Gentrification: noun- The restoration of run-down urban areas by the middle and upper socioeconomic classes
( which could result in the displacement of low income residents )

Group Members: Dana B, Danny B, Kevin E, Joshua H, Tatyana H, William M, Wagner M, Amber C,
Zahara C, Gina D, Gabriela J, Tiffany M, Alyson R, Jonathan J, Alia A, Bethany K, and Chase R

Group Leaders: Ali R and Liz P

Links: Food tour guy Jeff’s website

Daily Agenda:

November 26: Introductions to Neighborhoods and Gentrification.

November 27: Exploring Jackson Heights to experience different cultures foods.

November 28: Museum of Natural History ( food exhibit ) and Cuban/Chinese Restaurant.

November 29: Staten Island Exhibit and Mexican Restaurant.

November 30: Jewish Restaurant and Tenement Museum

MONDAY–Organization of our week and viewing of 7th Street documentary

7th street reactions:

Amber Caimares: Today we read an article and a documentary about gentrification. The movie was about the changes that happened on 7th Street in the early 90’s. Josh Pais, the producer and director of 7th Street, went around his neighborhood, speaking to its residents about the changes that happened throughout the community. I think that this film is a perfect representation of gentrification for it describes the exact definition of gentrification. Gentrification means the process of wealthy and well educated people moving into a “poor” neighborhood and “improving” it. The previous residents of that community would be pushed out through the means of rising rent, expensive stores and restaurants, etc., however, not intentionally. On 7th Street, the street was first “over run” by Hungarian Jews. However, as time passed, Puerto Ricans, Black, and Native Americans began to populate the area and, slowly but surely, most of the Jewish population trickled out. Then the area changed further more with the introduction of drugs. Years later, more of the Caucasian race came into the neighborhood, thoroughly changing it for the better – for the new residents. The older residents, whether they be children or adults, are being gradually kicked out by the increase of rent. Many of the older residents have been put out on the street because they weren’t able to pay for their homes any longer. One of the residents even stated that in 2010, he wouldn’t be able to live on 7th Street because of the vast changes. The neighborhood has changed vastly since then and that is when I realized that , while gentrification is a good thing, it’s only good for the ones that are moving in.

Dana Bong: The film we watched in our group was rather intriguing. The changes shown in E 7th street, which was the home of the director, Josh Pais, was the perfect example of gentrification. I was quite astounded when he clearly pointed out the major changes that went through during the course of several decades. The fact that the old 7th street was a tight knit community made it surprising that it turned into one that was filled with people who did not know each other personally. Surely, some of the changes were made to benefit certain aspects of the community, however, most suffered greatly and lost a place they called their homes. In my opinion, living in a community where you know everyone closely would be pleasant and I would love being in a community such as described. Certainly, the fact that the people on 7th street lost the place they called home is unfortunate however that is unchangeable.

Danny Brown: I think the movie, 7th Street, was very relatable because I have experienced this in my own life as well. I like how this was a very emotional film and I also like how he took the time out of his life to document his community. John was the type of kid that I was when I was growing up in Crown Heights and that’s why I think it is very relatable. It’s interesting how he viewed 7th street to be different in 2010 because of the way that it was changing in his own time period.

William Mayers: It was a great film to watch. It me think how neighborhoods can change over the course of time. Josh Pais lived in E 7th Street in the Lower East Side. He talked about how he grew up in his neighbor. He was a lower class citizen who lived with his mother after his parents got divorced at the age of 7. Where he lived everybody knew each other and were like family to one another. But as the years passed everyone vanished and new people started occupying the houses. It made me think about how the change of neighborhoods can affect the people that lived there for years.

TUESDAY–Jackson Heights culinary tour with Jeff

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: it was POURING RAIN on this day, yet we still took our walking tour and had a great time and ate delicious foods.

Our itinerary:

Stop 1: Fiesta Grill (Filipino turo-turo- or “point-point” food–point and tell them what you want to eat!), 69th Street, Woodside

Stop 2: Phayul Restaurant (Tibetan food) on 37th Road. We had varying reactions to the Butter Tea (it wasn’t like any tea that most of us have tasted–some of us thought it tasted like soup broth, but many of us didn’t like it at all). Most of us liked the mo-mo dumplings and the spicy condiments

Stop 3: Bhim Cafe (Nepali food) just down the block from Phayul. We learned the difference between Tibetan food (more like Chinese food) and Nepali food (more like Indian food). We had the Thali platter at Bhim, and many of us agreed that the Thali was the best food of our tour.

Stop 4: Rajbhog Foods (Indian vegetarian) on 37th Avenue. We enjoyed the samosa chaat.

Stop 5: Ecuadorian food cart off Roosevelt on 79th Street–tasted bollo de pescado (a fish-based tamale, with peanut butter flavor!)

Stop 6:Louie’s Pizza on Baxter Street–a pizza joint owned by Albanian immigrants

Cultural Food Tour reactions:

Bethany: We went to different food restaurants for different cultures around Jackson Heights. Filipino,Tibetan,Nepalese,Indian, and Ecuadorian is what we ate. I liked the Tibetan food the best.The Momos & Dofu were really good. Our tour guide Jeff was good, too: he explained everything well and let us know what was inside each food. I look forward to doing this again sometime.

Gina Marie Delgado: Today we visited different restaurants and tried different types of food from different cultures. We tried Tibetan, Indian, Bangledesh, Filipinan, Ecuadorian, and etc. I’m the type of person to try different kinds of food. So, I took a risk at everything. I liked the majority of foods. I’d say the only thing I didn’t like was the spicy food. Our tour guy was pretty cool too. He was the one who showed us around to these restaurants because he knew the owners really well. Though it was raining, it was worth it. Overall, it was a great experience to get to try different foods with my group.

