low income neighborhoods

It’s 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night and there’s a line out the door at EAT Café. Inside, executive chef and restaurant manager Donnell Jones-Craven is busy plating up salads and burgers, but he pauses to sprint out into the dining room. “I appreciate so much that you’re all here for dinner tonight!” he calls out to those still waiting in line. “Just bear with us and we’ll get you seated as soon as we can.”

Tucked into a crossroads of several West Philadelphia neighborhoods near Presbyterian Hospital and Drexel University, EAT Café is in the throes of its busiest night since opening six weeks ago in October.

EAT, which stands for “Everyone At the Table,” is the first restaurant of its kind in Philadelphia. The not-for-profit restaurant aims to provide a sit-down dining experience to residents of the city’s low-income neighborhoods by allowing patrons to pay whatever they can afford for their meals.

Philly’s New Pay-What-You-Can Restaurant Brings Everyone To The Table

Photo: Kristen Hartke for NPR

I’m probz being messy but I just cannot stop thinking about how 

A) There’s a new art gallery moving into a poor neighborhood in LA and there’s a lot of conversation about it and whether it’s gentrification or not. 

B) It came up in my art class a few days ago (I’m in a creative writing MFA, but I took an out of department grad-level art class to see what that’s all about). 

D) 10/12 students (my one friend in class and me are 11 and 12) said they think it’s fine for an art gallery to move into (and displace families from) a low income neighborhood because “artists are poor, too.” 

D) 10/12 people don’t think poor POC artists who live in homes that are now being displaced by an art gallery exist. 

E) My professor asked me, “If you were moving to LA, where would you move then?” And I think this professor, who makes more in one year than I’ve made my entire life, who is white and straight and Canadian, thinks we are the same, yet would have people like me pack their bags so she can, thank god, have a building where she can show her art. I’ve asked her about her art, and everyone in that class about their art, because I want to know what art is so much more important than people having homes and beds. Here is what I’ve heard throughout the semester: “I’m into art that’s like, about shapes.” “I don’t want to talk about my art.” “I don’t know what my art is or is about yet.” 

F) “White people are people, too!” one of the students in that class shouted, tired of my use of “white people” when talking about gentrification. My friend in that class was presenting Claudia Rankine’s Citizen

E) The week before, when I gave a presentation to the class about the myth of the “hispanic nation” (basically that all hispanic people are the same, sprouting from hispanic newscasters needing to homogenize all hispanics so 30 minute spanish newscasts would make sense considering we are all very, very different cubans are different than puerto ricans are different than chileans but we only have 30 mins of spanish news so we have to pretend we’re all the same “hispanic nation” otherwise we would need our own CNN with a 24hrs news cycle talking about each individual country) my art professor asked, “Do you think there’s anything good about the hispanic nation? Like, couldn’t you mobilize hispanics politically?” Mobilize. All hispanics. We are all the same. 

F) My favorite art is the Blade 2 poster in my bathroom. Roger Ebert says: “Bloody well done.” 


‘Out in the Night Trailer’ Out in the Night is a documentary that tells the story of a group of young friends, African American lesbians who are out, one hot August night in 2006, in the gay friendly neighborhood of New York City. They are all in their late teens and early twenties and come from a low-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. Two of the women are the focus – gender non-conforming Renata Hill, a single mother with a soft heart and keen sense of humor, and petite femme Patreese Johnson, a shy and tender poet.As they and their friends walk under the hot neon lights of tattoo parlors in the West Village, an older man sexually and violently confronts them. He says to Patreese “let me get some of that” as he points below her waist. When she says that they are gay, the man becomes violent and threatens to “fuck them straight”. He spits and throws a lit cigarette. Renata and Venice defend the group and a fight begins, captured by security cameras nearby. The man yanks out hair from Venice’s head and chokes Renata. Then, Patreese pulls a knife from her purse and swings at him. Strangers jump in to defend the women and the fight escalates. As the fight comes to an end, all get up and walk away. But 911has been called and the man involved has been stabbed. Police swarm to the scene as their radios blast out warning of a gang attack. The women are rounded up and charged with gang assault, assault and attempted murder.

A study published in the Review of Educational Research Tuesday suggests that school climate is something educators and communities should prioritize — especially as a way to bridge the elusive achievement gap. The authors analyzed more than 15 years’ of research on schools worldwide, and found that positive school climate had a significant impact on academics.

