Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dear Brooklyn

In response to an Etsy print on which artisanal Brooklyn tells Manhattan "You're ugly, and I don't like you anymore," designer James Campbell Taylor responds with a note of his own:


James Taylor

On the Portlandification of the city, James told me he felt compelled to make the sign "after growing tired of such tiresome jabs towards Manhattan. What began as a form of reverse snobbery is in many cases revealing itself as sheer ignorance. Whatever you say about this island--and the well-documented changes it's going through--it remains undeniably one of the most wondrous places in the Western World."

The design is not available on Etsy, not signed and numbered, and not printed on "Fabriano Elle Erre Paper: a vibrant, mouldmade, 100% acid free, heavyweight paper." But if we all ask nicely, maybe he'll put it on a t-shirt.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!! love it!

Mark MacLachlan said...

This can only be resolved in one way. FIGHT!

Anonymous said...

excellent

Crazy Eddie said...

"Look can we get out of Brooklyn. It's not as cool as I thought it would be. “ —. Kevin Bacon, Bored To Death

Checkmate.

Anonymous said...

Dear Manhattan--If any more of your hideous condo towers with Duane Reade's at the bottom come ashore along the Williamsburg coast, we are going to take action. Go back to Murray Hill!

Jeremiah Moss said...

and the rumble is on!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Brooklyn. I loved Brooklyn. When it was full of Brooklynites. Real Brooklynites. The salt of the earth.
Now it is full of self-doubting fops.

Although I live in Manhattan, I still have lots of friends in Brooklyn. And you know what? They disdain and dislike these pitiful newbies as much as I do.

Don't believe me? Visit diehipster.com and see what Real Brooklynites think of these wannabes.

Pete "Music" Sayek said...

25, 30 years ago Brooklyn would have kicked Manhattan's ass for that.

Dianna // aestheticLOVEstory said...

Signed, sealed, delivered! S.W.A.K. etc.

And if they are selling it "for the cost of a whole lotta PBRs (translation: $24, plus shipping and handling)," I suppose you could at least sell yours for the price of, oh, I don't know, entrance into any of the museums on Museum Mile.

Nice volley, bravo!

Anonymous said...

While tirades against contemporary Manhattan might simplify things, it's hard to deny that most of the island has turned into a place for a wealthy person to live a wealthy person's lifestyle. Whereas "Brooklyn"? Well, the majority of the land mass called Brooklyn has basically nothing to do with twee white people buying organic produce. I guess what I'm saying is that Manhattan is "Manhattan" a lot more than Brooklyn is "Brooklyn."

Anyway I live in Queens, where even fewer people know what Etsy is - that makes it the best borough, pretty much objectively.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit depressing to think that the world sees Brooklyn as just a sea of white hipsters and yuppies when really it is so much more. It will be even more depressing when Queens is viewed this way.

TyN said...

Dear Brooklyn,
I'm sorry you're really just jealous you can't afford me anymore, and that it takes you so long to get home.

—Manhattan

Bakerina said...

Dear Bronx and Staten Island,

Anyone for popcorn?

Sincerely,
Queens

Ben K. said...

As a native Manhattanite who now lives in Brooklyn, both of these prints are idiotic and represent such a small subsection of people who are from or now live in either borough. This is a fight far better consigned to the quite corners of the Internet than anywhere else.

Crazy Eddie said...

How are those Dodgers doing these days? Oh right, I forgot, they dumped you in 1958. Sob! Hey, there’s always the Nets. Eventually. After they have destroyed Atlantic Avenue. THE NETS! LOL!

Hey Ben K, lighten up , this has been a NYC sport (woofing on the borough not your own)forever.

Kristen said...

This is all so silly. Tell me, what's fundamentally wrong with organic food (which, while unaffordable, is better for the planet) or hand-made ("artisanal") crafts? Don't conflate these harmless phenomena with the attitudes of some of the people who enjoy them. Both Brooklyn *and* Manhattan are home to pretentious nitwits who are completely indifferent to the city's history -- been on the Lower East Side lately? You're all in the same boat, so you should really learn where to direct your ridicule -- not to mention, remember how diverse both Manhattan and Brooklyn still are outside of these now upper-class enclaves.

Ben U. said...

I've been reading this blog for years and I love it... but, as a native Manhattanite who now lives in Brooklyn, I'm growing a bit tired of this blog's attitudes towards organic food / local produce / farmer's markets / etc as if these things are somehow bad. Sure, it's easy to mock Hipster Brooklyn's obsession and glorification of these things -- which some indulge in and tout for vein reasons -- but it's not as if we're killing babies over here or something. I think we can all agree that fresh, local food is probably for the better for everyone.

