By on September 8, 2015

Gentrification plan calls for yuppies and art


I am working with Christina Grey, a Sotheby’s realtor and one of my part-time belamours, to transform greater Hog Island into a trendy, upscale neighborhood like New York’s East Village, the Mission District in San Francisco or Wilson.  Christina is hoping to make a fortune when real estate prices boom and I want quick access to bored housewives without having to drive all the way to The Pines.

“For our plan to succeed,” Christina told me. “Hog Island must become a magnet for artists and bohemian types, setting a foundation for the rich white people to follow. Luckily, Natalia Duncan Macker was appointed to the county commission. She graduated cum laude from Yale and is artistic director of Off Square Theater. Best of all she’s living in Hoback Junction and typifies the people we need to attract to the area, young, white, well educated and cultured.”

I don’t know what cum laude means, but knowing college kids, I have a pretty good idea. But Yale! Seriously!

“Their football team sucks!” I moaned.

Then, wanting to keep the conversation relevant, I asked, “How many guns and trucks does she own?”

“Clyde,” Christina sounded exasperated. “If we want to increase real estate prices in Hog Island-Hoback, we can no longer define success by the amount of guns or trucks one owns. It is the amount of liquid tangible assets one has.”

“Guns and trucks are assets,” I said, defending the investment strategies of generations of Hog Islanders and Hobackers. “However most of us have lots of beer as well, so we’re set on liquid assets so long as we don’t get too thirsty.”

Changing the subject, Christina asked, “How are you coming with the public art project I asked you to make?”

“Great,” I replied. “I tied a Budweiser can peppered with bullet holes to a piece of bailing twine and hung it off the South Park Bridge. The Planet’s art critic Kelsey Dayton was invited to the unveiling. I told her if she wrote a good review I would … well, let’s just say she agreed. I’ll read her review to you. “The sculpture combines Dadaism and modernism while embodying post-agrarian pathos with a pastoral dichotomy of regionalism in conflict, pursuing the randomness of Polack and the aesthetics of Warhol yet more personal, more relevant. The piece offers a revivalism of deconstructionism reminiscent of Oleksandra-Barysheva but with a cubist influence.”

“Perfect!” Christina exclaimed. “And how did your meeting with the Hog Island City Council go?”

“I explained our plan to create an urban community lifestyle and attract young professionals to the greater Hog Island region,” I said. “The counsel expressed concern that gentrification will displace the current Hog Island demographic. I explained that we don’t want to displace rednecks as much as we want to enlighten them to the advantages of being rich: wearing shorts and sandals on hot days, trust funds, spring vacations to the Caribbean, and girlfriends that won’t steal your chew. The stealing chew part convinced them!”

“Clyde,” she said excitedly. “You did fantastic! You could have been a great realtor.” PJH

About Clyde Thornhill

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