And here’s the biggest takeaway: There’s no link between school climate and socioeconomic status. In other words, there are plenty of happy schools in low-income neighborhoods, too.

“Obviously you need to have a great math teacher that can teach math, but those social and emotional connections really help in the academic area too,” says Ron Avi Astor, a professor at the University of Southern California and a co-author of the study. “That creates a lot of opportunities for the low-income schools,” by giving reformers more tools to think about, he says.

How A Happy School Can Help Students Succeed

Illustration: LA Johnson/NPR


Anti-African/Refugee pamphlets distributed by Israeli racist group “The South Tel Aviv Liberation Front,” in Hebrew, English, Arabic and Tigrinya. This was handed to me in December by racists protesting a Hannukah celebration for Sudanese and Eritrean children, which was organized by Israeli leftists in South Tel Aviv’s Levinksy Park.

The anti-Black protestors blame African refugees for crime and lack of social services in the low-income predominantly Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jewish) neighborhoods they live in. These issues are very real, but are often the result of institutional anti-Mizrahi racism and existed long before the refugees arrived.

The pamphlet tells the refugees to return to their home countries, where they are fleeing genocide and slavery-like conditions, and would likely be killed or imprisoned on return. This is just one part the of daily harassment and violence that refugees face simply for being Black and non-Jewish in Israel.

Albert Einstein was a genius in ways you couldn’t even imagine and here’s why.

In 1935 he opened up a butcher shoppe in a low income neighborhood. He refused to sell any meat to the people in the neighborhood. Why? The reason may surprise you. He instead built an anatomically correct sculpture of himself out of meat and set it up in the front of his shop. He would harass anyone who walked past the shop, yelling “This meat man is just like me! This man is made of flesh just like I am.” Albert Einstein was later found dead in his apartment. The meat Einstein took his place and no one noticed for years.

Gentrification and Displacement

Gentrification is not the same thing as revitalization. It is the process in which people in positions of power restructure and invest in low income neighborhoods for their own gain. In this process the property value of the neighborhood is inflated, members of the neighborhood are displaced, and the culture of the neighborhood is permanently changed.

Two major types of displacement that are specific to gentrification:

  1. Direct displacement - “My landlord just gave me a 65% increase on my rent, I have no choice but to move out.”
  2. Exclusionary displacement - “They just moved costly businesses that I can’t afford to shop at into my neighborhood run by people who don’t look like me.” Over time, people decide to leave because the neighborhood feels unfamiliar.

Gentrification is a social justice issue. The importance is that we recognize it as not only problematic, but a systematic attack on people of color. Often times news outlets, mainstream articles, and journalist might describe a gentrified community as “the go-to for real estate” or “a boost for the city’s economy.” The truth is, gentrification is not a natural process but it is a systematic process and because it is a systematic process it is not inevitable.

Summer Court NPCs (who I’ll likely be playing sporadically)

Name: Meredith Idlewild
Called: Granny (informal), Gardener Idlewild (formal)
Age: Appears to be in her 60s, actually 29

Seeming: Fairest
Kith: Weisse Frau
Court: Summer (Mantle 3)
Goodwill: Spring 1

Mantle: The idyllic warmth of your childhood summers, featuring the sound of a distant ice cream truck and the tickle of grass underfoot.

History: Originally taken to be the Fair Maiden that knights and gladiators fought for the honor of, Meredith found that she could give up a mote of her youth and beauty to kiss these warriors going into battle and afford them protection. Over time, she built up a horde of warriors owing her their lives, and one day she decided to make them an army and engineer an escape. Since then, she’s joined the Order of the Hallowed Garden and taken up residence in the low-income neighborhood of Kingswood, running a self-defense school.

Name: Berolina Pawn
Called: Berry, Black Pawn
Age: 27

Seeming: Darkling
Kith: Gameplayer
Court: Summer (Mantle 1)
Goodwill: West 1

Mantle: Enh, coming later.

History: Enh, coming later.

Libertarianism is just an extreme version of the system we are currently living in.  In a time when the destruction of welfare and wage reduction has led to widespread poverty, libertarians are calling for a further hollowing of those institutions, to be replaced by wholly unsystemic alternatives.  In a period when colorblindness has led to us ignoring the murder of PoC, libertarians call for a doubling down of colorblindness.  They position themselves as anti-statists but withdraw to support for the police state to defend the unequal structures they uphold.  

