"What's up with places like that coming in here, anyways? This place used to be the hood! This place used to be the avenue! They're trying to push us out. It's this gentrification - gentrification - gentrification!"
To the best of my memory, that is word for word what this woman said. She then continued to rant as my friend and I sat outside of Little Baby's on Baltimore Avenue, eating our four dollar ice cream.
I couldn't help but notice the juxtaposition between Little Baby's, a hip new Philadelphian ice cream shop, and the Chinese food store right next door.
I don't really know what to think about gentrification. I hear this phrase constantly, "This neighborhood is so up and coming. It used to be so much worse!" My friends can now afford to buy property in some of these so-called up and coming areas.
Yet what is the true definition of "worse"? For this woman, "worse" meant being able to afford rent and property taxes and feeling like a part of the community. This woman was mostly ranting to her friend but kept casting glances over at my friend and I. I'm sure to her, we were a representation of the problem. In that moment, I ate my blueberry ginger ice cream in silence and just listened.