Crazy Eddie said...

Also, waiting for Marty to chime in. Hey, will somebody please throw a bucket of water on him to wake him up?:)

esquared said...

manhattan vs. brooklyn? i think not. more like wisconsin vs. oregon, yuppies vs. hipsters, scary sadshaws vs. park slope moms, pretentious vs. fauxtentious...

don't care who wins, but the losers will be the true new yorkers, what's left of them/us

also, back in the days (up to the '90s') brooklyn, perhaps, would have had a chance on taking on manhattan:

Not just Brooklyn. A-list Brooklyn.
Park Slope, Division II Manhattan.
~ kicking and screaming

now, if da bronx gets gentrified and portlandified and little wisconified, then that'll be a sign of the apocalypse...

Grand St. said...

Crazy ("Insaaaane") Eddie is right.

BDP/KRS 1 on the subject:

"Manhattan keeps on makin' it, Brooklyn keeps on takin' it . Bronx keeps creatin' it, and Queens keeps on fakin it'."

Marty Wombacher said...

@Crazy Eddie: I'm working the dayshift and it's kicking my ass! So my letter is to my boss.

Dear Boss,
(To somewhat quote Richard Hell) Please fire me!

Sincerely,
Marty

P.S. I'm happy to be living in my rent-stabilized Manhattan apartment! Let the hating begin!

Anonymous said...

daaammmm some people are super serious and touchy, lighten up people, it's just a little wit, sarcasm, banter, these are things that as New Yorkers, all of us, we are supposed to enjoy and excel at... no borough is immune to a little ridicule.

TyN said...

I live in Manhattan and pick on all the boroughs (including Manhattan), but I think that's just general complaining. I love all of New York and hate when people say "Oh... I don't do Brooklyn". You miss out on a ton of great neighborhoods and people when you close yourself off. It's usually the people that moved here because of SATC or their friends from University of Florida told them to.

Crazy Eddie said...

@TyN-Agree-mini truce-for now.

"Anthony Bourdain - No Reservations - New York Outer Boroughs 2:3"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11pOXDroJWM

Jeremiah Moss said...

nothing is inherently wrong with organic food. nor is anything inherently wrong with condos or iphones. or wisconsin. or portland. or bicycling. it's the whole ethos that comes with it in this city at this moment in time, the attitude that floats to the top of the cultural conversation.

anyway, that's what i'm interested in critiquing. there's certainly nothing inherently wrong with Brooklyn either, but the trendy Brooklyn "brand" just cries out for mockery.

this mock rumble between the boroughs is kind of fascinating. what does the Bronx have to say about all this?

David said...

i grew up mainly in the Bronx but i was born in Brooklyn and lived there untill i was ten, thats when we moved in 1974,back then people had family all over the city so it was no big deal,this sounds like a fight between white folk who live in there own transplanted idea of the city more than the true city itself. by the way i've never heard the term "outer borough" untill i think 2002,Manhattan is just downtown to us up here in the Bronx.

Sean said...

Some Brooklynites are taking this very seriously:

http://defendbrooklyn.com/?page_id=30&category=1&product_id=1

Ed said...

I grew up in Brooklyn but now live in Manhattan. I still have family in Brooklyn and visit often. I think the whole Brooklyn boomlet thing is overdone.

For the purposes of considering whether to live there, you can divide Brooklyn into two parts, the part with easy access to Manhattan via subway, and the part without easy access, due to gaps between the lines or really slow trains running along long lines.

The part with easy access has some of the best residential architecture in the country, not just the city, but now people have realized that it this part ("brownstone Brooklyn as a shorthand, though it includes neighborhoods with no brownstones), is now as overpriced and overgentrified as Manhattan.

The part without easy access remains mostly ungentrified, but of course there is a reason for that. If you are going to live in some working class neighborhood and only go to Manhattan occasionally, why do this in the outer boroughs? There are places in New Jersey that would work just as well. Why not live in Philadelphia or Baltimore? I'm viewing this from the perspective of a transplant, not from someone who grew up in these neighborhoods and still has ties there.

