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6sqft punta cana bodega gentrification-NYC-Untapped CitiesImages via Doug Cameron

Have you ever been struck by a food craving so powerful you couldn’t think about anything else? Chocolate, french fries, maybe a fresh skimmed pond scum smoothie.

Involuntary gag aside, pond scum smoothies, Oxacan sea salt taco rubs, and Barnyard Scent country deodorant are just the kinds of exciting new products that marketing experts Doug Cameron and Tommy Noonan think will revitalize their newest client, the lunch counter Punta Cana in Washington Heights. The bodega, touted as a popular eating joint on the corner of Broadway and 162nd Street for the past 30 years, has fallen hard due to spiking rents. Cameron and Noonan’s posters, advertising unsightly new products for ridiculous prices as part of their ‘Artisanal Landlord Price Hike Sale,’ are meant to raise awareness of rising rents threatening smaller businesses in the area.

On July 4th, the pair put up posters outside the bodega, renaming it Casa Del Campo. It is the second project of its kind, the previous having taken place a month earlier when they placed posters outside of Jesse’s Deli in Boerum Hill.

punta cana bodega gentrification-NYC-Untapped Cities

punta cana bodega gentrification-NYC-Untapped Cities1

In reality, the posters publicize the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which seeks to provide stronger negotiating powers to small businesses. It is known by Cameron and Noonan as Bill de Bodega, which is currently trending on social media as #billdebodega.

From Punta Cana’s rent increase to $9,000 from 5,000 and Jessie’s even more drastic increase to $10,000 from $3,500, more and more small businesses are being closed out of the growing New York neighborhoods. In the face of this injustice, Cameron and Noonan are already seeking out their third location. The $15.99 coffee flour based porridge clumps are coming.

Next, read about Little Dominican Republic in Washington Heights. Get in touch with the author @jinwoochong.

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