#Gentrification: when the Greek-immigrant barber you used to go to whenever you were visiting/living in Montreal, and who said he’d been cutting hair in the same spot for 50 years (and that was 2 years ago), has vanished without a trace — so much so that you’re not sure if his old space is now the new ice cream shop or the emptied-out business next door to it.
(photo: skeletal remains of street art on a buffed wall in a nearby area that’s been fertile ground for the #ArtOfResistance for years on the stolen lands of so-called Montreal.)
#Gentrification: when land that was stolen via colonialism and genocide long ago, and then became home to waves of working-class immigrant-settlers, some of whom were escaping genocide on other lands, and then became reclaimed walls for anticapitalist/antipatriarchy/anticolonial #ArtOfResistance, are whitewashed as palette for a huge, Montreal corporate mural festival that jets in famous artists to paint what’s basically happy wallpaper covering over theft after theft after theft after…
(photo: a spot that somehow almost missed erasure, thus becoming the #ArtOfRemembrance in so-called Montreal).
#Gentrification: when about a mile away from the actual Mile-End neighborhood, which you’ve visited and lived in often over the years, where you helped organize a neighborhood assembly and other rebellious spaces during the romantic 2012 student/social strike, where you’ve wandered down many an alley filled with mostly now-gone #ArtOfResistance spots, where you’ve had many a magical day/night with many an anarchist friend(s) who have now largely been evicted/displaced out, there’s a suspiciously not-street-art stencil pointing to a “Mile-End” that is now largely an Ubisoft tech bro’s wet dream of a vibrant, multiethnic, bohemian neighborhood that’s not there anymore — save for the brave little Montreal bagel, which refuses to homogenize or disappear or stop smelling like it always has 24 hours a day.
(photo: beneath the pavement, is there even a beach any longer?)
#Gentrification: when neighborhoods you adored, and streets you’ve walked a hundred times during illegal night manifestations and anticapitalist convergences, and scruffy parks you’ve socialized in after dark with anarchist friends and a asundry other social misfits, have all gone artisanal, first for the nouveau riche that mask their wealth as “hip” and revel in the infrastructural pioneers of displacement like pop-ups, microbreweries, and ex-parking-spot parklets, and then for their little dogs.
(photo: window display for people who have too much money in so-called Montreal, or, “Let them eat poutine!”)