Gentrification refers to the physical, social, economic, and cultural phenomenon whereby working-class and/or inner-city neighborhoods are converted into more affluent middle or even upper-class communities by remodelling buildings and landscaping, resulting in increased property values and in the outflow of poorer residents, either through displacement or succession.


41 Responses to “definition: GENTRIFICATION”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    This is a excellent blog. Keep it going. I’m sure you’d be interested in How to buy & sell everything, like music on interest free credit; pay whenever you want.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    It’s a little brown brrd.

    Thanks for your continuing work on this blog & this issue on the whole. You’re awesome! 🙂

  3. Fred Says:

    Hmmm…interesting concept. I always figured neighborhoods (like mine) deteriorate as they get older. I’m trying to think of some examples of “gentrified” neighborhoods around here.

  4. the PLAZOID Says:

    EXAMPLE: new bank right across from the COOP (the COOP which sells Coca-Cola and has recently expanded into a super-sized coop, and changed it’s motto from “PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT” to “THE TOAST OF THE TOWN”).

    EXAMPLE: the plan to move the ENDEAVOR (ARCATA SERVICE CENTER) to Guintolli Lane (far away from downtown.

    EXAMPLE: The new Jitterbean coffeshop on the plaza, where one can often find UNIVERSITY POLICE OVERSEERS (aren’t they suppossed to be on the University campus?)

    EXAMPLE: Those newish buildings down by the marsh.

    EXAMPLE: the $1600 (yes, sixteen HUNDRED dollar) bicycle that Humboldt Property Management bought for Ranger Bob who almost exclusively harrasses unhoused people with selectively-enforced ordinances, some of which actually are violations of the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.

  5. the PLAZOID Says:

    Correction: It is NOT a bank that is being built across from the COOP. I think it is a business on the first floor and condos on the second.

  6. Bud Says:

    Yeah man, $1600 would buy a lot of bud. Share the wealth man.

  7. the PLAZOID Says:

    That is a very good point, “bud.”
    Even scientists and health experts can agree that marijuana has beneficial qualities for many different ailments, which many of us already know without the need for “expert” advise.
    In contrast, Ranger Bob (Murphy, arcata police department) will only inflict more harm on individuals and the community at large. Not to mention that BRIBERY is illegal and WRONG.
    Thanks for the comment.

  8. arcataradical Says:

    Excellent blog, thank you very much for your efforts at enlightening us! Every time I see that crazy new building with the Starbucks in it I just cringe. I guess I’ll never get used to it – if only Arcata could remain the one place left in the U.S. that doesn’t have a Starbucks every five blocks.
    Oh well, coffee sucks anyway.

    I’ve got a blog too, just started it,

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Even scientists and health experts can agree that marijuana has beneficial qualities for many different ailments, which many of us already know without the need for “expert” advise.

    It can also lead to an increase in mental fucking illness! But hey, what do doctors know.

  10. the PLAZOID Says:

    thank you for your comments:

    first of all, to “anonymous”:
    for a list of studies and what-not that support the statement that “Even scientists and health experts can agree that marijuana has beneficial qualities for many different ailments, which many of us already know without the need for ‘expert’ advise”, see this website:

    If you are going to claim that marijuana can “lead to an increase in mental fucking illness” then please cite your sources.

  11. the PLAZOID Says:

    as for “Heyduke”: I did not edit your comment, never even saw it. Did you remove your own comment? It says “removed by author?”

    Well, anyhow, I’m sorry that you feel that Arcata is a “depressing place to live.”

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Researchers in New Zealand found that those who used cannabis by the age of 15 were more than three times (300%) more likely to develop illnesses such as schizophrenia.

    A recent Dutch study of 4,000 people in the general population showed that those taking large amounts of cannabis were almost seven times more likely to have psychotic symptoms three years later.

    Another study, in 1987, of 50,000 Swedish Army conscripts, found that those who admitted at age 18 to having taken cannabis on more than 50 occasions, were six times more likely to develop schizophrenia in the following 15 years.

  13. the PLAZOID Says:

    to “anonymous”:
    first of all, it looks like your links are to studies done by Professor Robin Murray of the Institute of Psychiatry in London. Note that psychiatrists have a vested interest in smearing cannabis, a medicine that does not profit the psychiatric or pharmacuetical industry. And why two links to the same psychiatrist? Anyhow, if you look at the links that I posted (at the NORML website) you will find articles from diverse sources such as the New England Journal of Medicine, The Institute of Medicine (, the Journal of American Medical Association, The National Institute of Health ( – a government organization, and more.

