Back from Whence they came
To be young is to believe wholeheartedly in certain rosy, soothing illusions—that age, infirmity and death will never come to call, that divorce and the suburbs are fates that only befall other people. And yet, we will all know illness, we will all die and many, though not all of us, will move to the suburbs.
Young families have been moving to the suburbs for as long as there have been young families and suburbs. That many of the young families moving to New York suburbs should be Brooklynites, and that many of them should fancy themselves “creative types” and that they, like their parents and grandparents before them, should believe themselves capable of bringing their superior sensibilities to the land of compromises and comfort should come as no surprise. See: Revolutionary Road.
And yet, the New York Times has seen fit to print yet another style section feature on the suburban exodus of Brooklynites called, what else, “Creating Hipsturbia.” After all, “Williamsburg on the Hudson” ran way back in August 2011.
Union Square too expensive for your tech start-up? DUMBO too full? Downtown Brooklyn too… Downtown Brooklyn? Jed Walentas has a new suggestion: how about the Williamsburg waterfront?
Two Trees is looking to return to its commercial roots at the old Domino Sugar factory site, The Wall Street Journal reports. Jed wants to convert the 11-acre site’s signature structure into office space and throw up a new office building, for a total of 630,000 square feet. If successful, that would be nearly twice Williamsburg’s paltry existing stock of 350,000 square feet of large-block space.
Look at this: Time Out New York finally put faces on those Craigslist personals section, in its new “Single Men Willing to Be Photographed” slide show. We know you’ve had a tough time finding men recently, but we really think you’ll like this Williamsburg lawyer, Aaron. He is a very busy man, what with his bike training (it is what he does “all the time,” which makes us wonder when he does his lawyer work), so make sure you have your own “similar hobby/career/problem.” Because as they say, “similarities attract.”
Also, he seems to have some judgmental attitudes toward his mother’s yoga practice, but that is definitely something you two can work through, right?
Recently, life at Williamsburg’s the Edge has been a little too… edgy. Sure, the well-heeled crowd that calls the luxury condo home was hoping for some grit when they moved to the wilds of Brooklyn, but things have become downright hardscrabble recently.
First, residents were forced to evacuate during Hurricane Sandy. Which was, arguably, the price one pays for living on the waterfront, in Zone A (and in the end things turned out fine).
Williamsburg You Ever Hear of It?
We petition the 25,000 (plus/minus 24,986) hipsters living in the McKibbin Lofts trying to secede from the “Williamsburg” portion of their neighborhood’s title to:
Take a look at yourselves. Seriously, did you even read this petition before you self-righteously signed it with your artisanal ink well and ironic quill? Because we did:
Planes Trains & Automobiles
Joe Lhota just made it official on Twitter. There’s really nothing more to say. There will be a lot of crying into beers in North Brooklyn tonight—tears of joy, of course!—as almost a week without L train service comes to an end. How long before the cheering ends and the crowded misery resumes?
Brunch Will Go On
Five Leaves, the popular Williamsburg restaurant, always has insane lines for brunch. The morning after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the city was no exception. Although they were only serving the sage scramble panini egg sandwich with aged cheddar and spicy jam, the wait for a table was still over half an hour. And hungry people with a third day off from normal were still waiting. And there were still outdoor tables set up outside the triangle-shaped restaurant.
We woke up this morning with no internet and no TV, so we went out for a predawn drive to gauge the state of Brooklyn. The rain was intermittent, and the streets were mostly empty, the odd patrol car creeping down Bedford Avenue in Bed-Stuy, flashing lights but no sirens. Not much was open except for gas stations. Once we made it to the water, the effects of the storm were less severe than we expected. A streetlight down on Bedford Avenue between Third and Fourth streets, some construction debris on Wythe Avenue.
There were a dozen or so livery cars parked outside the Northside Car Service, so we stopped to ask a driver if the bridges were open. Yes, but you have to go around to McGuinness Boulevard and enter from the BQE. We wound our way through Greenpoint, noting that the Bank of America ATM on Manhattan Avenue was working. But when we reached the ramp for the Williamsburg Bridge, a squad car blocked the way.
It is one thing for a young banker to move to Williamsburg. It is an expected, if unfortunate, product of gentrification. But what does it say when a former Goldman Sachs boss and New Jersey political hand drops a million bucks on a Burg condo?
While former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine distracted himself from the whole MF Global scandal with plans for a new hedge fund (who wouldn’t like to think of making millions after you lose billions?), his former chief of staff, Goldman buddy and MF Global second-in-command Bradley Abelow decided to pick up another home, a condo on Karl Fisher Row overlooking the track and field at McCarren Park.
Do you live in Fort Greene? Enjoy sipping seasonal cocktails outside of Roman’s, playing fetch with your dog in Fort Greene park, bragging to all your friends about how low key and undiscovered and underrated Fort Greene is? Well, if you rent you should probably start skimming the real estate listings right now, as Fort Greene has been declared Brooklyn’s most livable neighborhood by The L Magazine.
Of course, its hard to tell if readers of the hipster glossy will take the ranking to heart, following the prevailing counter cultural fashions of the day, or if they will display a contrarian streak, as they are sometimes wont to do, and seek out the next industrial wasteland to remake in their tattooed image.