[Updated]: Hipster Housing Complex Castle Braid Has An Insane, Ultra-Conservative Twitter Presence

Castle Braid, the expensive, much-maligned Bushwick housing complex that comes with amenities like a digital media lab and designated “chill space” (and has recently found itself at the center of a flurry of neighborhood controversy) can add something else to its list of dubious PR magnets: an unhinged, surprisingly conservative, and apparently real Twitter account. Like so:

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 10.23.47 AM

Hoo, boy. The @CastleBraid feed is also filled with Pat Buchanan quotes, knockout game-related fear mongering, complaints about Obamacare, exhortations not to give money to panhandlers, claims that Castle Braid is singlehandedly responsible for Bushwick’s meteoric rise, and at lease one use of the hashtag #GoodFencesMakeGoodNeighbors. The Village Voice reported extensively on the situation yesterday, and it seems the feed is run by a group of residents who claim to also speak for the building’s management.

“We share development goals and politics of MGMT and know them personally,” the feed’s proprietors confirmed to the Voice, insisting that they remain anonymous. “But we don’t think it would be good if they found out who we are. Don’t want to risk eviction or the ire of fellow tenants, many of whom unfortunately tend to suffer from liberal guilt.” They also tweeted the above clarification saying that they are, in fact, a group of concerned tenants. As for the building’s owners, they’ve reportedly been advised by lawyers not to comment.

@CastleBraid’s defensive tweets are mostly in response to controversy over a 421a tax exemption the building received. Occupy Bushwick and a group called AntiCastleBraid have consistently claimed the building failed to create the affordable housing units legally required to receive such an exemption, but the Department of Housing confirmed this week that the building broke ground before the requirement was written into law. So Castle Braid’s units are overpriced and arguably inaccessible, but also completely justified in the eyes of the law. For now, Occupy Bushwick has ceased engaging with the Castle Braid Twitter altogether, and AntiCastleBraid seems to have backed off, as well.

And if this all just feels silly and exhausting? Don’t worry. Castle Braid’s got some bright plans for the future:

https://twitter.com/CastleBraid/status/399222138021765120

https://twitter.com/CastleBraid/status/399222880195469312

[Update:] As of Thursday night, the account appears to have been de-activated. For the best, unquestionably, but still a little disappointing.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.

10 Comment

  • Bad “journalism…” reporting on obviously fake sources.

  • Hi I have been around the internet for awhile and seen a few things in my time and I think that what you guys have actually discovered (and seem to be missing) is a piece of critical satire of not just this housing complex but the ‘hipster gentrification’ of the whole neighborhood. It strips away the faux-liberal surface of most of these transplants to reveal the conservative core that is altering the neighborhood. Posts like
    “Castle Braid @CastleBraid
    Follow
    Too many of our artists getting sad when they see struggling families near @castlebraid. It’s distracting from their work and needs to end.”
    are on par with the Dead Kennedy’s ‘Kill the Poor’

    Like which seems more likely, that you have a hidden neo-nazi in your midst or that someone is messing with you?

  • I live in CastleBraid and let me assure you that people who live here absolutely hate this account. It should not reflect badly on the entire building if one random anonymous person who claims to live here likes to tweet offensive stuff. This is what you call sensationalist reporting, posting a story with a catchy title without getting the whole story, or even attempting to.

  • I’ve been living at CB since it opened and know a lot of the tenants personally. Yeah, there are some problems with management that still need to be resolved, but no one who lives here actually believes these accounts are being maintained by current (or even past) residents. They’re doing a really good job of getting everyone worked up though.

  • I have lived in Bushwick & East Williamsburg for the last 10 years at four different locations and I have friends that live in CB and lucky for me, I have enjoyed this building’s many amenities myself. But it’s being targeted because it has a very recognizable name and makes for easy journalism. BKMag is just one of many articles I have read and specifically the two articles in the last few days from this publication. No one cares about my building because it doesn’t have a catchy name or any amenities and I pay the same rent two stops further away. CB has already been around for 3 years and at this point this story is just getting played out!!!

  • Anyone who writes or says this is obviously satire based on their subjective reading of the tweets has ZERO familiarity with the rhetoric of North Brooklyn’s gentrification for the past 20 years. This isn’t exceptional or meant to strip away into a “conservative core.” This rhetoric is TYPICAL of gentrification rhetoric. I could easily jump on the Internet and supply a hundred or so instances of this type of hate from just a source or two. That being said, it could just as easily be said that smith’s reading is also subjective and fallacious, that indeed the possibility exists the twitter account is fake, but that doesn’t bar her from conjecturing its authenticity, nor is there anything inherently sensationalist in her report. Until CB management openly disavows the account and it’s content it is ludicrous, given the coverage, to give them the benefit of the doubt. If anything, they should be condemned, as well as the other neighbors who supposedly “hate this account,” for their lack of position.

    • Please excuse my typos and infelicities. I have to post draft from mobile. Nevertheless, I look forward to disputing the notion that this is some unique nutcase in gentrification rhetoric. I has written about Williamsburg’s gentrification for 20 years. I also have seen a “thing or two” on the Internet about the subject. I do a podcast, Bittersweet Brooklyn, on the subject. I and friends monitor and track rhetoric, comments and sentiments on the matter. I even think I may know the identity of the person behind this Twitter account. You know why and how? Because when it comes to gentrification rhetoric, this twitter account has content that is the norm, not the exception. And I have met many and known these rhetoricians personally: none of them have meant to be ironic. They have always been earnest. Any talk of “irony” or “satire” is being projected onto the reading; it is not based on a careful reading of the narrative of gentrification in North Brooklyn for the past few decades.

  • No evidence that this account is run by tenants. Could be more haters.

    CastleBraid isn’t overpriced. It has free internet, great amenities and location, walls that you can’t hear people through, and is at market prices. They got the exemption by turning it into apartments rather than condos.

    Also, I’m mad liberal but that point about scapegoating the “1%” is dead on!!! There is no 1%. There is no 99%. It’s the 100%. Everyone acts pretty much the same when they get successful. To fix the economy we need to change a few things (see my iBook, Expressive Voting), blaming people who are successful is not ever going to help.

  • To be confused about what is different and what is not is to be confused about everything.
    David Bohm

    You are indeed mad, sir. You are no liberal.

  • @OccupyBushwick
    Fuck Media,
    as well as
    t/His One.

    Don’t worry that Castle Braid gets “attention.” Neither media nor market merit y/our efforts.