Updated: May 25
First came the hot yoga studio, then the smoothie place, the brewery, and the dog walking service. Now the latest trend in gentrification is all about the ax (American spelling). Ax throwing bars and clubs are the new way to know that your neighborhood has come down with the gentrification flu.
Down in Westchester County, the race is on to lure young urban professionals from NYC with the penchant for city living close to transit (Metro-North) without paying NYC rent prices. So it comes as no surprise that ax-throwing clubs have opened in Yonkers and New Rochelle. Elected officials see it as a boon but others see it as a sign that neighborhoods that have in the past provided homes for working families will now change: “We’re hyper-developing areas around transit hubs, hoping to attract people with money,” McCormick says. “It’s the gentrification story all over again. The inner cities are tapped out, so now we’re going to the suburbs.”
Downtown Albany now has its own ax-throwing bar called Far Shot and is located on North Pearl Street. The website bills the bar as an "Axe, Knife, Archery Bar: Urban Games; Small Town Hospitality." And it just so happens to be right across the street from the old Kenmore Theater, which together with several other buildings nearby, are being renovated and converted to house event space, retail, and 350 new apartments. All those new apartments will house young professionals who no doubt will enjoy Friday nights drinking craft beer and throwing axes to release their weekly work-life tensions.
If the idea of throwing axes with a bunch of inebriated people sounds like a great date night to you, be ready to sign a waiver and no flip-flops allowed!
I can't wait to see what the next trend in gentrification is. Perhaps it will be helping poor and working class families stay in their neighborhoods.