Has Brooklyn Jumped the Shark?


Sociologist Richard Greenwald charts the rise and fall of Brooklyn cool in The Atlantic Cities. “All this talk about Brooklyn dying as the epicenter of hipsterdom worries us,” he writes. “Many who once celebrated the borough are now questioning its status, such as artist James Kalm and the author Robert Anasi.” First it happened in Greenwich Village, then Harlem, SoHo, Tribeca, the Lower East Side, and now it’s happening to Brooklyn. Though to be fair, he adds, the Brooklyn “of culture and arts, where novelists sit in cafes; the Brooklyn that Colson Whitehead wrote about in 2008″ does not encompass the whole borough but only a few neighborhoods, “while the rest are absent from consciousness.” (According to him, by the way, these neighborhoods are: Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, Bed-Stuy and Fort Greene/Clinton Hill.) His conclusion: This is the natural lifecycle of neighborhoods (even if in New York it seems to happen at warp speed), and regular people will continue living their lives as they always have. What do you think?
The Lifecycle of a “Cool” Neighborhood [Atlantic Cities]

13 Comment

  • Oy. If you like living here, live here. If you don’t like living here, don’t. It shouldn’t be that difficult. You shouldn’t have to contemplate the “status of the borough.”

    And if it really matters to you, it seems like that whole scene is the process of moving from Williamsburg to Bushwick (and a bit of Red Hook), which, last time I checked, was still in Brooklyn.

  • I’m sorry but despite what people want to think Williamsburg has never been a “hotbed of cutting-edge creativity”. In truth its never been more than a bar scene and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Also what’s the big deal? “Greenwich Village, then Harlem, SoHo, Tribeca, the Lower East Side” are all really nice places to live.

  • The person writing this absolute nonsense is the kind of person who thinks their sh*t don’t stink. Very few people over 27 care about what neighborhood is considered “cool” or “hip.” They choose a neighborhood they like, find an apartment they can afford and move in. Brooklyn has become cool. That’s great, who cares. It also happens to be one of the most amazing places to live in the world and that has absolutely nothing to do with anything mentioned in this “article”

  • The person writing this absolute nonsense is the kind of person who thinks their sh*t don’t stink. Very few people over 27 care about what neighborhood is considered “cool” or “hip.” They choose a neighborhood they like, find an apartment they can afford and move in. Brooklyn has become cool. That’s great, who cares. It also happens to be one of the most amazing places to live in the world and that has absolutely nothing to do with anything mentioned in this “article”

  • Havemeyer

    Neighborhoods rise and fall, but in affluent societies there is one constant: an endless new supply of bright-eyed, fresh-faced liberal arts graduates looking for une vie boheme.

    Whether or not that is especially relevant to one’s life depends on how interesting one finds bright-eyed, fresh-faced liberal arts graduates.

  • East New York

    “artist James Kalm and the author Robert Anasi.”

    “Colson Whitehead”

    Um, who?

    “while the rest are absent from consciousness.”

    If my neighborhood is absent from the “consciousness” of these guys, I’m sure it’ll be OK.

  • East New York

    “artist James Kalm and the author Robert Anasi.”

    “Colson Whitehead”

    Um, who?

    “while the rest are absent from consciousness.”

    If my neighborhood is absent from the “consciousness” of these guys, I’m sure it’ll be OK.

  • Onion headline:
    REGULAR PEOPLE CONTINUE LIVING LIVES AS THEY ALWAYS HAVE

  • new york changes every 15 years… no matter what happens. I am from brooklyn born and raised and who would have thought that brooklyn would have internet cafes and hipsters moving it. Its all good I guess however yes people are leaving and brooklyn is loosing its flavor. Whats going to define brooklyn now. These so called artist who live off their parents and pretend to do art in the day. The stroller pushers who moved in from somewhere america hell bent on turning brooklyn in the suburban neighborhood they just come from. Or the bike riders who view brooklyn as an anthropology project to be ventured and explored after an intense bikram yoga class. I guess its time to move to florida and die.

  • The sad part about this article is that this gentleman missed out on the true elements which make brooklyn authentic.. neighborhoods such as flatbush (west indian influences) bay ridge (italian influences) brighton beach (russian/ukranian influences) and mid wood ( jewish influences) all make up the authentic brooklyn experience and its being diluted every day into a monolithic utopia for yuppies, hipsters and buppies. We need to find ways to
    maintain this or the brooklyn everyone bought into because it was cool will cease and become just like manhattan or the suburban areas where these folks come from.

    • One of your comments is totally incorrect about people leaving….

      ***
      “Brooklyn’s population shot up dramatically in just over a year – after city officials charged the federal 2010 Census undercounted the borough.

      Brooklyn’s population grew by 28,000 between April 2010 and July 2011, according to estimates released by the Census Bureau last week – a 1.1% increase and the biggest jump in the city.”

      • I meant to say the people who lived there before the change. I thought I made that clear when I followed up and said that brooklyn loosing its flavor. Mainly the real brooklynites who made bk cool. Those folks are leaving thus the culture changes. I am not challenging your stats as I agree with you 100% just shouting out the folks who cannot afford to stay.

    • One of your comments is totally incorrect about people leaving….

      ***
      “Brooklyn’s population shot up dramatically in just over a year – after city officials charged the federal 2010 Census undercounted the borough.

      Brooklyn’s population grew by 28,000 between April 2010 and July 2011, according to estimates released by the Census Bureau last week – a 1.1% increase and the biggest jump in the city.”