Nita Nita Closure
Nita Nita, a bar in Williamsburg, was wrapped up like a crime scene. The tape reads "GENTRIFICATION IN PROGRESS." Local artist Gilf (Ann Lewis) did this. Gilf's done this at other locations around NYC. If you want to do it too, she sells the tape for $60 retail. Find it through @gilfnyc's profile or her site here.
The bar's owners posted "with our lease almost up and a threefold increase coming up on our rent, staying open is just not an option” on their Facebook page. The landlords had asked for $24k monthly.
"The unique culture of New York City is transforming into a strip mall with less parking," Lewis told Gothamist. "My question is: why aren't the City Council members representing the people and passing reform that would keep a place like Nita Nita open? Communities continue to scatter, people are exponentially being displaced, and our representatives are doing nothing about it. That's disgraceful."
Nita Nita opened in 2006. I used to live in that community, two blocks over, on Bedford Ave at North 8th. Like me, the bar, like its patrons, was an actor in an earlier wave – the first or perhaps second, depending on which cultural timeline you believe canonical – of Williamsburg's gentrification. I understand the intent of Lewis's statement, but I also think this tape could have been appropriate on the storefront at any time in the past 9 years.