A place once mocked as Manhattan’s less sophisticated neighbor, Brooklyn has emerged as a global symbol of all things, cool, all things trendy and most of all— the poster child for gentrification!
Brooklyn is the new Paris
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that now, when other cities describe either their coolest virtues, they compare themselves to Brooklyn:
At one point, every cool and cosmopolitan city was “the Paris” of this place or “the Paris” of that place (i.e. Montreal being “the Paris” of North America). Now Brooklyn is the prototype of every hipster-aspiring city, with a bustling food and arts scene.
Ballard is the Brooklyn of Seattle. Glasgow and Melbourne both claim Brooklyn cool. And Oakland, Calif., has been called the Brooklyn of San Francisco so many times that Julia Cosgrove, editor of AFAR travel magazine, says she “can’t bear to read another story about it.”
Signs that your city could be a Brooklyn when it grows up
So apparently, according to the article, here are a few key signs your town may be on its way to becoming a Brooklyn when it grows up:
1. When describing food, you begin to use adjectives such “artisanal” and “farm-to-table”
2. Bike shops, coffee shops and juice bars begin to pop up from out of nowhere
3. Food stores open with subtitles like “vegan” and “gluten-free”
4. Suddenly, everyone wants to experience your city’s “thriving music and arts scene”
5. Restaurants are small — real small– about 350 sq. feet with a just a few tables (even if you’re in a city with plenty of space, such as Willston, North Dakota, because it must have that Brooklyn-cramped feel)
6. Old industrial buildings and abandoned parking lots are transformed overnight into luxury lofts
7. The once-ignored housing stock suddenly becomes the greatest thing since sliced toast, causing the real estate market to shoot through the roof
Actually, when you think about it, this is simply a short list of the results of gentrification. So the logic would follow: Gentrification = Brooklyn = Cool. Which, if you do the basic math, means Gentrification = Cool.
Here, try these on for size!
Maybe it’s time certain people admit that– despite the plight of the poor residents and longstanding business that get pushed out due to gentrification– overall, they think gentrification is pretty damn cool! Just say it! Admission is the first step to freedom.
Or to make things easier, start by replacing the word “cool” with “gentrification.” (Why not? They’re already doing it with Brooklyn: “That’s so Brooklyn!”)
Julie, that jacket you are wearing is soooo gentrification! Or
My graphic arts and design teacher is pretty gentrification this semester OR
Did you hear they’re replacing that old 40-year-old record store with a vegan bakery and coffee shop? That’s just gentrification!
It’s funny how the elements that made it cool were never quite cool until the newcomers arrived and deemed it so…
Hey did you see the new trendy style Kendall Jenner’s rocking? It so cool; it’s called cornrows! You gotta try it.
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