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‘These Hipster Idiots’
Big Ron on Post-Modern Urban Renovations
Ron and I were at the bar speaking of work. He showed me a church he had been renovating with Amish craftsmen, then groaned at the hideous convenience store he was laying out to service the savage employees of one of America’s lowest-paying employers. Then the tone turned towards gentrification as we sat in a blighted zone overrun by the hoodrats literally ejaculated by Baltimore City, the Federal Housing Authority and the NAACP as part of a social engineering threesome.

“These hipster idiots that are buying these old row homes are idiots. These houses around here, since they were built after World War Two were built on a foundation. These houses were built for true boomers, guys who grew up in a row home with four-five brothers and had to move because there was no room. That problem took care of itself, working people moving out. Then the rest were moved by bringing in the dindus and running them out and if that didn’t flip your real estate crack would—no working man stays in a neighborhood with his family after crack hits the streets.
“But anything downtown, especially Waverly, Hamden, South Baltimore, those houses, they dug a hole in the dirt, laid down stone, then bricked on top of that. I know a guy making good money pouring a foundation under these houses—its expensive. So these hipster idiots are spending up to a half million dollars on a row home, that, if it was built for the wealthy, was not something they stayed in in the summer, and if it was built for the working man it wasn’t built to last.
“It is interesting how the demographics are changing in East Baltimore. The black guys I work with will not even go down to Broadway. It’s nothing but Mexicans down there. If 20 blacks come down the street, 40 Mexicans will pour out of their houses with knives. If forty come, then 80 come out, kids and all. The Mexicans seem to be serving the function of a buffer between the blacks and the hipsters, at least in Canton and to a certain extent Fells Point. I don’t know how the hell they’re going to get the rest of the blacks to move out of the city to make way for these suckers, but they will do whatever they need to to flip that real estate. If you live in a place like Belair or Abingdon where everyone fled the crack epidemic thirty years ago, you better look out, because they’re coming with their projects—like the ones they just put up here and in White Marsh—and driving you out.”

After two hours, Big Ron offered me a ride home. As we got out on the Baltimore County street an hour after true dark, we saw about 15 of the ebony revelers—some of whom had been entering the bar to buy carry out—drinking on the sidewalks, loitering in the street and milling in packs. As we crossed the street and began passing the liquor store there was a holy happening on the sidewalk before the fried chicken joint, two gender indistinct ebony dancer faced off in a titanic test of rubberized bodies as they twerked, gyrated, swiveled and jerked, from head to toe, bodies all akimbo as onlookers cheered and jeered, contesting their status as the most furious dancer like to champion boxers slugging blood and snot across the ring.
Ron pulled over and stopped and we enjoyed the show for a few moments and, as he started his car up again, he opined, “Whatever happened to the good ole days when negroes were for entertainment? Hipsters ‘ill ruin everything.”
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