In 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart fell short in his attempt to define hardcore pornography with an opinion that reduced his litmus test for obscenity to one simple phrase: "I know it when I see it."
Many people have attempted to apply a concrete definition to gentrification, but I've used the same expression to describe the phenomenon, which I think is particularly apt because it also results in a lot of people getting f*cked.
I'm a white person who moved to a newly renovated apartment in a traditionally industrial part of Brooklyn and frequently shops at the only Whole Foods in the borough. So while I'm aware I'm a part of the problem, I didn't pick the neighborhood I live in with the hopes every business on my block would eventually be replaced by an upscale gym.
After living in New York City for a few years, I've learned there are certain things you can look for to figure out if the neighborhood you're in has started to feel the impact of full-on gentrification.
Here are some of the biggest warning signs your neighborhood has become gentrified.
1. People use the word "bodega" to refer to the local 7/11.
2. Chipotle is the most authentic Mexican restaurant in the area.
3. You've felt underdressed at the gym.
4. There's a Swedish espresso shop (because that's somehow different than normal espresso).
5. You know more about the journey that shop's coffee beans took to get America than the one your great grandparents took to get here.
6. The average stroller costs as much as your monthly rent.
7. The average stroller is being pushed by someone who is isn't a parent of the child inside.
8. People are surprised when they see a rat scurry out of a pile of trash.
9. There's a Chase and Bank of America located directly next to each other.
10. You feel judged when you ask the clerk at the grocery store for a paper bag.
11. Every piece of graffiti includes an Instagram handle.
12. You only get catcalled by construction workers building luxury condos.
13. There are multiple restaurants that only use lowercase letters to spell their names.
14. There's a bar that prides itself on drinks made with a liquor you've never heard of sourced from a country that might not actually exist.
15. There's a store that only sells drones.
16. Every street has a bike lane.
17. You avoid making eye contact with the person who's lived in your building for over a decade because you know he or she resents you and everything you stand for.