I am in no way here to defend the Hasidism, but I am mildly sympathetic to their frustration, as well as that of (presumably) the Puerto Ricans. The Hasidism have lived there for dozens of years because of the cheap rent — they do not have lots of money (in fact, they are the largest population of White welfare receipiants in the City). They also live there because it houses their institutions and their community, which is dependent on proximity and isolation. The hipsters come in, and it is a total affront to their lifestyle and culture. The hipsters also have money. What happens? Kulturkampf.Now, the Hassids are well known for this problem. For those old enough to remember Crown Heights, we got to see first hand that when it comes down to it, it’s all about Real Estate, and retaining a community that is isolated in a cheap area.I am sympathetic not because I support their cause — far from it — but I do think that hipsters who hope to slum it have to realize their encroaching in areas that are long-established (unlike the original Williamsburg community of hipsters, who in large part took over abandoned warehouses and a few houses) and therefore will encounter lots of community resentment.
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