Los Sures: The Puerto Rican Southside

Jun 08, 2022

Apparently, I forgot to upload this post, and had it saved as a draft all this time. Sorry!

Hey everyone,

As promised, here is part one of my overview of the ethnic enclaves in Northern Brooklyn.

Beginning in the 1920’s, many Puerto Ricans arrived in Southern Williamsburg. This influx was due to poor conditions in Puerto Rico, and a growing industrial business in the area. This trend persisted till the 1960’s.

Starting in the 1970’s, however, many factories closed operations, seeking cheaper operating costs. Additionally, major urban areas on the east coast underwent a period of profound socio-economic decline.

Consequently, formerly industrial areas, such as Los Sures, saw a rise in crime and poverty, as well as the rise of organized criminal operations. This neighborhood character would persist until the late 90’s.

Since then, the area has undergone a new change, both socio-economic and demographic. Due to the area being in close proximity to the “OG” gentrified part of Williamsburg, spillover was inevitable. As a result, development and rising prices contributed both to the supposed enrichment of the area, as well as displacement of Puerto Ricans.

My findings supported this notion, with most Puerto Rican respondents believing that gentrification had negatively changed the areas character, and all believing it had increased prices. While some respondents believed gentrification opened up new opportunities in a formerly stagnant neighborhood, the majority had a broadly negative outlook.

Expect to hear from me next wednesday. Anybody like Italian?

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