NYC Gets Gentrified in Google Maps GIFs

February 19, 2014 | Andy Cush

Last year, we showed you a bit of Williamsburg gentrification you could see happening before your eyes on Google Street View. Take one step down North 3rd Street near Kent Avenue, and a dilapidated warehouse turned into a shiny new apartment complex. Now, in a series called Vacated, artist Justin Blinder is building on that concept with a series of GIFs that capture these bits of the city that Google freezes in time. That’s Mars Bar turning into “Jupiter 21” below.

Here’s 253 Eckford Street in Greenpoint.

Blinder explains the impetus for his project on his site.

Vacated mines and combines different datasets on vacant lots to present a sort of physical façade of gentrification, one that immediately prompts questions by virtue of its incompleteness: “Vacated by whom? Why? How long had they been there? And who’s replacing them?” While we usually think of gentrification in terms of what is new or has been displaced, Vacated highlights the momentary absence of such buildings, either because they’ve been demolished or have not yet been built. All images depicted in the project are both temporal and ephemeral, since they draw upon image caches that will eventually be replaced.

Enjoy a few more of his sad, beautiful gentrification GIFs.