As many of you may know, Swallow has gotten a face lift with a new mural. Now a large bird (let's assume it's a swallow) on a black background dominates its exterior and in big bold letters it proclaims "Welcome to Morgantown". Many long term Bushwick residents don't seem so comfortable with this murals statement and it's easy to tell why.
The label "Morgantown" popped up sometime in the early 2000s describing a small oasis of artists in an otherwise strictly industrial and Puerto Rican area. This geographical term was only known to locals and created a sense of community, being not only a location but a cultural marker amongst its first wave of residents, many of which looked to deny mainstream culture and the trappings of the Chelsea style art world. But then the hype went into action. As Bushwick grew in reputation, Morgantown, it's fledgling epicenter, also gained great popularity. The term first appeared on the internet around 2005, possibly on justseeds.org, and by 2007 became widely used in flyers, craigslist ads and local blogs (this one included). Now references to "Morgantown" can be found in many large publications, tv shows and tourist guides. It is becoming a tourist destination, a magnet for posers, trust fund kids and outside forces looking to set up shop and make a buck (Swallow included).
"Mogantowns" legitimacy is being eclipsed by it's marketability, and there is no better proof then relative newcomer Swallow declaring "Welcome to Morgantown"; identifying itself with a community it took no part in forming, creating nothing more than a perfect spot to check maps and pose in front of for photos. Bad form.