“Creating Hipsturbia”: Are All the Hipsters Leaving Brooklyn?

hipsters, Brooklyn, hipsturbia, The New York Times
  • drawjosh.tumblr.com
  • “In the suburbs, we have hipster clouds.”

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.”

12 Comment

  • Where are the Brooklyn Magazine articles about the people you mention in the quote below? When is Brooklyn Magazine going to stop being some reactionary bastard child of all things written by Manhattan based publications? When are Brooklyn Magazine writer going to get off their asses and actually go out in Brooklyn and write an interesting, blog worthy, in depth article about Brooklyn that isn’t some stupid round up of bars or cafes or neighborhoods or a reaction to hipsters or a Girls show review?!

    “People who have jobs but still need to live with multiple roommates as they enter their thirties. People who can’t afford to break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend because they can’t swing the cost of rent on their own. People who have children and struggle to afford to live in good public school districts because there’s no way in hell they can afford private school. Where are the Times articles on those people?”

  • It’s funny, too, that if racial diversity was important to them, that they didn’t move to say Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Mt. Kisco, or Port Chester, all of which has significant Hispanic or African-American populations.

    Also, if you want an affordable borough, may I recommend the Bronx. Highly underrated.

    Last, I agree that the NY Times article on the “middle class” awhile back was despicable.

  • “blog worthy” oh dear.

  • Thanks for saving me the trouble of reading that inane-sounding Times article. So glad I read this instead.

  • Thank you, Kristin, for expressing my sentiments way more eloquently than I ever could have myself!

  • As a raised-in-brooklyn person and now a parent of a small child I approve of this article. Would read again 1+++

  • A pot and a kettle…

    Are you kidding me? Kristin Iversen, “is the fucking [queen] of writing idiotic trend pieces about dating and, like” a bunch of other shit that has absolutely no purpose on earth but to try and grab page views – her tone is the embodiment of, like, internet idiot. So it’s despicable for a Times writer to write “blogger bait” but somehow ok that a third-rate blogger halfwit who can only say in 48 words what any competent writer can say in 12 should be using her prodigious SEO gifts to create page views? From the work of the aforementioned Times writer?

    I guess the world really needs more trenchant analysis of Girls. By Kristin Iversen. And paragraphs that begin with “Anyway!” And eight mentions of “vegan soap.” And sentences that use the word “people” three times. And articles that end in “or something.” Do you have any idea how insulting your unoriginality is?

    Oh, and by the way, if it ends in -ly, it doesn’t take a hyphen. And ‘layers’ and ‘surface’ are really mutually exclusive concepts – I don’t think there can be more than one layer to the surface of something, the surface being by definition the outermost layer. And ‘copious squirts’ is so wrong. Grammatically and aesthetically, so wrong.

    Did you get this good all by yourself, or did you have help?

    I never thought I’d find myself on the side of a Times Style piece, but compared to you Alex Williams is George fucking Orwell.

    Signed, Don’t Piss on My Leg and Tell Me it’s Raining

    PS Anyone who’s trying to be taken seriously (no evidence, but ?) as a discusser of things “Brooklyn Hipster” might want to reconsider a (professional!) Twitter profile pic that combines the soft-core porn pose of a particularly insecure 14-year-old with a wrist tattoo and leather bracelet. You’re kind of a hipster buzzword made flesh, aren’t you?

  • What a mood. Who are you? I’ll blast your article if you’ll blast mine, right? That’s this, yeah? Picture two writers in a room–the one will always try and jockey past the other, the point always being–Chamomile or Irish Breakfast or whiskey or gin–quinella in the paddock. You’re the type… Fuck… You want to win, don’t you? In a way, I take pleasure in the notion of a writer, fighting… If this was the 1890s, maybe.

    Go ahead, rejoin. I’ll have forgotten this mistake of commenting on a blog; already, I’ll be pinning dream-catchers to the posts of my porch in Garrison, where for hours, my beautiful husband will then sit on my lap, sip lemonade, and duly gush about, “who the fuck cares what people say?”

  • took the comment down, huh? touch a nerve?

  • So if “there’s rarely anything else there” [beneath the layers of shit] why would you bother writing endlessly about Times style pieces? Because the world needs another dim-witted takedown of throwaway trend piece? Because there’s nothing else to write about that your limited intellect and writing skills can really get a grip on? Yikes.

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