You can do roughly the same analysis for Queens, except for the part about having some of the best residential architecture in the country.

laura said...

re: jeremiahs comment. i agree basically. youth markets& re markets the same old thing. now we have natural foods, farmers markets etc. corporations market the same old thing w/ a new twist, new words. generally these words are taken from the youth, or a fringe group. its not the products that are so bad- its the high rent, high price & the blah blah that goes w/it. & yes many young people look silly. they did in my day. they talked silly. for example: lets look @ fashion. you can market jeans for decades, over & over & over. they are jeans. big deal. just re-label, raise the price & triple that price for "all cotton" (like thats something new)? levis were around since 1840 or so. farmers markets longer than that. etc etc. the difference now & like 45 yrs ago, is that things moved slower. & of cause cheap neigborhoods stayed cheap. this is the gripe here! JM am i correct?

Jeremiah Moss said...

agreed! it's the packaging, the appropriation, the exclusivity. eating healthy food is good. turning healthy food into a fetish for the privileged few, to (maybe) bestow in their off-time to the underprivileged many? we're getting into something much more socially complicated than just eating.

mathhattan said...

I am tired of going to the bk hip hop festival and the brooklyn borough president dissing my hometown

Ben U. said...

@ Jeremiah. I think you (and a couple other above) are blowing the packaging / exclusivity / pricing out of proportion. Is it possible to participate in eating organic / healthy / whatever food while doing so humbly, for the right reasons, and at very affordable prices? Absolutely. The majority who participate do it this way. From Manhattan looking into Brooklyn -- aka not being a part of it -- I can see why you'd have the misconception that you do.

Peter said...

the losers will be the true new yorkers, what's left of them/us

And in twenty years, those aging hipster Brooklynites will be bitching about whatever new transplant invader happens to be watering down the "true" New York, just like every neighborhood population bitches incessantly about newcomers--always have and always will, forever and ever amen.

I do find it interesting, though, that in a city that changes as much as this one, where almost no one has roots here that go back more than a couple of generations, if they're really lucky, and every borough has been swept over dozens of times by successive demographics, so many people still manage to convince themselves that they are the sacred guardians of "real" New York / Brooklyn / Queens / whatever, and that the city itself is experiencing some kind of objective decline simply because the one they knew is aging into history. I'm a transplant myself, but multiple generations of my family lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn throughout the first half of the 19th century, back when New York was really really real, before all those Irish newcomers showed up and started changing the city beyond recognition--and then those newcomers gave way to other newcomers, and those newcomers gave way to others, and others, and others; and that is exactly what makes this city special. It's as fluid as the Hudson River.

What I'm trying to say is, I don't have a problem with a little bit of nostalgic self-indulgence, but understand that any claim to New York "trueness" is dubious at best, and that when you start complaining about the fact that NY is no longer what it once was, you're basically complaining about the thing that makes it great.

Anonymous said...

SO TELL ME...WHAT THE FUCK IS A HIPSTER??

Anonymous said...

I'm from Brooklyn--if something's cool--it's cool..if it's not--it's not.

laura said...

response to PETER 1:18pm-when the german jews came in, the sephardic were not happy. the sephards were in NYC like 80 yrs before. even if most of them left LES, they were not happy. when the russian jews came in (3rd wave) the germans (&sepharic) went completely crazy! these were dirty un educated peasants, had lice, workers. the german jews tried to stop those immigrations. even the wealthy on upper 5th ave, didnt want them in NYC. no jews wanted these people. even my grandmother called grandpa a dirty russian (in romanian) when she was angry. whats ironic is now the white college student/young professional /wealthy successful families are not wanted? thats a new twist. looks like a "mid western" migration eastward. except they bring up rents SO its reverse discrimination. they dont bring crime, just raise prices. its a "class war"!! response to ED 1:26am: been saying that for years!! even on this blog. what about philly? boston? baltimore? jersey? rhode island is cheaper & very nice. you can get into the city for a long weekend or long day. i did this for years. if a few thousand people do that then you can get to see each other on am-track. thats a much better alternative than the bronx. i had huge apts in boston for less than a studio in new york. & i didnt have to listen to the repetition (just like this blog, except this was the 80s& 90s). also i met fellow new yorkers who did the same as me. then there was a contest between those who "left" & those who stayed. dont end up being middle aged complainers if you are able to live/work like 1-4hrs away!! you can enjoy new york, when you want- on your own terms.

laura said...

ps: stop already w/this hipster hipster b.s. you sound like my 92yr old parents. they say i was "yippy" WTF is a yippy? its a cross between a yuppie & a hippy? (but my brother was a 'nice boy'). everyone shut up already because all of you sound like senile morons.