CHICAGO—Although his move comes on a wave of rising rents and shifting demographics, area man Blake Joyner felt only moderately guilty this week about his role in gentrifying a historically Eastern European neighborhood. “Don’t get me wrong, people of Eastern European descent face their fair share of problems, but I definitely sleep easier at night knowing I didn’t displace a group I think of as actually marginalized. People who see me in this neighborhood might actually think I grew up here,” said the 26-year-old gentrifier, who was “pretty sure” he could link his family’s lineage to Poland. “I was pretty bummed when they bulldozed that Latvian Orthodox church to make room for the mixed-use condos, but we’ll get Starbucks on the ground level of the building, so, you know. Plus, there’s a church on practically every street here, so I’m sure these people will be fine.” At press time, Joyner was making friends with his new neighbors by helping an elderly Lithuanian woman load her belongings into a U-Haul for her move to Little Kingston, a predominantly Jamaican neighborhood.
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