A Tale Of Two Globals: Pupusas And Red Hooks Analysis

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Sharon Zukin’s “A Tale of Two Globals: Pupusas and IKEA in Red Hook” explores upon the impact of consumer culture on the two types of globalization: street food vendors and IKEA in Red Hook to explain the diverse and complicated concept of authenticity and the circumstances revolving around the authentic urban experience. For the most part, Zukin concentrates on the changes of consumer culture and trends and how they affect the physical layout of the urban space (e.g., restaurants, markets, and etc.), thus becoming a catalyst for gentrification and the creation of authenticity. She delves into how Red Hook was able to transition “from an urban wasteland into a destination” as a result (189). Throughout the chapter, she discusses many important …show more content…
on authenticity, which can serve to either support or interfere with it. For instance, prior to IKEA’s opening, a lot of people criticized IKEA for not complying with the authenticity already there. They believed that the store would attract heavy traffic and destroy the authentic urban place’s historical value. However, in reality, as the media expressed, the effects concerning IKEA weren’t so bad. IKEA attracted more visitors and made Red Hook seem more interesting. Most importantly, IKEA was able to be established through the support of powerful and influential people such as executives, publicists, and lawyers who cited positive consequences such as more jobs and shopping opportunities. Whereas, the street food vendors had a different experience. The street food vendors had been in Red Hook since the 1970s, but only gained massive attention during the recent years. Their rise to fame could be attributed to local wikis and blogs, who discussed how delicious, cheap, and authentic their food was. Some bloggers like Allison Bojarski on Gothamist.com admired not only the authenticity of the food but also the authenticity of the neighborhood regarding the “out-of-the-way corner of Brooklyn" and "hardscrabble housing projects" and artists. Essentially, foodies shaped Red Hook’s authenticity. Through the street food vendor’s massive media attention, city regulators caught light of the situation and decided to make their lives more difficult. In 2007, they were forced to abide by the licensing and permit requirements, authorized by the New York City Health and Parks Department. During the 2008 season, they struggled to occupy their spaces, but somehow managed to reopen. They garnered support from their loyal customers from local food blogs like Chowhound, Porkchop Express, and Serious Eats.com as well as from elected officials like U.S. senator Charles Schumer, Brooklyn Borough

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