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A 4 day event entitled There Goes the Neighborhood! will be engaging the community of North Park Thursday May 31st through Sunday June 3rd. The series of workshops, talks, installations, performances, and tours, includes an event at UCSD and happenings at the San Diego Museum of Art. This will be the 2nd manifestation of There Goes the Neighborhood, having occurred once before in 2010.

One of the workshops will take place in the North Park Theater's parking lot, focusing on the city project aimed at converting the lot into a mini-park. Landscape specialists, architects, artists, and the community will explore potential usages of the space. Another event is centered on a dinner atop the Landis Street overpass, where discussions about the widening of the 805 freeway (among other developments) are to take place.

Musical performances by starvelab (Michael Trigilio using modular analog equipment) and Chris Warren (performing innovative computer music) will take place at the art gallery known as Art Produce to end Saturday's scheduled events. Bill Wesley (of Array Instruments), Asha Sheshadri, and Sean Francis Conway will be performing at The Whistle Stop earlier that same day. Sean Conway is also set to lead a walk between a couple events - he has been known to lead an invented-instrument marching band in the past.

“What we hope to accomplish is to create a participatory public forum that bridges gaps between different types of thinking and to draw attention to people, projects and sites- in a neighborhood, on a campus or in a museum- that act as points of convergence of many complex issues,” writes David White, one of the six lead organizers of There Goes the Neighborhood. White also founded Agitprop, which will be hosting several of the events. He will be giving a presentation about a project focused on the idea of relocating UCSD to Balboa Park, where San Diego city planners originally wanted to build the university.

“This re-location ultimately goes back to fundamental questions about the role of education in our society and in the 'knowledge economy' that tend to overlook forms of knowledge that do not have a direct implication in 'research and development' pro formas. The presentation is not necessarily about UCSD per say, but about a general rethinking of the types of spaces that we value as sites of producing knowledge. I think artists can have a lot to say about these alternate ways of looking at, and understanding, the world,” says White.

Stephanie Lie, also one of the organizers, tells me separately that information sharing doesn't always have to come from academia. She says universities can learn from the streets. Lie goes on to say “People in the ivory tower should come down... engage, interface.” In a way these six organizers, most of whom are artists connected to UCSD, are challenging the very structure of knowledge. One of the events will tackle this topic at The San Diego Museum of Art, with a panel discussion which includes professors and City Council member Todd Gloria.

It is also evident that serious introspection has taken place by the organizers themselves, regarding the role of artists in society. One might imagine that an event, such as this one, would be organized by the city, the North Park town council, or developers, but it wasn't. Perhaps it is the role of artists to fill in the missing gaps that naturally occur within the structure of a society. Too bad there isnt much of a financial incentive to help motivate such an idea further.

White puts it this way, “I like to say that There Goes the Neighborhood is like a snowball rolling down the side of a mountain. Our job as organizers is to carefully craft that first little snow ball, give it a roll, and then get the hell out of the way!”

Another one of the organizers, Micki Davis, stresses that people of all San Diego neighborhoods (not just North Park) are invited, because what is happening in North Park could happen in your neck of the woods next.


There Goes The Neighborhood

Schedule of Events

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Founder May 30, 2012 @ 5:51 p.m.

There Goes The Neighborhood

Having attending TOO many NP meetings in the past and having just found out about this event, I wonder if anyone attending will be talking about any of the downsides of what is now happening in North Park!

At least they named the event correctly.

If North Park continues to "evolve" like it has done in the last 5+ years we can expect to see much more crime, more traffic, many more alcohol establishments and far less artists working in North Park!

North Park is now #3 in City wide violent crime after PB and East Village (in 2011), North Park was #1 in 2010. http://is.gd/9lLQYN

Because traffic in North Park is now starting to look more like City Heights bumper to bumper traffic at rush hour, more commuters are starting to use residential streets which never before was the case!

More Alcohol Establishments are on the way for North Park despite the fact that North Park's three 3 of it's 4 census tracts are already "over saturated" as defined by the California ABC, but they continue to approve ever more licenses because of a legal "loop hole" called PCN (Public Convince and Necessity), so really nothing is stopping North Park from having a 1000 or more businesses selling alcohol...

Using Ray Street at Night as an example, the amount of Art in our "famous" Arts and Entertainment District is only a faint glimmer of it's past greatness! Like the surfers that first discover a great place to surf and hang out, only to be driven away by building blight; the artists of North Park for the most part have been relocating because of increasing rents thanks to absentee land lords and a depressed economy. Now North Park is becoming the new "INLAND" Pacific Beach complete with traffic, crime and an ever increasing number of business that rely on alcohol to pencil out.

After a long time of living in peace and quiet, (especially between midnight and 3 A.M.), local residents living near the once quiet business district now get to "enjoy" noisy patrons trying to make their way back toward their vehicles three+ nights a week in the middle of the night and then having to clean up after them the next day!

Good Luck North Park!

Below is the link (I just got) to the events regarding North Park titled "There Goes The Neighborhood" to be held from Thursday May 31st to Sunday June 3rd at various locations. There Goes The Neighborhood: http://www.theregoes.org/schedule.html


Bobby Bray May 31, 2012 @ 6:25 p.m.

From what I can tell the event is not just some rosy appraisal of North Park and where its going. The first event (two years ago) was focused on gentrification - although seemingly not automatically assuming aspects as either good or bad. Also, it is assumed that attendees are active members of the community. The event seems to be focused on trying to understand the deeper issues of how and why neighborhoods change, down to the structure of information flow in society. In addition, if the humans involved (architects, business owners, artists, academics, citizens, etc.) actually come into contact with each other face to face, in a stranger forum than the many meetings that have taken place, perhaps something would change - dare I saw for the better.

In conversations with the organizers, the displacement of artists came up. The idea that artists may play a role in gentrification is interesting, regarding the idea that artists might help raise the property value of a given neighborhood, and then not afford to live there as a result.


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