Turns Out, Old People Hate Living In Williamsburg

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Just a dutiful check-in on the “old people moving to Williamsburg” trend: sometimes, it doesn’t go well. Sometimes, it ends in tears, hurt feelings, and broken leases.

At least, according one sort of sad account Brokelyn managed to dig up, in which an empty nesting couple moved from the Upper West Side to a Williamsburg Waterfront condo (“You know that building where we saw those two goth girls sitting on the sidewalk, smoking pot,” as they explained it to their college-aged son), only to realize they weren’t cool enough to hack it—the piece is actually called “Too Old To Live In Williamsburg.”

And, like any piece about Williamsburg, generational angst, or both, it’s full of lots of silly pull quotes about the neighborhood’s “restless hipster energy,” or how the area reminded author Nellie Alexander of ” [taking the] PATH into the city with our fake IDs to go to CBGBs” as a teenager, or the point at which the bloom started coming off the rose:

I found myself getting annoyed by the hipsters I once thought were so cool. I gave up trying to find a hair salon in the neighborhood. I just couldn’t bring myself to trust an inked-up stylist with purple hair. A guy on a skateboard mowed into me one day and then glared at me.

The author also found that her friends refused to come all the way to Brooklyn, and when they finally did, they’d pull embarrassing rookie moves like wearing a tie to Pete’s Candy Store. But, no need to take cheap shots. The whole thing actually ends on kind of a sad note: after years of wanting to go and being deferred by her husband (who rightly prefers a night in with “a nice bottle of Malbec and some Thai food,” and generally sounds like a pretty chill individual), Alexander and her husband decided to go to Bowl Train. What they found, maybe not too surprisingly, was an event so crowded and full of sneering young people that Alexander left in tears and immediately transferred the remainder of their lease to another boomer couple hoping for a taste of life on the other side of the bridge, or something like that.

And say what you will about well-to-do people in their 50s and 60s shacking up in mind-bogglingly expensive condos to feel closer to “kids trying to be artists or musicians”—really, there’s lots to say about that—but almost no one deserves to be laughed out of an event they actually wanted to go to just by virtue of being older than the target demographic (which, it’s worth noting, is probably not even that young for Bowl Train, a long-running event with a great deal of mainstream publicity and popularity). Like, she’s probably closer to my age, but whoever it was Alexander overheard in the bathroom sniping that she “saw a fucking gray-haired grandma at Pete’s” sounds like a total monster. Much more so than an out-of-touch parent who’d at least buy you an expensive drink in exchange for a few pieces of basic trend knowledge. Regardless, if these are the only two demographics left in Williamsburg? No one wins.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


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