The New York Times has done it again, you guys: Just when we thought it was impossible to find any New Yorker under the age of 35 who hadn’t at least been to Brooklyn once, we find our via the Times Real Estate section that there are, in fact, no less than six young New Yorkers (and one of them a native Manhattanite) who thought that moving to Brooklyn would be the same thing as “moving to a foreign country.” Hm. Ok!
The Times article is really about the “trend” of New York City-based friends deciding to move into the same buildings together so that they can continue what was, for them, the best part of their lives: living in a college dorm. Only, you know, presumably without the RA and the attendant need to smoke pot in your bathroom with multiple towels stuffed in the door cracks (miss you, Weinstein). And while the Times spoke with many people from various stages of life who decided that they just couldn’t bear to live more than a block away from their friends, one particular friend-set profiled really stood out.
This group—comprised of people named “Britaania Poppie, Woody Wright, Sean Oliver, Chrissy Hunt, Catie Abrams and William McKee,” some of whom are involved in finance—all decided to move en masse to 388 Bridge Street, a luxury building in Downtown Brooklyn. It wasn’t an easy decision, of course, because all of the friends found the idea of moving to Brooklyn “unnerving;” this despite the fact that they unironically enjoyed hanging out at a Flatiron bar called the Hog Pit. And yet, the idea of basically becoming a real life version of Friends proved too seductive, and the group recently moved into their new digs. Wright explains that their hesitation was understandable: “One of the issues that people my age have about moving to Brooklyn is that you think that the second you live there, you are moving to a foreign country and will never see anyone again.” But the group has surmounted the obstacle of having anyone visit them by only hanging out together in their own building other than when they go to work. Living the dream, kids!
The Awl brought this story to my attention, and Matt Buchanan asks whether or not this will be “the last generation of Manhattan-raised twentysomethings for whom Brooklyn will seem like a place that is far, far away—so far that they needed to convince all of their friends to move into the same terrible building with them.” But I doubt it. I doubt that New York will ever totally run out of privileged myopic people with names like Britaania or Chrissy, who view the outer-boroughs with suspicion bordering on disgust. And, after all, what the Times piece makes clear is that even though the group now lives in Brooklyn, they’re still not of it. They inhabit a virtual Green Zone common to all luxury condo dwellers in the borough, who are lured here by the promise that they will basically never have to leave their buildings other than to go to work. This is why neighborhoods like Downtown Brooklyn are so perfect for these condos: There’s ample public transportation to Manhattan, and so condo residents can have virtually no interaction with the borough they call home, or its inhabitants. So, basically, life for these folks will be just like on Friends: They won’t ever leave their apartments and might as well be inhabiting a sound stage in LA and will experience literally none of the diversity this borough, let alone this city, has on offer. And all for the low, low price of $3,200/month for a one-bedroom! Whatta life.
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