Tiffany Manley: I enjoyed tasting all of the different foods and learning about different cultures today. Out of all of the 5 places we visited, I enjoyed the Philippines restaurant. At first I was skeptical about the food. Then when I actually tried the food, I fell in love. The Tibetan and Nepalese restaurants were very good. I was very surprised at how similar but different they were at the same time.

Chase: Today we ate at a lot of different restaurants like Louie’s pizza. It was a great experience with the traveling and food. Our tour guide Jeff was a big help with telling us about Jackson Heights and it’s races. The food was good and really related to food we eat today like the Tibetan with the tea. Over all this was a really good trip/tour.

Pictures of our wonderful food tour:

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This is Raja Sweets which is an Indian restaurant

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This is some of the foods served at Raja Sweets ,

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This is a group photo at Louie’s Albanian Pizzaria

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Momo’s were our samples given to us at the Tibetan restaurant

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Butter Tea was also given to us at the Tibetan restaurant

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Fiesta Grill was a Filipino restaurant

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Here is the whole group waiting in line to get seats

WEDNESDAY–Museum of Natural History visit and lunch at La Caridad 78 (Chinese Cuban cuisine)

Global Kitchen reactions:

Gabriela Jimenez: Today we went to the Museum of the City of New York. We got a tour around the museum about New York City and its history in 400 years. We also learned about Staten Island and how it came to be. We learned that Staten Island was used as an oyster farm, a place for entertainment for the wealthy. It was a lot of fun learning about the history. It was also my first time visiting the museum.Thanks to Liz for being our tour guide and teaching us everything she knows.

Alyson Reid: There was a japanese watermelon that was shaped as a box because they use to put the watermelons in boxes. there was a 6ft cod , there was test tube beef, and they said that every obese adult intakes about 29 calories.this exhibit was okay for me because i wasnt really interested in everything that was there but im glad that i was informed and learned new things. the one thing i like was the different cultures had tables set up showing how they ate. i thought that was really cool.

Bethany: We went to the museum of natural history and there was a special section called “food global” . We went in and looked at the exhibit. It showed different types of food for different cultures and how obesity has went up during the years. Then last we saw a presentation about food and science mixed together.

Global Kitchen Photos:

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These are cubed watermelon from Japan

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Here is the experiment we did with our tastebuds and jellybeans

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A big box filled with things our families waste everyday

Kevin and Danny listening to how you make Apple Cider

Mexican Restaurant and Staten Island Exhibit Reactions:

Zahava Cortez: On our fourth day of Rensizzle we went to a Mexican restaurant called El Paso Taqueria. The environment of the restaurant was so heart warming and the staff there we’re very friendly and nice. After we sat down the owner of the restaurant was kind enough to give us nachos free of charge. On these nachos there was melted mozzarella,tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, bean dip, and cilantro it was delicious. The burrito I ordered with oven-roasted pork could not have been anymore satisfying. Perfect amount of every ingredient they put in their burritos as well as the lemonade I order it wasn’t too sweet or unsweetened it was just perfect. After the meal we had a tour of the Museum of the City of New York, there our tour guide,Liz, took us to see a show of New York since 1609, she also took us to the Staten Island exhibition how it has developed since the 1800s. The similarities I saw in the developments of New York and Staten Island is how both places advanced their means of transportation for example now their bridges and trains. Back before this was even built the only means of transportation between Staten Island and New York was the Staten Island Ferry. Just knowing this is pretty amazing to see the changes that New York has gone through over the past 400 years.

Alia Alobaidli: Today we went to a Mexican Restaurant and I ordered a burrito. It was really good i was really full. Then we went to the Museum of The City of New York. We first watched a 20 minute video about N.Y. 400 years ago until now and about the changes that happened. After watching the video we had a tour of the museum and learned some changes of Staten Island which were the bridges that was built connected there to N.Y. and when years passed the population increased. The similarity of Jackson Heights and Staten Island is they are both diverse. There are less trains in Staten Island.

Danny Brown: I found today’s trip very fascinating and informative. I learned things not only about Staten Island but about New York as a whole For a first time experience I was amazed at how well the tour guide was directing us and how much information I didn’t know about New York. Finding out the History of the City and Staten Island was a delight.

Tatyana Hincapie: On Thursday we visited east Harlem and had lunch at El Paso, a Mexican restaurant with very friendly owners who were very welcoming to our class. We ate then walked to the museum on the city of New York and had a tour of the museum. First we watched a video that focuses on the changes in New York from the days the indigenous people lived here, til now. Then we quickly walked through an activism gallery. Then we took a look at Staten Island and how it is similar and different from the other boroughs , since Staten Island is often forgotten.

Kevin Escamilla: Today we visited the Museum of the City of New York. Before that however, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant were we tried out some of the typical food eaten by Mexicans. We tried things like tacos, chilaquiles, burritos, and memelitas. I for one tried a burrito of carne enchilada, or spicy marinated meat. It was my first time eating a burrito and thankfully, was a great first time experience. After enjoying a delicious meal, we walked to the Museum of the City of New York. There we watched a 25 minute video about the process and changes that New York underwent to become the city it is today. We watched as people began expanding farther and farther west and throughout the city and how the infrastructures such as canals, bridges, highways, and subway lines connected the five boroughs of New York. We mainly focused on the development of Staten Island from its starting business,such as oyster fishing, to the homes that were built for factory workers to the land fill that was created to dump all the garbage of New Yorkers. Today was by far a great learning experience about the city of New York.

Staten Island Exhibit:
Museum of the City of New York

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Group Photo of us standing on the stairs

Picture of the rebuilding of the Bronx in the 1980’s

How gentrification has happened in Jackson Heights ?

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Old corner of 79th street and 37th avenue

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New corner of 79th street and 37th avenue