  14. Lord Fauntleroy Says:

    Two weeks since your last rant? You been on vacation at the Pink House? My flowerbed has recently been smelling a lot more like flowers than urine. Go figure.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Gee, I didn’t know you were a doctor. Please tell me more, without linking to NORML. Until NORML uses doctors that haven’t had their medical licences pulled, they are going to be a silly joke. And please tell me how healthy it is to smoke a gram to two grams a day.

  16. the PLAZOID Says:

    to “anonymous”:
    If YOU are the representative of “good” “mental health,” then count me happily amongst the ill.

    So, which doctors had their medical licences pulled? Do you think that it was fair?

    As for links, I believe that I have provided links to the INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE and the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH above, but just for good measure, check out the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA, June 21, 1995 Vol 273, No. 23).

    As for little lord fauntleroy, I have not ceased to rant, nor have I ceased to water your flowerbed.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Stop peeing in our city, get the fuck out.

  18. the PLAZOID Says:

    It is truly amazing to hear that you have mastered the art of NOT PEEING! WELCOME to our fair city, ye who need not pee! No longer will our city be plague by the need for sanitation systems and police on the look-out for rogue urinators! It is the dawn of a new era.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Where are you at, so I can piss in your face?

  20. the PLAZOID Says:

    you sound pissed off. Maybe you should take a break.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe you should have a nice tall glass of shut the fuck up. Sure you talk big, but all you are is a tick sucking the life blood out of the area. Why don’t you fucking leave you leech.

  22. the PLAZOID Says:

    I am “sucking the life blood out of the area”? excuse me? Your accusation requires some explaination.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    You live off other people like a tick.

  24. the PLAZOID Says:

    sorry kid. not good enough.
    If you were referring to our city manger’s bloated income, or the vast amounts of money that go to the police, or the money pilfered off of what is supposed to go to aid the poor, then I could see where you were coming from.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Aid the poor? Why? Oh yeah, they sure do pay the police way too much, and man, all the money that they pay Danny boy would be better spent on the poor riff-raff fucking up the plaza. News flash buddy, fuck the non-working lifestyle poor. If you want to live off th land, go do it, if you want to take up space, do it elsewhere. The only overage is paying for the poor homeless bums in Arcata. You aren’t from around here, go back to whatever place shit you out. Stop taking food and money away from people who are trying to better their lives, not just suck out the lifeblood of an area.

  26. the PLAZOID Says:

    Your diatribe against the heavily subsidized timber industry that takes up “space” with the system of private property that “doesn’t work” for the planet or the people, sounds angry. Don’t hate. Yes, the families of loggers who cut down the trees aren’t “from here”, but to angrily demand that they “go back” probably won’t win you any friends or influence. There is plenty of room in Humboldt County for those who lived off of the logging industry (which is nearing collapse due to liquidation-logging)to find a new way to make a living that is more likely to last in the long run, as well as be succesful in the present.
    Yes, the past couple generations have done much to “suck out the lifeblood of the area” with logging, polluting, dredging for gold, grazing cattle, and Murder of fellow human beings, but your elementary-school style of potty-mouth insults will probably not be of much effect other than to get you further pissed off and drive away potential friends and allies.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    Your post was retarded. Along with your views it seems.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    plazoid, you are a loser, and this blog proves it.

  29. Liability Says:

    What do you think of the new mental health plan to lock you all up?

    The Humboldt County Mental Health Board will conduct a public hearing Nov. 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Wharfinger Building, #1 Marina Way in Eureka.

  30. Anonymous Says:

    I hope they do lock up the mentally ill ones. Which means about 90% of them.

  31. the PLAZOID Says:

    Sorry anonymous, but you are beign lied to by your government. Surprised?
    Go out and take a look around. I have seen the number you are quoting in the document linked above, and it is obviously bullshit, false-justification for kidnapping people off of the street and forcing dangerous drugs on them.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    What? They are pouring draino into their mouths? I must have missed out how the POLICE are removing people from the Plaza and shoving drugs into them. Oh wait, the POLICE don’t do this. If you have a problem with anything, bitch about the poor bastards who work in the nuthouse dealing with the crazy monkeys from Arcata. But hey, it’s your right to run down the street screaming, nude while jerking off to NORML and HIGHTIMES right?

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Just a bit if history. Yes Arcata is going through the process of gentrification and yes there are people who are down and out in Humboldt County who can’t afford a place to live. But, the vast majority of people who are “plazoids” are not of this class. I have family members in Arcata who work with families who are unable to afford housing. These are usually single mothers, but can be fathers or families with both parents, who can’t make enough on the jobs they do have to afford rent. We don’t see these families on the plaza. We don’t see these families in the park. Those places are dangerous for them and their children. No, these families hide and are not counted. They need help.

