Yuppies Next Door

I know I have no right to complain. I know this neighborhood is gentrifying, and I am part of the problem, not part of the solution. I know that no matter where I move to get away from yuppies and hipsters, I will never be able to escape them, because I will be there. To paraphrase both Jonathan Kabat-Zinn and Woody Allen at the same time, wherever you go, there your Long- Island-Jewish-Left-Wing-Liberal-Intellectual-Expensive-University with the Socialist Summer Camps and the mother with the Native American art ass is.

I know that the nuances of being or not being a yuppie, a hipster, an art school type, a fratboy, a nonprofiteer, a banker, a bohemian, a bougeois bohemian, a lesbian, a person with “lesbian tendancies,” a non-practicing Jew, an organic farming Jew, a pro-choice lapsed Catholic who ironcially uses Catholic iconography as art etc. mean nothing to displaced working people who see their former tenaments crappily renovated and renting for $2000 a month. I know that it’s disingenuous to complain about a neighborhood not being genuine enough when you happily buy the $6.00 fresh mozzarella and would also complain if you could not get espresso. I know that mooning over the beauty of industrial ruin and silently thrilling at the sight of kids playing in fire hydrants is fetishizing the urban aesthetic and treating the people who populate it as if they are objects in a Potemkin tableau. I know that if I had the $1,000,000 the non-brownstone townhouses in this neighborhood are selling for I’d buy one in a heartbeat, refinish the floors and fill it with large-format digital prints of water towers and grain silos.

I know all of this, and yet I really fucking hate the yuppies who are moving in next door.

The yuppies moving in next door have two dogs. Bark! Yip! Scold! They have a team of Latin American landscape artists elaborately replanting their backyard. They have a baby, which they keep in the same $700 stroller Gwyneth Paltrow keeps her baby in. I know this because I read US Weekly magazine.

I know all of this because I am watching the yuppies. From across the eight foot wide alley that separates us, I have been watching the yuppies turn their yard from a North Brooklyn Concrete Patio Paradise into a kind of “wild English garden thing.” I watch them exercise and scold their yippy dogs. I am watching the yuppies all the time. I can’t help it. They are right outside my window, like characters in a boring real-time reality television show about re doing your yard.

Sometimes I hide benath my windowsill and photograph the yuppies without their knowledge or consent.

We are watching the yuppies, but there is some paranoia that the yuppies are watching us. Did the yuppies see us walking around naked? Can the yuppies hear us talking about them and their annoying dogs and expensive stroller? Did the yuppies hear us having sex?

Be quiet! Put your shirt on! Duck! The yuppies can see you! The yuppies might hear!

I never used to worry about these kinds of things. Our previous across-the-alley neighbors never went in their yard. I used to walk around naked the entire day without fear of anyone seeing me, because I never saw anyone. I slept happily until the middle of the day, awakened only intermittently by the faint scraping of garbage can lids in the alley. My friends and I once built a refrigerator-box fort on our building’s roof, and then pushed the box off the roof when we were done. It landed loudly in the neighbors’ yard and they didn’t notice it was there until spring. If we did that now, it would land in the “English garden” the yuppies are building, clanging on their newly painted wrought iron garden furniture.

Fucking yuppies.

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