There is broken glass everywhere, people pissing in the alleys, junkies in the backyard, and no white people who are not cops. This is Williamsburg before it became the Williamsburg of today—a place that has been cleaned up by the borrowed capital of developers and transformed by forms of consumption that define middle- and upper-class white Americans. In 1984, gentrification has hit only Manhattan, and Brooklyn is still its own planet, still a place populated by poor people of color. We see them stealing cars, running chop shops, smoking dope, dancing in the street to Latin grooves, shopping with food stamps, eating Wonder Bread, worrying about their teenage daughters, looking for work, going to church and watching spiritual possessions.
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