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Portraits of a changing economy

Preserving memories and stories that are fleeting in times of economic change in one of the fastest-growing cities in America: Austin, Texas.

The cats of discord.

The Blue Cat Cafe is a place that opened in late 2015 bringing to east Austin an idea that already existed in NYC. A cafe where you can eat and interact with cats. These cats come from the Austin Humane Society and are available for adoption so as a consequence, the cafe is uniting forces with rescue groups to keep Austin a no-kill city.Unfortunately, it is not possible to talk about the Blue Cat Cafe without mentioning the big controversy that preceded its big opening. The piñata store Jumpolin was bulldozed without previous notice, in order to open space for the parking lot of the cat cafe. The store disappeared with all its contents inside, and the owners are now making the piñatas at home and trying to keep afloat without any compensation from the landlord. The management of the cafe was not involved in this incident and luckily for the business, despite some protests and rallies against gentrification in front of the place, it has been successful and has saved the lives of many homeless cats. However, to many, they represent the evil and coldness of gentrification. This is an example of how no one wins when it comes to gentrification and the subsequent violent displacement of people.

rebecca