Monday, September 24, 2012

I didn't have nothing to read on the subway

Lucy Lippard reading the Brooklyn Rail.
But luckily someone left a copy of the Brooklyn Rail  on a bench.  (people have been ticketed for leaving newspapers on subway benches and seats but I think it is a public service.)

I just opened it and looked at the first article, on page 3.  The title instantly appealed to me "I was a Brooklyn Townie"  It immediately clicked that I was  a Brooklyn Townie too.  When I want away to college, townie was a derogatory term we used for the kids who lived near the school.  Whenever they attended the school or not, someone who grew up in the same town as the school was a "townie".

I could have written David Mandl's first paragraph. ...
I’m from Brooklyn. I mean, I’m really from Brooklyn. I was actually born here—and 50 years ago at that; both of my parents were born here; I attended school in Brooklyn all the way through college, except for a brief stint in graduate school (Manhattan). I’ve lived in Brooklyn my entire life, except for a year and a half or so working in Europe when I was already around 40.
Yea, I am a Brooklyn Townie, except I went to college 65 miles from Brooklyn and never lived in Manhattan or Europe.   But I did not want to stay in Sheepshead Bay and David Mandl.moved out of Bensonhurst,  We both moved to Park Slope for basically the same reasons. He moved here because it was "filled with lefties.... and people who owned books."

As anything written in 2012 by a "Brooklyn Native"  the conversation had to turn to the new Brooklynites or The Hipsters. Mr Mand unlike most bloggers did not make fun of them for wearing clothing he did not like.  People randomly vandalize property because they think it might belong to a Hipster.

Mandl did not display blatant contempt for hipsters like the anther of
This is a place to laugh at transplanted, annoying, ironic, out of place, piece of shit, pseudo creative and intellectual Hipsters. You clueless wanna-be urban fucks aren’t fooling any of us real New Yorkers. You’ve accomplished nothing over the last decade but displaced hard working families, old time residents, and newly arrived immigrants who do not seek attention like you cocksuckers. Rents have doubled and tripled because of your desire to be some kind of urban pioneer. What a joke. Hipsters do not create anything new. They just recycle fashion and trends from the past three or four decades. You’re using Brooklyn as an extension of your fucking liberal arts college campuses.
Yes,that  was hateful and there is lots more out there.  Many people who grew up in Brooklyn hate Hipsters.. I really think they are just bigots who know that if they say I hate you because you are black, gay or Muslim they would get their ass kicked.  But it is socially acceptable to hate on Hipsters. Nobody identifies them self as a Hipster and the people who say they hate Hipsters don't really hate any specific people.  At least not the people they have met.

Anyway, David Mandl makes a good point.  Hipsters don't live in all of  Brooklyn, they live in the nicer parts of Williamsburg, Greenpoint,  Bed-Sty, Crown Heights, Sunset Park  In other words "Brownstone Brooklyn".  But....
Brownstones are one of a hundred kinds of Brooklyn houses that have stoops—where I grew up we spent half our time hanging out on stoops, and we’d probably never seen a brownstone. But yes, stoops are sacred in Brooklyn because brownstones have them—and brownstones are, by definition, the houses that matter, since they’re owned by wealthy professionals in a small handful of northwest-Brooklyn neighborhoods. Petty as it may seem to pick on such casual remarks, they were symptoms of a very real and much bigger problem: For all intents and purposes the 95 percent or so of Brooklynites living outside a tiny enclave of hip and relatively privileged young people simply didn’t exist.
They move into neighborhoods that are already being gentrified, and they move into building that have already been fixed up.  Other groups that moved into Brooklyn help improve the neighborhoods they move into.  On my family's block in Sheepshead Bay most of the recent home sales have been to Korean-Americans.  Generally, when they buy a house they renovate it and move in.  The community then gives them credit for it's improvement.  Also, most newcomers to Brooklyn come with a family, they set up homes and stay.  Hipsters, treat Brooklyn like a dorm, so I can see why the townie might resent them.

But not all Hipsters are just parked here temporally, some are civil servants.  I actually saw The Hipster Cop this Summer on Governors Island.

But Hipsters do spend a lot of money, they do push gentrification forward, they are mostly lefties and own books, (or book like computer things).   You might call some of my friends Hipsters, but after you get to know them you would just call them your friend too.

Back in college I met some townies, they were alright.

1 comment:

  1. Bigots come in all shapes and sizes, don't they?
    I agree, a newspaper on the bench is a public service.


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