Coffee With Your Gentrification?

The Los Angeles Times published a pair of incendiary articles this week in which coffee plays an integral role in the conversation about gentrification.

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July 20, 2017, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Abbot Kinney, Venice

EarthScape ImageGraphy / Shutterstock

Ruben Vives reports on the ongoing gentrification controversies embroiling the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights. The latest site of conflict in Boyle Heights is Weird Wave Coffee.

Anti-gentrification forces spent weeks trolling the coffee house on Instagram before and after it opened June 15. They held protest rallies outside the business, holding posters, including one that read “… White Coffee” and included an expletive, and another that said “AmeriKKKano to go.” They passed out fliers with a parody logo that read “White Wave.”

The protests of the coffee shop shift slightly the site of anti-gentrification political action away from art galleries. The Los Angeles Times has documented previous actions in August 2016, November 2016, and February 2017.

A day later, columnist Robin Abcarian began an examination of gentrification in the neighborhood of Venice with an anecdote about a short drive to a Blue Bottle coffee shop on the popular Abbot Kinney commercial corridor. The op-ed is a strongly worded response to Wall Street Journal analysis published earlier this month finding evidence that the neighborhood's building envelope has been shrinking as its popularity grows. 

Alissa Walker, among others, responded to Abcarian's anti-development stance on social media.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 in Los Angeles Times

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