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I would want to praise Ms. Hodge for a acerbic take on the Taco Punk situation. I have had Taco Punk in its halcyon days as a food truck and just didn’t dig the food very much. I will also praise Gabe Sowder for his efforts to make the city a better place through his ethical values and attempts to build a local business. However, running a successful business is hard (especially hard for a restaurant), and many, many people have put their heart, soul, and pocketbooks into this endeavor, and failed more often than succeeded. The phrase “good money chasing bad” seems appropriate here, the sustainability of a business doesn’t so much depend on a cool new dining room but if they can more than cover their costs by selling food for more than it costs to make it.
However, I’m definitely singing the same song as the chorus of comments here–Ms. Hodge is strongly mistaken on Nu-Lu and what it represents. The Nu-Lu project is one that we should praise because urban revitalization brings economic value not only to the neighborhood, but to the whole city through job creation (people spending money locally and attracting more visitors) and increased tax revenue for government services. The story of gentrification, however, doesn’t end there–people end up displaced due to the increase in prices, and the poor and disenfranchised continue to suffer. Stories of what neighborhood is authentic is a funny one because the gentrification cycle…hipsters move into new neighborhoods, creating a cool vibe and increasing property values through building community and businesses, which continues the cycle — soon the neighborhood is expensive and decried as inauthentic.