One sort of “thought meme” that is making a pretty heavy circulation in the media right now is the idea that Brooklyn has become a global brand that is taking over the world. The idea is best summarized in a New Yorker article on Vice by Lizzie Widdicombe. The company seems like it’s run by a bunch of complete assclowns, but might be onto something in terms of both making money off media, and reporting news stories to young people:
“Vice has grown in lockstep with the spread of hipster culture: what was once a Brooklyn-based trend has become the lingua franca of ‘global youth,’ as Vice’s executives call it. Since Brooklyn is a brand, it is no longer necessary to live there. Smith [the founder of the magazine], for example, lives in Tribeca.”
I don’t really understand why Brooklyn being a brand would preclude one from living here. For instance, why wouldn’t Smith want to walk to work? I think Widdicombe is implying that “cool kids” used to be the ones who lived in Brooklyn, while finance stiffs and boring people lived in Manhattan. But now that Brooklyn is no longer cool — ie, it’s become an “everyman” sort of thing — people will no longer feel it necessary to live here to validate their images. Or something. I’m not sure. BLAH.
Last night, I had the good fortune to stumble upon the Red Hook Crit, an “illegal” fixed gear bike race in the neighborhood that borders my apartment.
Held in the parking lot of the Red Hook Cruise Terminal, which on a normal night is lit only by the hulking white abandoned storage facilities that buffet the parking lot, the race is an international event that will travel to Barcelona and Milan later this year.
Given that AJ and I are both early risers, we decided to take our dogs—her ridgeback Violet, and my rabid gopher Franke—to Prospect Park this morning, where dogs are allowed off the leash before 9 AM.
The problem with discovering something new in New York is that at least 100,000 other people have discovered it before you. Like, I could write this long post right now about how lovely it was to be outside, watching Franke and Violet roll around in patches of other dogs’ urine, while the sun rose, and AJ and I waxed poetic about life. About the curious ecosystem of dog and owner that exists in the park, where everyone chats friendly, even when their dog is clearly an aggressive little bitch—ahem, Franke. About the amazingly happy lesbian, loving life with the accompaniment of no fewer than 10 dogs, who said that watching Franke run up to her pack, bark like a monster, and then run away, was the “best moment of her day.”
In the past few years, Fort Tilden has become the preferred beach for Brooklyn hipsters to go to on weekends, for a variety of reasons that include proximity to bike paths, relative inacessibility, no lifeguards, topless bathing, the promise of food trucks, and the “x-factor” bonus of abandoned old army bunkers covered in fucking killer graffiti. I say that with deadpan meant to convey sarcasm.