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Why Mayonnaise Matters in the Gentrification Debate

Elizabeth Valleau’s artisanal mayo shop has become the poster child for urban change.

Illustration by Tom Eichacker

Earlier this year, Saturday Night Live aired a sketch dubbed “Corner Boys of Bushwick, Brooklyn,” depicting a seemingly stylized and magnified version of hipster-fueled gentrification. In it, Kevin Hart, Jay Pharoah, and Keenan Thompson play three apparent tough guys, presented as emblematic of the neighborhood’s hardscrabble and working class history, who intercut their gruff dialogue with descriptions of now-yuppified lives; endless brunches, gluten fears, and dog walking businesses. A somewhat wincing depiction of the identity crisis impacting a neighborhood flooded by comparatively affluent and outwardly twee newcomers, the piece struck a chord with those viewing similar trends worldwide.

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