Have you noticed a decrease in children named Denim and Bowie running around Williamsburg? Were you recently struck by the urge to get in touch with a futurism consultant only to find that the one who had been recommended to you now lives in Westchester? Has it occurred to you lately that Brooklyn no longer seems like a nonstop party but is in fact more like “the last three days of Burning Man”? Probably not, right? Because you’re just living your life in Brooklyn and don’t have time or energy to pay attention to the very, very few people who live the “Brooklyn hipster” stereotype that the The New York Times loves to exploit. Oh, ok, cool. As you were then!
Except, wait. Because when I first saw “Creating Hipsturbia” in the Styles section, I thought to myself, Amazing. Here will be something great to blog about for Monday because it is written by Alex Williams and he is the fucking king of writing idiotic trend pieces about dating and, like, GIFs of all things and I bet there will be plenty of stupid things to be outraged about in here. And my first thought wasn’t entirely wrong. This article does have a lot of things that will quite literally make your eyes roll so far back into your head that your contact lens gets stuck up under your eyelid and you have to step away from your computer for the first time in several hours in order to wash it out with copious squirts of well-aimed saline solution. Or at least that’s what happened to me.
I mean, clearly, this article is just begging to be mocked and—more importantly—linked-to ad nauseum, so that we can all laugh at the woman who moved to Dobbs Ferry to sell “artisanal vegan soap” in an attempt to move the spirit of Brooklyn to small-town Westchester. Because, of course, artisanal vegan soap is an integral part of life for everyone who lives in Brooklyn. This article is ostensibly about how Brooklyn’s creative class is decamping for the suburbs of New York City and trying to craft their own version of Brooklyn on the streets of Hastings and Montclair. But what this article really feels like it’s about is blogger-baiting. I mean, you can practically see Alex Williams going down a checklist of things to incorporate for maximum outrage as he wrote it. Pretentious and stupid kids’ names? Check! (Yes, Denim and Bowie are real names, not my own perverse creations.) Mention of Dutch-style bikes? Check! Shout-out to gluten-free cupcakes? Check! Decorating with “bird silhouettes” and “felted-wool gazelle heads, for those who prefer their antlers cruelty-free”? Check and check! There’s even a dad with a “man-bun”, something else the Times has profiled before. So much to laugh at, where can I even begin?
Well, as it turns out, nowhere. Because after reading this article, I actually did something that very few Times trend pieces make me do—I thought about whether or not there was some interesting subtext beneath the layers of shit that comprise the surface of this article. And I rarely do that anymore when it comes to Times trend pieces, because there’s rarely anything else there. But besides using every possible hipster buzzword out there, Williams claims to be writing about the fact that creative professionals are being priced out of Brooklyn. Williams posits that the reason that all these people are having to recreate Brooklyn in Hudson River towns is because they were forced out for financial reasons. He writes, “As formerly boho environs of Brooklyn become unattainable due to creeping Manhattanization and seven-figure real estate prices, creative professionals of child-rearing age — the type of alt-culture-allegiant urbanites who once considered themselves too cool to ever leave the city — are starting to ponder the unthinkable: a move to the suburbs.”