Freeze Frame

As 1:00 p.m. rolls around, I focus my attention to multi-family homes just south and adjacent to the South Mountain High school basketball courts. A chain link fence separates the back yard of the common wall units from the high school. The homes are modest in appearance compared to the lavish and trendy homes being built just a few miles away. Wet clothes of radiant colors hang along a clothes line obstructing my view of the windows. Children run around the hanging clothes chasing each other and laughing. Their homes are situated in a busy street next to a bustling high school. There aren’t any big box department stores in the vicinity. Quite contrary, the surrounding area consists of small mom and pop stores catering to the local Hispanic population. Looking around the area I see many other homes probably occupied by low income families. I make this generalization based on the conditions of the homes in the area.
        South Phoenix is home to many minorities. The majority seems to be the Hispanic population. This is evident due to the fact that most of the grocery stores and restaurants in the area cater to the Hispanic population. What will happen to the vibrant colored store fronts and restaurants of rich ethnic culture when the area is flooded by the generic sameness of corporate stores and yuppie coffee shops?
        I wonder how the increase in developments and the gentrification of the area is going to impact the local residents presently occupying this space. “Once this process of “gentrification” starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the original working-class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed.” (Glass 1964: xviii)


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