    Plazoids are mostly single men without children or families of any kind. A few are single women, but not many, and those that are women have a tough time existing within such a male biased crowd. Some plazoids are nice (I have chatted with quite a few), some are very mean (I have been physically attacked in Arcata on two occaisions, once because a guy wanted my slice of pizza and once because a guy wanted my wallet). It’s these mean people the majority of Arcatans have a problem with. We have traditionally tolerated “nice” homeless: those who gave something back to the community, made us laugh, helped an old lady across the street. But in the last decade or so we have seen a large increase in the plazoid population. These are people who have come from elsewhere in the country because they heard that Arcata has a nice plaza and a nice community forest that it is really easy to camp in. Oh and don’t forget the kind bud. These “houseless” who you refer to have entered our town in droves and littered our streets, have crushed the understory of our forests, have eaten our food, have shit on our sidewalks, have broken into our cars, have attacked us on the streets of our town. Certainly some of have been nice, and one two have given back here and there. But the vast majority of these “houseless” have taken, taken some more, and then borken into our house to take what wasn’t. This is why the citizens of Arcata have hired Ranger Bob. We didn’t WANT to do it, but we HAD to. Because there a wave that was eroding our way of life. So you advocate that we can all live together. Well that’s nice and dandy, but until the “houseless” police themselves, until people stop breaking into cars or trying to beat people up for slices of pizza, until they stop yelling at old ladies becuse they only gave a quarter in change, until they put something back into the community then the police force will keep increasing. Things will continue to get antagonistic, and shit will continue to hit the fan. So I am requesting that you Plazoid get your people together and get them to act like human beings and not animals. Unfortunately, mostly what I see here is a bunch of bitching about how bad Arcatans treat the “houseless.” Frankly, it’s a little sickening, given that most of the “houseless” were not born or raised here and didn’t even become homeless here. Arcatans are nice people and would like to work with the “houseless” but if you keep demanding and you don’t give anything in return then your going to turn many people who might be your allies into enemies.

  34. the PLAZOID Says:

    thank you anonymous for your comment.
    You touched on one of the MAJOR problems of the Homeless Task Force – and that is the lack of attention to FAMILIES and the WORKING POOR.
    By adhering strictly to Bush Jr.’s “CHRONIC HOMELESS INITIATIVE,” which directs most of the attention and resources to those that fit the federal definition of “chronically homeless,” families and the working poor are left out.
    This is what the “homeless advocates” said over and over again at the public meetings, but the local newspapers ignored and distorted the message with every newsstory.
    Also of note is the punitive manner in which it is planned to “serve” the “chronically homeless” (forced drugging, involuntary commitment to mental facilites).
    I agree that Arcatans are mostly nice people, and alot of unhoused people and housed people get along just fine. In fact, many unhoused people work for housed people.
    You seem to heap a bunch of individual undesirable acts onto “houseless” people as a group. This is a mistake in logic. I know many “unhoused” people and “plazoids” and NONE of them have shit on a sidewalk (or storefront window or whatever), left trashy camps, broken into cars, or attacked anybody. I’m not saying that some unhoused individuals don’t do these things, but so do HOUSED people. I once saw a young lady, fashionably dressed, obviously drunk, take her pants down and pee on the sidewalk right near the plaza. From reading the newspapers, it seems that all the burglaries and whatnot have been charged to HOUSED people.
    And what about CAR-DRIVERS? Polluting the air, committing ROAD-RAGE, attacking bicyclists, accidently endangering bicyclists, contributing to global-warming, war, and petroleum dependance. Should we run all the car-drivers out of town? or maybe at least off of the plaza?
    As for Ranger Bob…well this subject will definitely take a while – another post is necessary.
    As for “born and raised here,” are you a Wiyot? Yurok? Hoopa? Where are the people who have been born and raised here since the time before recorded history? See the writings of Jack Norton.

    ALLIES: Yes, allies are good. I would like to be an ally with you. What do you need me to do? Obviously I can’t “police” every unhoused person just as you can’t “police” every housed person (or car-driver), but we can both do our part.
    As for “don’t give anything in return,” you obviously need to get to know the unhoused people in this town a little better!!!
    OK OK OK. This is long. More later.
    Thanks again for your comment.
    Ranger BOb post coming soon!

  35. Anonymous Says:

    What a load of lame shit. I saw we pave the plaza and sell bum hunting permits.

  36. Anonymous Says:

    To distinguish myself from “load of shit.” I’m the “Anonymous” who posted the long winded statement, that you kindly responded to.

