Monday, October 10, 2011

The Brooklyn backlash, in full swing

From Snowden Wright's Brooklyn, borough of snobs, in yesterday's Daily News:
The curators of what's trendy are, unsurprisingly, also its creators. In that way, members of the creative class, by choosing Brooklyn as their home, made others want to do the same. Many of my friends who, years ago, claimed they would never leave Manhattan now live in Brooklyn, not out of economic necessity, but rather, as Truman Capote once put it, by choice.

...Ironically, many of the qualities that made Brooklyn desirable have been diminished by the influx of new residents. Apartments aren't very cheap anymore, and commercialization is getting pervasive. Jay-Z, for example, recently joked he can no longer afford Brooklyn. Added to which, the New Jersey Nets, a team the musician partly owns, will soon be playing at the Barclays Center, a project that exemplifies the Manhattanization of the borough.

I, for one, share Jay-Z's concern. Although I wish I could live in Brooklyn, where most of my friends live and socialize, as well as where many of my favorite readings and concerts are held, I currently reside in Washington Heights. Here I can afford a one-bedroom apartment. Here I can walk to work in 10 minutes. Still, whenever someone asks me why I live where I do, I say, only half-jokingly, "I live in Manhattan because I'm not cool enough to live in Brooklyn.
Of course, that depends on the definition of "Brooklyn." Those who can't afford neighborhoods mentioned in the essay like Fort Greene, Red Hook, Greenpoint, and Park Slope may indeed move to places like Washington Heights. They also may move to neighborhoods mentioned in the essay like Bushwick and Bed-Stuy. Or they may move to even less-heralded zones.

So I think Wright overgeneralizes by claiming, "These days everyone seems to be subject to Brooklyn elitism."

No comments:

Post a Comment