Northeast Williamsburg Is Brooklyn’s Newest Fake Neighborhood

This is now a totally new place, really!
This is now a totally new place, really!

Guess what? Brooklyn has a brand new neighborhood. It’s called “Northeast Williamsburg.” And who do we have to thank for this totally necessary addition to the Brooklyn neighborhood canon? A real estate agent, of course. As DNAinfo reports, a Corcoran agent created a campaign to promote the idea of “Northeast Williamsburg” in January, and it’s, uh, really catching on?

According to realtor Lyon Porter, Northeast Williamsburg comprises the area bound by the Lorimer, Graham, and Grand L stops, as well as the BQE and Grand Street—an area heretofore simply called “Williamsburg.”

So why the change? Porter, who has lived in the area since 2002, explains: “It has mom and pop shops mixed in with new business.”

Ok, sure. Funny, though, because this also reminds me of another place: Williamsburg.

To be fair, Porter did provide DNAinfo with more justification: Northeast Williamsburg is marked by “quiet, residential streets, mostly lined with townhouses, that range in price from $1.5 to $2.5 million,” and that “It’s a real enclave. It’s a real neighborhood. It deserves its own little distinction.”

Oh, wait: Still sounds just like Williamsburg.

Of course, in the age of “Quooklyn” and “BoCoCa” at least Porter didn’t follow the trend of other made-up neighborhood nicknames that use fluff-words or, uh, non-cardinal directions. This is because, Porter explains, it “wouldn’t seem authentic.”

Still skeptical? You’re not alone, as DNAinfo discovered in an “unscientific survey” best summed up by the following former Williamsburg resident:

“I’ve always thought it was Williamsburg… just Williamsburg,” said Anthony Delia, who is part-owner of Napolitano Pharmacy on Graham Avenue, and who had to leave the neighborhood ten years ago for Long Island when rents got too high. “I feel like they’re trying to categorize it [and] collect on it.”

Ding. Ding. Ding.


  1. Thx for the article. Excluding a half-dozen blocks, the neighborhood you described is geographically located in the southeastern part of Williamsburg. How it now can be deemed to be on the “northeast” side of Williamsburg is ethically charged. Talk about deceptive marketing.

  2. You mention “the mom and pop shops” caharacteristic of Williamsburg proper”??
    Give me a break- they can’t afford it! What city are you in??
    At least in this part of “northeast” Williamsburg they do still exist.
    While I detest real estate developers trying to ruin yet another neighborhood and making it unaffordabele,
    I do disagree with the article calling this a “fake” label or designation.
    It’s real. It exists. It”s distinct. And it’s authentic.
    This vibrant old neighborhood, which still retains a good deal of its Italian and multi-ethnic flavor and fervor, IS a unique and different sliver of homes, businesses and people. It’s different from Williamsburg proper, to the west. And I mean that in a good way …a very good way. Whatever you chose to cll it.

    • Exactly. While it’s true that realtors often make up silly entities like NoLIta and SpaHa, it is worth recognizing that Williamsburg is a very large neighborhood with distinctively different sub-neighborhoods. The south side of Williamsburg, dominated by ultra-orthodox communities is totally unique. The north side is a mix of hipsters, who started arriving in the 90s, and luxury condos and lofts that have priced out those hipsters. East of the BQE, still north of Grand, the old Italian neighborhood is totally different. And south of the Williamsburg housing projects (what would be southeast Williamsburg–I have no idea what Dauna is thinking) down to Flushing Av is different still. I don’t think anyone who has spent time in these areas would disagree: Williamsburg is easily three or four different neighborhoods.

  3. You know what? I dont give a shit. M. Half the people looking for apartments are from out of town and need name recognition. Its not likw they called Brownsville North East Williamsburg. stop being snarky assholes.


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