Why “The Brooklyn of Every State” Article Is Total Crap

Illustration by Aaron Meshon

Recently, Thrillist published its guide to neighborhoods across the nation titled “The Brooklyn of Every State.” Now, in theory, we like this idea. Really, we do. Call us biased, but we think Brooklyn is a very special place that totally should be celebrated. Also, we are definitely guilty of Googling “the Bushwick of LA” when we were looking for a place to go out in LA recently, so, like, we get it. However, where this piece becomes total crap is in its definition of Brooklyn:

Though pockets of it are still holding strong, most of Brooklyn has been swept by a sea of trilby-wearing millennials with waxed beards, who just wanna give back to the neighborhood with an artisanal dog treat shop, you know? But the New York borough is far from the only gentrified hotspot in America. We rounded up the most Brooklyn ‘hood in every single state, based on metrics including trendy restaurants, “craft” cocktail bars, bike friendliness, and, of course, urban expansion. By the time you finish reading the list, they probably won’t be cool anymore, so hurry up

Fuck you!!!! Seriously, fuck you. Yes, gentrification is rampant in Brooklyn; there’s no denying that. But Brooklyn is so so much more than a synonym for gentrification. Just as we’re sure all of the “Brooklyn” places in other states on the list are special and unique and valuable for reasons other than—and including—their artisanal dog treat shops, etc. The Brooklyn experience varies greatly  from neighborhood to neighborhood, block to block, building to building. So why do it the injustice of simply making it synonymous with gentrification? Well, we guess the reason is kind of obvious: laziness paired with desire to capitalize on Brooklyn as a buzzword.

But if you want to truly find the Brooklyn in other places, you’re going to have to look much, much deeper, for all the individual things that make every individual neighborhood special. And if you want to do all that, by all means, go for it!  That’s something we can get behind. In fact, we’re curious: Where do we find a boardwalk with years and years of history and really legit hot dogs in South Carolina? Where are the best salsa clubs in Illinois? Where do we go to see some really, really old architecture in New Jersey? Where can we get the most authentic Russian food in Florida? What about Caribbean food in Massachusetts?  Where’s the techno scene in California?  Or the jazz scene in Georgia? Where is the most kid-friendly area in Ohio? And sure, why not let us know where the trendiest restaurants are in Minnesota or whatever, because who doesn’t love a kale salad from time to time.

But please, let’s not reduce Brooklyn simply to gentrification. Brooklyn is a complex puzzle of people and ecosystems and cultures and interests and events. And even if we can find places around the country that also have some of those individual little pieces that make Brooklyn so special, at the end of the day, there’s still only one place with all of those individual pieces. LEAVE BROOKLYN ALONE.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. There is only one Brooklyn. I live in Nebraska, there’s nothing like Brooklyn here. That’s why I look forward to visiting Brooklyn, NY every year. See you soon!

  2. Fuckin’ preach. You’ve got to a special brand of ignorant to think all (or even most) of Brooklyn is Williamsburg.

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