The Gentrification Cycle

The last panel of this cartoon was inspired by a recent NYT article about the Belgravia neighborhood in London, where international jet-setters own much of the real estate. Multi-multi-million-dollar homes sit unoccupied for most of the year, leaving the streets deserted.

Here’s an idea. Let me suggest that the very finest properties be reserved for cartoonists and other artists, musicians and writers. Wealthy benefactors would take a cue from the Renaissance and pick up the tab, honored to support a rich cultural life in their city. The yuppies could then squabble over the crumbling fixer-uppers we leave unclaimed. (Yes, I’ve been spending too much time thinking about housing lately, and getting annoyed at gentrification.)


  • Sumit

    I love it! (Except for the part that acknowledges Hipsters are real. They don’t exist, except in Portland:

    • Jen Sorensen

      Heh, I’d say we have a few in Austin too.

  • Quiddity

    Sad to see closed its doors. I had great hopes for that company when I first learned of it in 2007 (Its “play” work environment was so atypical of what most programmers experience, but one the media often present as SOP).

    • Jen Sorensen

      I was wondering if someone would pick up on that! I would give you a prize of Sniddle swag if I could.

  • Daniel T 3000

    This has certainly been the process so far but isn’t a cycle supposed to end up where it started? Do the international oligarchs get replaced by working class minorities?

    • Samuel Hodder

      Maybe after a revolution….

    • Bob

      The cycle continues in other neighborhoods.

  • neroden

    You know, if I were an international oligarch (I’m not), I’d *totally* set you up in one of my unused houses. Patronage is *fun*.

    Our current problem is that we have a really crappy set of oligarchs. They don’t feel the need to compete by showing off what big patrons they are, like Renaissance oligarchs — they just compare numbers in their bank accounts and think they’ve “won” if they have more money. Renaissance-style oligarchs would be an improvement.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.