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A Handy Guide To Gentrification

"Well, it is crazy cheap to live there..."

Posted on June 11, 2015, at 6:24 p.m. ET

Illustration by Jan Buchczik for BuzzFeed

I hate Wilmington*!

*(or choose one of the following)

a) Phoenix

b) Modesto

c) Wichita

d) Fort Lee

e) Purseville, a tiny town upstate that, in the early 1900s, was the purse-making capital of the country

Oh my god, have you ever been? It is the WORST. I went there for my cousin's wedding and I can't believe people actually LIVE there. It is devoid of all culture and has zero _______.

a) restaurants that aren't fast food chains

b) gay bars except for this sad, rainbow flag-covered dive that I would never set foot in called Mirage

c) people of color

d) soul

e) well, there is no English word for it, but in German they call it Schprechtstäfft

Illustration by Jan Buchczik for BuzzFeed

It's also incredibly dangerous and _________.

a) once my cousin was mugged there at gunpoint

b) they keep finding severed goat heads in the park

c) is the Kidney Theft Capital of the country

d) has a terrible "spongecake" epidemic (have you heard of spongecake? It's this new AWFUL drug that is more addictive than crack and makes your eyeballs shrivel into raisins!)

e) Robert Durst was recently spotted in a wig at the Price Chopper

That said, it IS crazy cheap to live in Wilmington. My friend Caleb just moved there and for very little money bought a ________.

a) ramshackle old Victorian

b) former purse clasp factory

c) entire car dealership

d) abandoned polio hospital

e) haunted roller disco

Illustration by Jan Buchczik for BuzzFeed

And now I hear all these young people are moving to Wilmington. Apparently a group of ambitious and optimistic millennials created this whole ________.

a) sharing community full of love and light that is so much better than here

b) Hispanic food system (They said that Hispanic is cool to say again!)

c) paleolithic cave-diet collective that lives in an actual cave

d) hydroponic vape church

e) livable hammock tree house constructed entirely out of plastic bags and recycled Stumptown coffee grounds

Wow, weird. Apparently there is this really cool scene happening in Wilmington now. They have this amazing, up-and-coming ________ Festival that's getting lots of attention.

a) Cinnamon Toast

b) Alterna-Opera

c) Ideas, Thoughts and Hunches

d) Ironic Zombie

e) Almond Flour

f) Acoustic EDM

Illustration by Jan Buchczik for BuzzFeed

Oh my God, I just moved into a former pony stable in Wilmington! It's actually really kind of cool and great here! In fact, last weekend I met the most amazing _______.

a) people at a party on an old wharf with no safety parameters

b) team of surprisingly enjoyable firestick jugglers

c) genderqueer youth who are challenging the way I think about queerness and gender

d) found-objects chamber orchestra

e) backyard chickens

f) vegan storytellers who nourished me with words and beans

Wilmington is changing so fast! Did you see that a ______ opened on Turby Street?

a) Korean lasagna truck

b) Bikram bocce ball studio

c) cat wine bar

d) pour-over coffee colonic spa

e) gluten-free Ace Hotel

Illustration by Jan Buchczik for BuzzFeed

Wilmington is totally having a moment. Like, did you hear that …

a) Danny Bowien is doing a ramen burrito pop-up in a Hot N' Crusty?

b) The Moth is planning a Sriracha-themed Story Slam at the old movie theatre?

c) Marina Abramovic announced that she is going to just sit there on Turby Street for five days staring at people?

d) Björk is going to do a surprise set in my friend's abandoned polio hospital? Shh!

e) Tilda Swinton is about to eat a salad in a Lucite shipping container outside the Taco Bell?

Oh my god, the craziest thing happened in Wilmington...

a) A group of hipsters turned an ancient Native American burial ground into a soccer field!

b) Grindr announced that it's moving its headquarters into the old City Hall building!

c) Forty-two annoying bachelorettes took over Mirage and spilled Midori on the velvet painting of Rue McClanahan!

d) A group of tech bros kicked a bunch of hipsters off the soccer field because they "reserved it with an app"!

e) They were filming season 5 of Girls, a new Noah Baumbach movie, a new Wes Anderson movie, and a Mumford and Sons video all at the same time on that cool cobblestone block off Turby street and a near riot broke out!

f) A group of finance guys kicked a bunch of tech bros off the soccer field because they're turning it into condos!

Illustration by Jan Buchczik for BuzzFeed

Sigh. Wilmington isn't like it used to be. It's so sad that _______ is being demolished to make way for a luxury high-rise.

a) the town's only hospital/fire house/library/funeral home/YMCA

b) Olde Doc McPhooey's

c) the oddities shop run by a schizophrenic

d) Taco Bell (I secretly love their food! Bring back the Enchirito!)

e) that Bavarian bakery (I never went in or spent a dollar there but it added such character!)

f) Mirage (I loved Mirage! What's going to happen to the all-Barbara Cook jukebox?)

Ew, I just saw _______ in Wilmington.

a) James Franco reading Infinite Jest

b) Jaden Smith waiting for an Uber

c) Lauren Conrad giving a TED talk

d) Leonardo DiCaprio and 20 women in a flatbed Tesla

e) my cousin

f) Countess LuAnn

Illustration by Jan Buchczik for BuzzFeed

Ugh, Wilmington has totally lost its edge….

a) I went to that new Austrian baconbeer garden last night and it was full of babies.

b) I went to see Haim at the Dasani KaleWater Music Hall and it was full of babies.

c) I had to reserve eight months in advance for my favorite SoulCycle instructor Caéla and when I showed up the class was full of babies.

d) That cool alley where all the spongecake heads used to "frost" is now a Whole Foods Baby and it's full of babies.

e) The homeless people all got kicked out of the park and the park is now a dog park and that dog park is full of babies and the babies have dog names and the dogs have baby names.

Jeez. I can't even afford to live in Wilmington anymore! I just paid double what I used to for ______.

a) a chia-turmeric smoothie

b) a raw dog biscuit

c) foraged-taco salad in a mason jar

d) coconut butter bone broth

e) artisanal hand-milled toilet paper

You know, I really miss the old Wilmington — before it was painfully "cool," back when _______.

a) people just made ART and there was no Wilmington Basel, you know?

b) all the raisin-eyed spongecake addicts would light trash cans on fire, casting the burned-out downtown in a warm glow

c) people said 'hi' to you on the street- and then mugged you at gunpoint

d) the Cinnamon Toast Festival was really just about the cinnamon and the toast and wasn't the corporate sellout monstrosity it is now

e) artists like us could colonize entire blocks of cheap houses inhabited by 3 generations of immigrant families and expect to live there forever without suffering the criminal outrage of being displaced by real-estate speculators and multi-millionaires

Illustration by Jan Buchczik for BuzzFeed

Wilmington is over. I'm moving to _______.

a) Detroit

b) Dayton

c) Asheville

d) Los Angeles

e) Murray Hill

I hate Wilmington!

  • Picture of Michael Albo

    Mike Albo is the author of the novels "Hornito" and "The Underminer" (co-written with Virginia Heffernan), as well as the novella "The Junket." He and Amanda Duarte created the fake playbill “Hurt Locker - The Musical."

    Contact Michael Albo at

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

  • Picture of Amanda Duarte

    Amanda Duarte is a writer-performer and host of the monthly NYC variety show Dead Darlings. She and Mike Albo also co-wrote the "Hurt Locker: The Musical" faux-playbill that litters the floor of the hit Broadway show "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

    Contact Amanda Duarte at

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