I go to Catholic University of America in DC. Brookland, the neighborhood surrounding the campus is mainly black. The male grad students who go to school there often live in the neighborhood, but the female grad students never, ever live there (they seem mainly to congregate in Silver Spring, Maryland). We lived in a house of 4 guys, who were staying in the house all day and who owned very little. This is clearly not a very good house to rob, or person to mug. Though we had our share of car break-ins.

Truth said...

"First Albertosaurus and his Bay-area sex clubs, and now this.

Y'all No'Cal-ers are a breed apart."

ROTFL

What, you don't like a little cultural virbancy?

Truth said...

Speaking of that, whatever happened to Berto-Boy anyway?

He was highly amusing, I've come to miss the 'lil guy.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln Park in Chicago was the center of the Puerto Rican area in the early 70s but by 1990 it was too expensive for anybody making less than $100000. Humboldt Park and Pilsen are gentrifying quickly too.

Peter A said...

Jamaica Plain became dominantly hispanic fairly recently historically - I would be surprised if it happened earlier than the 1970s to be honest. And I know that as far back as the late 1980s JP already had a fairly significant white hipster presence as well. So JP is not representative, it is not a true barrio of the kind Steve is referring to.

Eric said...

I don't see why the two groups can't coexist. Hipsters rarely if ever find the presence of gays offensive, and gays - known for being quite affluent by and large - aren't in danger of being priced out of newly trendy neighborhoods.

On average gay men probably have more money than their straight counterparts. But that's not until they reach middle age and benefit (financially) from the lack of children. My take (with, admittedly, no hard evidence) is hipsters tend to have a lot more money when they're young and have pushed out all the young gays.

Where do those douchebags get their money, anyway? Are they just spoiled rich kids? They certainly don't look very employable.

Perspective said...

Many Hispanic neighbourhoods in Manhattan have gentrified. In fact Manhattan was one of the few places to see its Hispanic population decline (numerical and percentage).

Anonymous said...

"Where do those douchebags get their money, anyway? Are they just spoiled rich kids? They certainly don't look very employable."

Hipster=trust fund kid, or someone leeching off a trust fund kid.

And your point is correct. Gays aren't rich, they just have far fewer kids to pay for.

Most young straight people don't have kids to pay for either.

Anonymous said...

The Mission in SF is ALWAYS gentrifying. Call me in 2030.

Anonymous said...

The town I grew up in is undergoing a REVERSE process. Kearny NJ starting in the late 70's had an influx of Portuguese as spillover from the Ironbound section of Newark which was un affected by the riots and went from Italian to Portugues to now a mix of Brasilian, Puerti Rucan/Dominican/2nd generation Portuguese.

My town is now less white and has more mexican/Central and some South American (Peruvian predominantly) with some Brasilian. Sometimes a traditionally staunch white nabe (up until the mid 70s my town and those to the north were called the White Crescent .. yes yes I know sounds terrible)can become barrio like. Yet I think it will change back but a more mixed as the Red Bull stadium is attracting a ton of people for the international soccer games and the area around there in Harrison is being converted from industrial to condos.

The town of Kearny actually has a fair amount of history for a NJ exurb and some nice parks and public places. Seems the newer residents are interested in raising families and having a nice environment ... unfortunately gangs were trying to make headway (there were a few gangst barbershops trying to set up and the barbers were dealing)