The Bywater Art Lofts building, which is very close to my house, started letting tenants move in the first of the year - and apparently, some folks have already seen fit to express their opinion of our new neighbors. This graffiti must have gone up over the weekend or even last night, since I walk my dog past the building every day.
Sure, gentrification is a touchy issue in New Orleans' historically low-income neighborhoods. The market-rate rent I pay to live between a Section 8 renter and an owner-occupant is higher exactly because of people like me, and for almost a decade "Ninth Ward" has carried a connotation of a certain sort of bohemian hipsterism. But - and this is just one opinion - I don't think a project like the Art Loft rentals are ruining the 'hood. There's a reasonable income cap for the residents, who had to go through a long application and interview process to get into the building. Hopefully, the artists who live in the converted factory will engage the neighborhood - long-term residents as well as gentrifiers like me - with their projects, since apparently part of the building's plan is to use communal gallery space for shows and open-studio events.
More graffiti photos behind the cut. Also, does anyone know what the tagger meant by "You're It?"