Monday, December 19, 2005

Hood House Holdings, LLP

If y'all didn't already know, Gabe Nelson and I are highly interested in undertaking a business venture called Hood House Holdings, which would invest in a blighted block somewhere deep in the hood. Our goal is first to identify a place so immersed in blight that other real estate sharks have not beat us to the punch. It's very important to get a good value on a purchase. Thus, we would like to avoid locations where demand for hood houses is already elevated. In addition to having deep hood status, it would be optimal for the location to be near somewhat commerical amenities and also in proximity to some sort of green space.

Second, upon identifying our block of interest, the next task is project financing. We intend to keep the city abreast of our plans, but we are not certain if we could cut a deal with the city for a whole block of abandoned, city-owned property. Either way, we would be shopping around to banks for a competitive loan for our Hood House Holdings venture. It's a shame that interest rates have gone up several percentage points on commerical loans in the past two years. It's not quite as cheap these days as it was when interest rates bottomed out. Regardless, other sharks face the same market pressures, as the money supply is tightened and less projects in general seek financing.

Third, after ascertaining a solid plan for financing this venture, the perfect opportunity would arise to design a block-long hood house with amenities never before seen in an American hood. Upon assembling a team of certified Hopkins engineers, the house would get severely tricked out. I suppose the security system would first need to be tweaked, since such a feature would prevent future loss of goods from the Hood House. The exterior of the dwelling would get tagged up by our team of graf artists, and we would commission the city's gayest landscape designers to spruce up the sidewalk and generally spruce up the Hood House. Internally, we would definitely require some rather serious renovations to the existing property. Hipsterites and like-minded folk would be promised a spot in the dwelling complex if they agreed to participate in the project.

Overall, the general concepts have been described for our plan to enter into a serious process of Hood renewal. We are interested in this mission to create an oasis of different culture in the otherwise-blighted Hood. Moreover, it'll be an affordable place to live and a solid real estate investment. In our process of detournement, we seek to extend the Situationist ideal to the hood. Spontaneous injection of postmodern attitudes and contrarian sensibilities into the Hood will be a way to address the outrageous separation that characterizes our divided society. We aim to counter the trend of gentrification with our brand of residential and commerical life, which not only respects Hood hospitality but actually integrates the finest aspects of Hood life into the fabric of our venture. We extol certain aspects/virtues of hood culture and seek to live on the fringe of bourgeois society, forming a link between the outcasts of the Hood and the card-carrying bourgeoisie.

Hood House Holdings is gettin' busy. Watch out now, we're bringing the whole crew in for Situationist instigation and exaltation.


Pepe la enchilada said...

smoke machines, motion sensors that start playing scientist, im pei pyramids on the roofs, park in the alley, dancefloors that light up (like in mj's bad), fireman's poles, soundproofed concert venue in the basement, tunnels that connect all the houses, gun turrets, wrought iron art deco staircases, industrial chic steel furniture, rottweilers (rockwilders?), fishpond outside with carp (connected to indoor aquarium)...just a few ideas

MVD said...

Hood House Holdings? I like the idea of inner city renewal and taking steps toward forging a new urbanism, but that venture sounds a little....insulting. In fact, a lot of the references made to modern urban (Black) culture and inner city life could probably be deemed offensive. I know that that is not the intent here, but you have to step outside of yourself and think about how all this sounds. On your end, it's almost like a game, a fun little experiment, talking about revolution and sifting through various philosophical models while you use the "hood" as a sort of foil for your class-revolt fantasies. You see it, as you said, as a sort of fringe society on the outskirts of mainstream bourgeois society, a depleted slate for you and others to use as your own sort of ideological playground. All the while, though, there are real people struggling and surviving in these neighborhoods every day who can't just pack up and leave whenever they want. They don't have the luxury of choosing a particular philosophical bent to follow, and they certainly can't afford the higher property tax rates that would surely follow you into their neighborhood if you went ahead and developed this "Hood House" business. Ultimately, I know that it's "cool" to dabble in inner city living and maybe even live amongst those who have to experience it, but ultimately it comes across as you aping a culture that is really a world away from the one you come from...that's the fascnation I suppose, but if you really want to get involved in the lives of real "hood," do so in a way that helps them gain the power to leave when you do.

benpiven said...

in response to the post above, there's no doubt that the Hood House would be irreverent towards stereotypical hood culture. the hood house stands to reinvent how we define the hood, because there's so much room for deconstructing and reconstructing our urban space. however, our conception always would seek to redefine the notion of urban renewal. we would be unabashedly anti-yuppie and anti-corporate in orientation. of course, on the surface, it appears that the hood house is minstrelizing hood culture. it's tempting to view this economic and cultural experiment as an invasion (either ideological or economic), and the hood house would certainly invert standard social procedure. either way, rising property taxes wouldn't be too kind on the hood house or on the surrounding generic hood houses. what more, it is of course ultimately most admirable to extricate hood residents from their current blight. fellow hood residents would be encourage to join in the process of hood deconstruction.

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