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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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Entrepreneurial Spirits

Entrepreneurial Spirits

(p.117) Chapter 4 Entrepreneurial Spirits
Upscaling Downtown

Richard E. Ocejo

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines entrepreneurialism in the form of small-business ownership as an example of local place making. It starts with an episode from a community board meeting that shows how neighborhood residents use their community ideology to act against a Lower East Side bar owner named Sasha. It then turns to the story of the author's first visit to Sasha's unique, upscale cocktail bar before considering who has opened bars in these downtown neighborhoods since the start of their gentrification, how owners understand their role in their neighborhood, and how new bars reinforce preexisting social bonds among groups while supporting rarefied taste communities. The chapter shows that bar owners represent “place entrepreneurs” who collectively construct an image of downtown as a destination for nightlife. It concludes by showing how new downtown nightlife has transformed from being for communities of newcomers in the area to being for groups of visitors to the area.

Keywords:   entrepreneurialism, place making, neighborhood residents, community ideology, Lower East Side, bars, downtown neighborhoods, gentrification, bar owners, place entrepreneurs

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