    First, I agree that Bush Jr’s policies and in fact the homeless policies of the past fifty or so years are utter atrocities. I believe and have said so on many occaision that homelessness is a NATIONAL problem. The basic state of the system is this: because the Federal system has passed the burden of their economic policies of the states and the states have subsequently passed the burden to counties and cities, we have a situation where local governments who have little authority and little resources are stuck with a very unbalanced decision. If they provide resources more homeless people will come to get a share these resources. This is excacerbated by the decisions that’s allowed within our federal system, namely the “kick out the bums” policy. This is where cities, tired of having perceived riff-raff on their streets decide to up there hire police and forcfully remove homeless people from the local area. This causes even greater pressure on those towns that still have more caring policies. If Arcata was a republican town you and I wouldn’t even be having this debate. Ther wouldn’t be any “houseless” in Arcata. Period.

    Arcata has been very tolerant and even welcoming of houseless people for much of its history. It’s really only in the last five years or less that this level of tolerance has become strained. Ranger Bob was hired in 2001. My main point in saying that I was born and raised here was that I have a more historical view Arcata and Arcatans than you appear to have (I would guess that you have been in Arcata for ~5 years and probably less, and certainly less than 10) and that houseless people have moved into the Arcata area from elsewhere (see above paragraph). I WAS “born” here (Mad River Hospital) and WAS “raised” here (a few blocks from the community forest). Just because Wiyot ancestors arrived in the area 10,000 years ago does not have anything to do with that statement. In any case, my point is that as conditions have worsened within the US more and more homeless people have MOVED IN to Arcata likely because they have been kicked out of other places. When I was a kid I played freely in the Community Forest and on the Plaza. I know many families who do not take there kids there anymore. There was a sea change sometime around the mid to late nineties when the denizens of the Plaza shifted from mostly families to mostly houseless. Unhoused poeple were so visible (because there were MANY more of them) and people felt so threatened by them(when someone gruffly asks for change, and certainly when someone asks you to buy drugs these are threatening gestures, further simply taking space, crowding a public bench for an entire day can all be seen as threatening) that many families stopped going to the plaza at all (certainly some persisted since we are tough people). It was at this time that the town decided to higher Ranger Bob. This decision was not made lightly, but it was made because people felt like they could no longer use public spaces (meant for ALL people not just the unhoused). Since this time the houseless population has continued to swell in numbers. If you believe this has not caused pressure on the resources of the town then you’re in la la land.

    Arcata has always had drunk girls that go pee on sidewalks, and their population has not changed much. But the amount of human and dog shit (lots of houseless have puppies) on sidewalks has increased substantially.It may very well be that the percentage of houseless who commit crimes has not changed. As you say there are nice houseless people, I said that myself and I have even known a few. But if raw number of houseless increases then so does the raw number of crimes commited by houseless people. It is the raw numbers that place the pressure not percentages. So if evenits only one houseless person in 1000 that goes around attacking people (yes, I’m talking about a REAL incident) then disturbance to Arcatans lives increases.

    So where does this leave us? When you act as if people in this town are little affected by the the houseless and that all crimes are perpetuated on the houseless by the police (who by the way are supported by the majority of Arcata’s citizen, though no doubt are not supported by the crowd that YOU know) then you make no friends with the people of this town. If you, as a houseless advocate, can’t acknowledge that pressure and disturbance are a two-way street then what does that leave the people who lives have disrupted by houseless people to feel? You say that homeless people are not to blame for their plight, well that just as equally applies to us who work to pay rent and barely get to enjoy the fruits of our labor. It not our fault either that homeless people are homeless. So when you demand services that the city doesn’t have funds to provide, when you take take over public spaces and say you make no impact, when members of the houseless community perpetuate crimes on the people of this city, and then you turn around and don’t even acknowledge you own impact, well, that my friend is profoundly insulting.

    Giving back and being hired by city folk.

  37. the PLAZOID Says:

    thank you for your comment, anonymous. Your perspective is very much appreciated.
    However, I find your assumptions that I “act as if people in this town are little affected by the the houseless and that all crimes are perpetuated on the houseless by the police” and “can’t acknowledge that pressure and disturbance are a two-way street” inaccurate. In fact, if you have read the ‘zine, houseless people are advised that is is best to always be respectful and responsible, not drunk and belligerant.
    Also, what crimes are you talking about that are committed by houseless people? I’m not suggesting that houseless people don’t commit crimes, but I am interested to know what you see as being the negative impact that houseless folks have on this community.

