Eater just interviewed the new owner of the beloved and shuttered Fedora, about his reaction to nostalgics' Fedora criticism and his vision for that slice of Greenwich Village.
He said: "...We want to rebrand this like little pocket, the three blocks from West 4th street down where Fedora is all the way down to like Christopher and Sixth Avenue. I’d like to rename this little area 'Little Wisco,' because we’ve got the oldest and most prominent, Kettle of Fish (a true Wisco bar), we’re here, Jeffrey’s is here, Fedora will have Wisconsin people and a friend of mine that I went to college with is opening up a clothing shop on Christopher and Gay so it’s a lot of Wisconsin. You know they’ve got a Little Italy, I think we should make a Little Wisco in the West Village."
Joking or not, in this last statement, equating a Little Wisconsin with Little Italy, he inadvertently illuminates a powerful phenomenon at work in the city. For generations, the fabric of New York was woven by poor immigrants from foreign countries. They brought their cultures and created ethnic neighborhoods where they felt safe. Americans who migrated to the city, on the other hand, gladly left their own small-town cultures behind and assimilated into the urban.
Today, that is no longer the case. Especially in Manhattan, we're seeing middle-class and affluent immigrants from America's Heartland coming to recreate their hometowns. What will the city look like as Little Italy and Chinatown give way to Little Michigan and Ohiotown?
I've never been to Wisconsin, so I had to Google it to see what we might expect for Greenwich Village's future. Part of the Midwest, Wisconsin is known as "America's Dairyland." People in Wisconsin wear their dairy pride by sporting large chunks of cheese on their heads, thus becoming known, somewhat derisively, as "cheeseheads."
The state's largest employer is Wal-Mart. Wikipedia also tells us that "A large part of the state's manufacturing sector includes commercial food processing, including well-known brands such as Oscar Mayer [and] Tombstone frozen pizza."
Not only that, they also have "more country music festivals than any other state, including Miller Lite Presents Country Fest, Bud Light Presents Country Jam USA, the Coors Hodag Country Festival, Porterfield Country Music Festival, Country Thunder USA in Twin Lakes, Log Jam Fest in Phillips and Ford Presents Country USA."
The population of Wisconsin is 80% Christian and 91.52% Caucasian, mostly of German descent, a fact that shows up in the state's second-best love, right behind cheese: Beer.
They make a lot of beer in Wisconsin and they drink a lot, too. The state leads the country for the most fatal accidents due to drunk driving.
So get ready, Greenwich Villagers, Little Wisconsin is coming your way. Before long, you'll be boiling fish, dressing in camouflage, rooting for the Packers, and running around with foam wedges of cheese on your head. Don't doubt it. The Kettle of Fish, once a Beatnik bar favored by Jack Kerouac, is now "the Big Apple's number one spot for Packer backers." Fedora is next.
Say it now, "Go Pack Go!"
Suburbanizing the city