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Upscaling DowntownFrom Bowery Saloons to Cocktail Bars in New York City$
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Richard E. Ocejo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155166

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155166.001.0001

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Night and Day

Night and Day

(p.1) Introduction Night and Day
Upscaling Downtown

Richard E. Ocejo

Princeton University Press

This book examines bars not only as places for sociability, but also as windows for understanding how downtown neighborhoods in New York City like the Lower East Side, East Village, and Bowery have transformed from disinvested slums to upscaling destinations with nightlife scenes. More generally, the book investigates the role and impact of nightlife's rise in the postindustrial city by analyzing how bars have become symbols of neighborhood change, specifically gentrification, that different groups experience, interpret, and act upon in a multitude of ways. If we look beyond their brick-and-mortar buildings and the social life within them, we can see bars as part of a larger social ecosystem—an urban context of resident groups, community organizations, government agencies, politicians, consumer subcultures, and entrepreneurs—that contributes to our understanding of the nature and consequences of the massive reinvestment in the downtowns of today's cities.

Keywords:   bars, downtown neighborhoods, New York City, slums, upscaling, nightlife, postindustrial city, gentrification, social life, social ecosystem

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