Joel Fuller wouldn’t call himself a hipster.
“I don’t know how I feel about the word ‘hipster.’”
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Joel Fuller, 21Current Tenant, Student, Retail Employee
Lives with: His parents and kid sister.
History: Grew up down the block; family has rented here since December 2014.
I grew up a few houses down until I was about 11. And then we moved to Crown Heights — and now we’re back. My family is staying in this house. We just moved here in December.
The block has changed into something else. It’s still a great block, but it’s a little bit more of a younger crowd. It’s kind of like this side of the block is the older people who have lived here for years, and over there it’s the new generation.
Brooklyn is families, and now it’s becoming young hipsters who are moving in, creating coffee shops. I don’t know how I feel about the word “hipster.” I don’t like to be labeled as anything really. Sometimes people say that to me, and I’m like whatever. I’ve always loved coffee shops, but it feels like it’s kicking people out who can’t afford to live where they grew up. It’s bittersweet. People, their eyes light up when you say you live in Bed-Stuy, like they want to be a part of that. I even had this manager who mentioned on Twitter, “I live in Bed-Stuy,” making it very out there that he lived in this very cool place.
I’ll always have family here, so I’ll always come back. We go to my grandmother’s house every Sunday after church for dinner. She still lives here. Growing up, I didn’t think anything about having so much family, but now, looking into it, it’s kind of a big deal. A lot of people who come to New York don’t know that experience. They don’t know the neighborhood feeling, playing with the neighbors and having a family outside of your family. That’s how it was for me growing up on this block. And I’m really grateful for it.
Interviews by: DW Gibson, Christopher Pomorski, and Kim Velsey. Photographs by: Francis Agyapong for New York Magazine. Additional reporting by: Katie Levingston, Kiannah Sepeda-Miller, Eleanor Shanahan, Danielle Smith, Manuela Tobias, and James Walsh. Edited by: Genevieve Smith. Production: Sarah Caldwell and Abraham Riesman. Design and Development: Leslie Shapiro, Sarah Ruddy, and Kristen Dudish.