While there have been some, few examples of good libertarian thinkers (Jane Jacobs is really the only example I can think of and she never stated that she was a libertarian, and moreover her theory has been thoroughly corrupted by power to the degree that her defense of low-income neighborhoods has become an argument for gentrification), I have to say I’m deeply mistrustful of libertarianism as an ideology and those who stand with it.

mod r

Sooo, I just heard a speech that Trump just gave and....frankly I'm confused.

How does anyone, particularly minorities, hate him?

I just listen to a whole hour of a man who wants to dedicate his presidency to working closely with minority groups like African Americans, many of whom live in low income housing and neighborhoods, don’t get good education and thus don’t get good jobs, to help them have and use the resources to get good educations and jobs.

Do you get it, or are you deaf?

He just went on and on about how right now, minorities like, African Americans, are not doing well in the education and job world; and he wants to do everything in his power to change that.
We have spent so many terms under democratic rule and how are the minorities doing? Better? No! The same or worse. Why tf do you think there is so much crime in the black community? It is statistically shown that in low income neighborhoods, there is more likely to be crime.

Imagine if we could have a system that provide more and better opportunities to minorities so that they could afford better education, jobs, and consequently living conditions…

If you still don’t believe me then go look up a video of Trump’s most recent speech. God bless America, and God bless Donald Trump.

“As someone who grew up in a low-income neighborhood and with parents who barely had more than a high school education, I often feel like a fake in museums. I graduated from art school but I don’t understand that kind of art! I was a Cultural Studies major, art only started to feel accessible when I thought of it as resistance. I think of my mother, who is an excellent artist (but would never call herself one), and other people’s whose art are never seen. I really only saw graffiti or comics growing up; museums were for people with money or people who thought they were better. As an adult I really love history museums but it pisses me off what little access the public has to the artifacts, especially when we’re talking about oppressed people who might only see artifacts from their people in museums – and keep in mind many of the artifacts were stolen.

Museums have to be proactive with outreach and community education. They hold artifacts and documents of history not many of us are fortunate to know. And much of what museums have were stolen from oppressed people - we deserve to have access.

Community should be at the center of museums, and I mean, young students from public schools, working-class families, the elderly, not just artists and historians from privileged backgrounds.”

– Keisa Reynolds, Queer Black Feminist Writer, Storyteller, and Educator

Former Oklahoma police officer found guilty of multiple rapes
A former Oklahoma City police officer was convicted Thursday of rape related to accusations that he victimized 13 women on his police beat in a minority, low-income neighborhood.

A former Oklahoma City police officer has been convicted of sexually assaulting women he preyed upon in a low-income neighborhood he patrolled.

A jury convicted Daniel Holtzclaw of four charges of first-degree rape and 14 other counts. He sobbed while hearing the verdicts Thursday, his 29th birthday. He could spend the rest of his life in prison, based on the jury’s recommendation he serve 263 years.

The mother of his youngest accuser, who was 17, said the case should demonstrate the problem of sexual misconduct by officers isn’t limited to one police department.

“It’s a problem for the nation,” the mother told the Associated Press.


Why are politicians finally talking about drug addiction? White people.

In the past decade, nearly 90% of new heroin users were white. Unlike during the crack cocaine epidemic during the 1980s, which was concentrated in low-income black neighborhoods in large cities, the current drug crisis afflicts a broad swath of rural America. So now it’s politically relevant?


Central State Hospital for the Insane, Indianapolis

Part II of VIII.

It didn’t take long to find the 160-acre plot of land which contained the hospital’s many buildings. Tucked away in an inner city low income neighborhood, the site was fenced off around the perimeter with an entrance to the Indiana Medical History Museum on the backside.

The museum, which was closed that day, is in the restored Pathology Building, but the decaying structure pictured above caught my interest more so than the museum. Plus, it wasn’t closed.  

There wasn’t a single person in sight, unless you count the plane flying overhead, so I parked the car, readied the camera, and set off to explore. 

Teach for America is shrinking because it’s deeply flawed 

Teach for America, the extremely selective AmeriCorps program that places elite college graduates in teaching positions in low-income neighborhoods across the country, seems to be on the outs. The number of applications has decreased for two consecutive years, which represents a striking departure from a “15-year growth trend,” according to the New York Times. This fall, the organization estimates that the size of its famed teacher corps could decline by 25% from the 10,500 teachers currently placed in classrooms across the country.

How it’s failing teachers and students