A few weeks ago, friends of ours emailed that they were putting their two-bedroom co-op in Clinton Hill on the market. We asked where they were moving, expecting to hear a fixer-upper in Bed Stuy or Crown Heights–two of the last places in Brooklyn to buy a brownstone for under $2 million. When we heard the response, though, we were floored: New Rochelle! “This will probably be the moment we all look back on as when the suburbs got cool again,” we wrote back jokingly to the photographer mom and punk-rocker-by-night-lawyer-by-day dad. And it seems like we were right, judging by the cringeworthy but possibly-on-to-something trend piece in this weekend’s New York Times called Creating Hipsturbia. Having milked Brooklyn and its hipsters for the past five years, the Gray Lady appears to be following them north as they get priced out of the borough they once made cool. And, apparently, they are trying to bring some of the cool with them.
To ward off the nagging sense that a move to the suburbs is tantamount to becoming like one’s parents, this urban-zen generation is seeking out palatable alternatives — culturally attuned, sprawl-free New York river towns like Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington and Tarrytown — and importing the trappings of a twee lifestyle like bearded mixologists, locavore restaurants and antler-laden boutiques. “I don’t think we need to be in Brooklyn,” said Marie Labropoulos, who recently moved to Westchester County and opened a shop, Kalliste, selling artisanal vegan soap in Dobbs Ferry. “We’re bringing Brooklyn with us.”
The aforementioned towns all offer reminders of the storefront offerings of Bedford Avenue and Smith Street but with houses nearby that are well under $1 million. In fact, of the 135 or so properties we have listed in our Upstate Marketplace for Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington and Tarrytown, just eight top $2 million, with the most expensive being a seven-bedroom Georgian Colonial in Irvington asking $4,750,000. The cheapest? This diminutive Dutch cottage at 504 Benedict Avenue in Tarrytown for $319,500; everything priced under $300,000 turns out to be a co-op or condo. So how many of you have seriously contemplated this move? Know any hipsters who’ve already taken the plunge?
Creating Hipsturbia [NY Times]