Culture clash as new neighbors bare skin, crowd bars
by Simone Weichselbaum in the New York Daily News
It’s the hipsters vs. the Hasids in Crown Heights.
Religious Jews are upset at their new, young neighbors for everything from women wearing shorts; bar hopping and sunbathing.
An anonymous Crown Heights landlord set off an e-firestorm this week when he posted on popular Jewish site collive.com Sunday, calling to stop “these yuppies (who) bring pritzus (immodesty) to our neighborhood.”
“It’s a clash of different cultures,” said blogger Shmarya Rosenberg who reposted the missive on FailedMessiah.com.
The landlord took a shot at fellow Hasids who rent to young people who have increasingly moved into the neighborhood’Jewish enclave near Kingston Ave.: “Young, upwardly mobile professionals may seem to be pleasant tenants who bring in reliable income, but they also introduce a very different way of life: new nightclubs and bars, sun tanning on rooftops, bike lanes and an increasing amount of immodesty on our streets.”
The corner of Kingston Avenue and Eastern Parkway is home base of the international Chabad-Lubavtich movement which follows the teaching of spiritual leader Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
Tznius, or modesty, is a top tenent where women are required to wear skirts below the knee and cover their arms above the elbow. Also men and women aren’t allowed to touch each other unless they are married.
“We like to live by a certain set of rules,” said Rabbi Joseph Spielman. “It is an area where we don’t want our children seeing these things.
“Anyone who treasures this neighborhood should know what to do. They should know not to harm the ambience of the area,” Spielman added.
Crown Heights has become a 20-something fave attracting young professionals and artists priced out of other neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Park Slope.
But the newcomers said there is no crash course on how to deal with their Lubavitch neighbors strict moral codes when they move into their apartments.
“I wear shorts in the winter time with leggings underneath them,” said Andrea Brito Nunez, 24, who came to Sterling Place near Kingston Avenue in September. “I don’t want to offend anyone. It is their neighborhood more than mine. But everyone should be able to dress how they want to dress.”