The New York Times Local blog ran this lovely memoir by Naima Coster about growing up in Fort Greene in the 1980s and 90s. Needless to say, the old neighborhood changed a lot while she was away at Yale for college.
As for me, I'm a newbie. I'm a gentrifier. I'm not from Brooklyn, but it's been my home for about eight years now and I love it. And unlike a lot of Brooklyn natives, who are seeing their homeland transformed before them, I enjoy seeing all the new shops open and seeing the streets change (though I'm pretty passionate about most of the the old buildings and the past in general, if that's not obvious, and don't want it messed with too drastically.)
But having lived in Buffalo, where people would beg for the kind population-swelling development happening here, I'm not inclined to see gentrification as an altogether bad thing (which I don't think Coster does either).
“Decline and renewal often are simultaneous processes," my friend Francis Morrone, a local historian, said. And I more or less take that view of things.
But I bring all this up because Coster made me ache for her Fort Greene, not mine. Which tells me it's a pretty well-written, thoughtful piece. I suggest you give it a gander.