Oct 11, 2016

Calle Siete


When Julio Guridy proposed adding Calle Siete signs to 7th Street, he was somewhat surprised by the reaction. Although, he might have expected opposition from what Bill White calls the Emma Tropiano people, he didn't expect it from the Hispanic merchants of 7th Street. More unexpectedly, the opposition was lead by Pete Lewnes, quasi government official and manager of 7th Street. The merchants expressed the opinion that it was a diversion from more real problems, such as litter. Lewnes stated that it discriminates against other minorities. Bill White felt that the proposal was divisive. Julio himself got defensive, and stated that Hispanics are now a majority, and deserve a piece of the recognition pie.

Leave it to this blogger, a plain talker, to articulate the real issue. One must understand that the recent attempted gentrification of Hamilton Street intentionally relocated the Hispanics to 7th Street, including the merchants that cater to them. In that sense, it's already a Hispanic ghetto. Peter Lewnes and the merchants want as large of a customer base as they can attract. For that reason, substantial funds have gone into the 7th Street facade program. This isn't some large cosmopolitan, sophisticated area where an ethnic sign will attract suburban curiosity. Unfortunately, the cultural divide and prejudice are real obstacles that Lewnes and the merchants are trying to overcome. The last thing they want to do is brand 7th Street as Hispanic.

5 comments:

Steven Ramos said...

There are many that believe the development will come up 7th St. When the planned expulsion of Hispanics from center city is complete the signs will be like an ancient artifact leaving people to wonder why are the signs in Spanish.

Robert Trotner said...

Really good point, Steven. I hadn't thought of that at all.

michael molovinsky said...

steven@6:56, i don't believe that the development will go one inch beyond the subsidized NIZ borders, because the development is not organic, but induced by the outrageous subsidy. one need only look at how they're cannibalizing symphony hall's parking lot for strata 3, because it's in the zone.

Steven Ramos said...

Mike, good point. Once they do cannibalize the zone I could foresee a NIZ 3.0 version going up 7th.

george schaller said...

Not to divert attention from the hard work that has been put forth by the brand that is branded, but this organic as well as relocated cancerious progressive development is the only thing that is a positive and ongoing process that seems to be prospering! There is certian things that are left out of sight as well as print effecting to the west and east of this mainstreet?
The mayor has been made aware and is participating with the collectivity of his appointed counsil that makes claims of representing this sector yet wear there reprehencible golden crowns of vindication?