“Fuck Brooklyn:” Paper Magazine Really Hates Brooklyn

c/o slate.com
c/o slate.com

Look, I’m kind of sick of Brooklyn too. Or, wait. I’m sick of “Brooklyn.” I’m sick of the “Brooklyn” that people in Manhattan tell me is actually Brooklyn. Fuck, I’m sick of putting Brooklyn in quotation marks. It’s not an idea! It’s a place. A place where people live! And I like that place. But, apparently, Kim Hastreiter of Paper magazine does not like Brooklyn at all. No, she fucking hates it.

Hastreiter, who is co-editor-in-chief along with David Hershkovitz and founder of Paper, declared today that she is “sick of Brooklyn the look, Brooklyn the cool and Brooklyn the aesthetic” and that “Brooklyn the brand is becoming a monochromatic cartoon of itself.” A brand that makes Hastreiter want to “throw up.” You see, kids, Hastreiter came to New York because of “its toughness, breadth of diversity and opportunity.” Brooklyn just doesn’t offer any of that! No, Brooklyn is soft. Brooklyn is all about home-made marshmallows and beards—both of which are very, very soft things! And while Hastreiter admits that Manhattan has changed since she came so many decades ago, she still thinks it’s for “ambitious fighters who live to wake up every day, roll up their sleeves and attack their lives.” Gentrification? Fifteen dollar burgers? Four-thousand-dollar-a-month one-bedrooms? That just makes Manhattan more of a fun struggle! That just makes life in Manhattan more authentic!

The problem with Hastreiter’s screed against Brooklyn is that it’s kind of clear that she has no knowledge of Brooklyn other than short forays into Williamsburg and what she’s read in the New York Times. Brooklyn isn’t all artisanal pickle making. It’s ok (though ridiculous to me) to hate artisanal pickle making without hating Brooklyn. The diversity and toughness that Hastreiter came to New York to experience? That exists in Brooklyn! As do those fifteen dollar burgers and four-thousand-dollar-a-month one-bedrooms! We’re a fucking rainbow, here in Brooklyn. We’ve got it all. It’s probably futile for me to defend Brooklyn against someone who hates something that just represents a fraction of all the diverse things in Brooklyn. And it’s fun to hate Brooklyn now, and to make fun of it. But, unfortunately, Hastreiter just comes off sounding a lot like Delia Ephron did in her rant against Citibikes. Basically, she sounds like an older, set-in-her-way person of a certain socio-economic class who hates that the changes taking place around her contribute to her increasing irrelevance. And it sucks when that happens! It really does. But hating change doesn’t stop it from happening. That’s what progress is, after all.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


  1. Maybe she should head to those “harder” neighborhoods (which are also gentrifying and becoming “soft”). I moved here three years ago. I could not be happier but my life is not homemade marshmallow and soft beard pillows.

  2. look it at this way Kristin, as long as there are plenty of haters it will deter the people you would loathe from coming into the Bk. Ok. So Kim is a little jealous of this neo-portland that has emerged as a second center of New York City after Manhathan. Well even some people may disagree due to a lack of a financial center and that’s a blessing.
    Anyway to my point, let them hate but for the people in the know, like yourself and many others who have learned to love and appreciate its depth and opportunity, it should be a coveted secret one keeps close to the heart.

  3. Oh, Hastreiter, I understand the dilemma your in. In order for your magazine to remain relevant and cool, you need to pay attention to the fact that Brooklyn is where new New York culture is centered these days but all the people that have money and you kiss ass to and want to name drop still worship some crappy idealized version of Manhattan that may or may not have existed for a few brief moments in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

    What’s a girl to do?

    Well, it’s obvious, she’ll all about the money and her discovery along with all the money chasers in Manhattan that you can’t by cool irks the hell out of them. Be glad Ms. Hastreiter, at least you’ve got a short commute to coolness.

    So come on over, we’ll still feed you.

  4. The fact that she used the artisanal aesthetic as the sole representation of all that is Brooklyn is quite ridiculous. This article is nothing but the words of a desperate old hag who is desperately clamming for street cred by throwing down her old-school “gritty” NYC street cred with her current-day celebrity encounters. On behalf of the “ambitious fighters” of Brooklyn who live for $5 dollar burger nights and hour long walks to work into the City, “Fuck you. I (still) love Brooklyn.”

  5. Two points I want to make:

    I. Paper Mag has thrown parties in the area that the EIC literally just told everyone to go fuck themselves
    II. What % of Paper Mags writers / staff do you think live in Brooklyn?

  6. I find it hilarious when people describe things as “Brooklyn style”, “Brooklyn Looks”, or just “Brooklynish/Brooklynesque”

    Sure Brooklyn has the ever so hip Williamsburg culture which is now seeping into Greenpoint, Bushwick, and even Ridgewood. But when I think Brooklyn I also think Canarsie, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Flatlands, East New York, and Brownsville lol.

    It may be becomming gentrified but there still a whooole lotta Brooklyn left before it’s all considered gentrified (and how horrifying that would be..).

  7. paper magazine. the most out of touch magazine in the world.. what do they hire mo.rons who just got here from middle america and tell them to write about things they can’t possibly understand… fucking ridiculous. please for the love of god people.. stop dumbing your self down and stop reading this shit.. utter utter crap.. and all bullshit .. out of touch out of time out of fucking everything.. the mind boggles..

  8. “Just yesterday morning. I was in Washington Square Park, having my photo taken for a shoe company ad. I then caught the most beautiful and excellent Proenza Schouler fashion show, then raced back to the office to put out ten fires before heading back downtown to check out Jeremy Scott’s fun and outrageous show (and his new collaboration with my artist friend Kenny Scharf) where I sat across from Nicki Minaj and our sexy cover girl, Iggy Azalea. Then I headed back to the office to brand consult… ”

    All reasons why this lady has no idea why we can’t afford to the live in her “NYC brand.” People who consider this “hard work” should do some physical labor for a day, maybe she’d have more respect for everyone who lives in Brooklyn who make her daily soy lattes possible.

  9. As a born and bred Brooklynite, there are two or even three “Brooklyns”. Get yourselves out of the “new Brooklyn” made up of people who came from elsewhere and created a Brooklyn that the author hates. Go into East New York, Brownsville and you will see grit and struggle. Go into Bensonhurst/Sunset Park, and you will see a bunch of blue collar working class folks of all ethnic backgrounds. OR just stay in Williamsburg and see the newly created BK and hate it. Hopefully, you’ll broaden your hatred to other neighborhoods.

  10. As a longtime resident of NYC I have to agree. Brooklyn is full of soft, upbeat, clueless residents these days. Scanning pointless websites for the weekend’s events are filled with “events” promoting beer in old dumps in Brooklyn. That’s a bar, not an event. Midwestern semi-bums gathering in prospect park to discuss “art” isn’t an event, it only is on eventbrite or yelp.

    The good/bad thing is the people perpetuating this chance are already getting priced out. You guys enjoy your beer and fake “cultural” discussions. I’ll keep attending the theater and world class exhibitions in Manhattan.

    Enjoy your fake “culture”, I’m sure you are petrifying stockholders of Gillette.


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