  38. Anonymous Says:

    One crime: I was physically attacked on the street by a “houseless” person, for purposes of getting my wallet. He was one of these “work for housed” types who had been in my neighborhood for some time painting curbs and asking for donations for doing so. Actually I should rephrase that, he did not give people the option of refusing his work. Many people gave him donations but a few did not, because they had never been asked if they wanted the work done or not. In any case, the night he attacked me, he had also: 1) attempted to grab a hammer from a local contradictor in a threatening way, 2) screamed at a single mother and her two year old child through a quickly closed front door, 3) stood on the front porch of a young man and threatened him through a window by making punching gestures, 4) trying to force his way through the front door of a retired couple. I called the police when I reached a phone, and the police detained the man when the elderly couple called as well. This man is now behind bars for the crime he perpetuated on me, attempted strong arm robbery, and I am glad he is. This was an extremely traumatizing experience for me and many others in my neighborhood, and will not lightly be forgotten.

    Another crime: I and a friend of mine were chased by a group of “uhhoused” after leaving Smug’s pizza because they demanded our pizza slices and we wouldn’t give it to them. this chase lasted for two blocks.

    Several more crimes: My family’s house is right off eleventh street, which acts as an “unhoused” highway between the plaza and the forest. Our cars and those of other on our block get broken into about twice a year. These break-ins did not occur before the “houseless” population began soaring in the late ’90s. I will not say that all of these break-ins are due to “houseless” but the association is clear.

    These are crimes that have happened TO ME. If anyone else’s experiences are like mine than it’s no wonder that Arcatans are getting pretty fed up with the “houseless.”

    Sundry annoyances: Let’s see, being woken up in the middle of the night by a “houseless” person rummaging through my garbage. un-picked up dog shit in front of my dad’s place of work after a group of “houseless” with puppies smoked a joint. My mom being yelled at because she gave a “houseless” person change instead of dollar bills. The general culture of huge drug solicitation, I was once asked for or solicited to by drugs 15 times while I walked between northtown and the plaza, I’m sure some of these people were “houseless.” Trash, trash and more trash: you say that “houseless” people clean our streets. Yes, some of them pick up bottles and cans as a form of living, but look at the Community forest, the numerous hidey holes by the 11th street overpass, the Arcata Marsh, all camping sites for “unhoused” people, and what do you find? Trash! Piles of it mopuntains of it. The city of Arcata has to form volunteer trash removal squads just to keep the community forest in some semblence of order.

    I very much agree with another anonymous (in the self help column) who said that if what you say about “houseless” helping out the community is true, that it needs to be proven and VERY VISIBLY. Otherwise, all those things I just described speak for themselves, and say loudly and clearly that “houseless” people are NOT helping out our community.

  39. Anonymous Says:


    While you say that “houseless people are advised that it is best to always be respectful and responsible, not drunk and belligerant” on this site, I have looked through a number of your posts and cannot find evidence of such (not saying it’s not there, just not prevalent). Rather, I find many many many posts lambasting the representatives of Arcata, that is the police, city managers, city council members, memebers of the homeless task force that you disagree with, HSU representatives, the Arcata Eye and basically ANYONE who voices and opinion contrary to your own. Whether or not any of this critcism is deserved is not the point. Rather this seems to be a site that’s about grandstanding and causing bad feeling with the people of Arcata and not about consrtuctive problem-solving. The Anonymous that I referenced in my previous post (see above) mad a very good suggestion to you about how to make th good things that houseless people do more visible, and you argued with him by saying that it was not your responsibility to prove that good. Well if you want to claim that homeless people are good for the community then IT IS your responsibility to prove it. You seem to enjoy holding everyone else’s feet to the fire but as soon as you are criticized you claim “no responsibility.” But that what this whole thing is about isn’t it. Responsibility.

    If you want to be responsible, find the “houseless” out there who are also responsible. Have them form teams who clean up the community forest, who are around when other houseless get unruly and antagonistic and can defuse the situation, perhaps you can collect all the street musician “houseless” together and have a houseless jamboree. All I’m saying is this, if you want people to take the “houseless” community seriously then try to MAKE it a community. You can’t have both ways, by both claiming that the “houseless” COMMUNITY needs to be accepted, but that you are not responsible for individual acts of annoyance and aggression. Bullshit. You seem to be very happy to treat police as a monolithic group, but as soon as anyone talks about acts commited by “houseless” people you argue that these are just a few individuals acting badly. I can just as easily say that it’s just a few cops gone bad.

  40. the PLAZOID Says:

    See issue #1 and susequent issues. I don’t have them all in front of me, but the print versions were more likely to be read by folks out on the streets while the internet is more for archival purposes. The print versions are auite different from the internet versions.

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