All over the country, gentrification takes many forms – rising rents, $4 coffees overrun with hipsters, or flipped homes with reclaimed wood fences designed to keep neighbors out. Where we live in Jersey City, just 20 minutes outside New York, we see it in the empty storefronts that line our once-thriving business district.
As Jersey City teens who hang out on Monticello Avenue, it seems to have become a graveyards for small businesses -- former banks, restaurants, and bodegas with empty windows gathering dust and graffiti as they wait to be filled by rich outsiders. Within the last year, at least half a dozen businesses that have come and gone. The few Mom and Pop shops left in the neighborhood are dilapidated.
-- To be published soon on Youth Radio