I feel like a conquistador when I walk down Wharton Street in South Philly. Do I belong here? Construction crews clang steel and kick up dust, pushing out black and brown people the city doesn’t want, making room for pet stores, record shops, and other novelties some in the neighborhood see as red flags.
I walk gingerly. We want unity in our pluralistic cities, but is this possible? When the neighborhood’s transformation is complete, and the city’s unwanted pack dusty photo albums in battered boxes and bitterly relocate, the cycle repeats like a doomsday playlist.
Nick writes because, if he doesn’t, he “may sponatneously combust.”