Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
A bevy of trend-conscious city planners, opportunistic real-estate developers, municipal officials eager to grow their cities’ tax bases, and entrepreneurial urban gurus… ballyhoo the national renaissance of what inevitably gets described as the Vibrant Urban Neighborhood (VUNs) with its standard-issue bike shops and vintage clothiers, its “authentic” live-work spaces and dive bars, its predictable purveyors of vinyl records and locally-sourced foodstuffs, its de rigueur venues for generically hip “live music,” its uniform throngs of overwhelmingly unmarried and childless active or aspiring knowledge workers ritualistically intoning the shibboleth of “diversity”. But in fact the burgeoning of the VUNs merely demonstrates that consumption and entertainment have become the dominant means of self-definition and of what passes for political expression—and, concomitantly, it signifies not the triumph of urban life but of our crabbed vision of the promise and potentialities of neighborhood and community.
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