Right on Manhattan's tail, the New York borough of Brooklyn has become this country's second most expensive city. How did it happen? It was anything but chance. In her documentary, “My Brooklyn” co-directed with Allison Lirish Dean, Kelly Anderson explores the rezoning of downtown Brooklyn, with a special focus on the Fulton Mall, the third most profitable shopping district in New York until it was re-zoned for massive redevelopment at devastating cost to melting-pot flavor of the historic area and the African American and Caribbean community the mall largely served.
Not shying away from race and its role both historically and presently in determining what neighborhoods are considered of value, Anderson also examines her presence as a white person moving from community to community, in her search for an affordable home for herself and her family. “I certainly know that my presence in Fort Greene helped it become the target of major real estate developers even if the housing they built was something I could not afford to live in. So I think we have to be real about the role of race in all of this, also the role of race in producing the situation that we’re in now.”
Bill de Blasio ran for office as the man who would tackle what's become "the tale of two New York cities." As mayor-elect, he has the eyes of the world upon him. “My Brooklyn” is an in depth look at how city policy can transform cities for the better or worse. It's an important study for this moment. One can only hope the mayor-elect will watch it. For more on housing, gentrification and the "Dream Foreclosed," watch this interview with Laura Gottesdiener on GRITtv.