I somehow always seem to end up in the best places. In the need to have accommodation booked in advance to apply for my visa to Portugal, I booked a short term rental on Airbnb, with plans to take a month to search for a location suitable to myself. I arrived in Martim Moniz, a small area named after the famous noble knight of Portugal, and immediately saw the contrast between a large renovated square with fountains and lounge chairs and somewhat pricey restaurants to the many ethnic wholesale shops and multiple ethnic-owned convenience shops/mini-markets/”Bangladesheries” dotted amongst the residences.
I soon learned from talking to anyone in Portugal that this area – the neighbouring bairro called Intendente more particularly was once a main hub for drug dealing and prostitution and despite recent municipal and local development interventions to requalify the urban space, many Lisboners still hold on to its reputation as an unsafe area. Continue reading “am I a gentrifier?”