Wednesday, September 14, 2011

*Everyday Chatter

Starbucks encroaches deeper into the East Village. [EVG]

On saving St. Mark's Books: "I'm not convinced this neighborhood deserves to have a great bookstore... this place is a youth destination for children of means, not an intellectual or countercultural destination anymore." [SLES]

St. Mark's Books in the Daily News. [NYDN]

On Cooper Union's new Astor Place vision: "when completed, the new building will change Astor Place forever--and far more drastically than Gwathmey Siegel's tower... [it] will dwarf all the others and hardly harmonize the jumbled buildings around it." [TRD]

Taking up arms on E. 10th St:

Artists and hipsters forced out of Williamsburg. [Gothamist]

The Beaux Arts Ball parties at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. But what is "loading dock chic" dress? [NYO]

Enjoy Frank's Barber Shop of Staten Island. [LC]

Hope? Fewer people going for MBAs. [NYM]

Carrie Bradshaw will never die. [NYO]


Caleo said...

As far as hipsters being priced out of Williamsburg... what comes around goes around.
Now the trustafarians are being replaced by the genuinely wealthy.
And wait until you see what THEY do to the neighborhood. Park Slope x 10.
The comments on the link are as good as the article.
The self identified hipsters of Billyburg are truly flummoxed as to how this is happening... TO THEM.
I mean, like, dude... why is this happening to US.

TyN said...

There are genuine musicians and artists that aren't "trustafari" that move to locations because they can't afford anywhere else. Unfortunately the developers and real estate agent people pick up on it and ruin it. Would you consider the artists and musicians that were poor in the West and East Village back in the day to be "hipsters".

Caleo said... need to read the article and the comments at the link.
They SELF IDENTIFIED as hipsters.
And I remember Williamsburg in the early 90's, when I had friends renting the entire basement of an old factory for $600 dollars a month.
I remember getting off the L train at Bedford in 97', and the entire platform and station was empty.
It was still a genuine working neighborhood with ridiculously low rents for huge spaces.
That's when real artists and activists from the LES spilled over into Williamsburg.
Then I remember the early 00's when all that was swamped by a literal flood of art school douchebags and trusties and euro filth.
By 2005 the neighborhood was irrevocably changed, and none of those hipsters cared in the least.
The remnants of a genuine working class Italian and Polish community had been washed away by a rising tide of loud, crass idiots and all their crazy parties and cool little shops.
A real neighborhood with affordable rents was replaced by a simulacrum of a neighborhood filled with entitled brats.
Am I exaggerating for effect... only a little.
Well, now the hipsters are being swept aside by people with even more disposable wealth and plans of turning the neighborhood into Park Slope, but even wealthier and whiter.
And so it goes, round and round, where it stops nobody knows.

Ed said...

I have a friend who generally has good taste but has inexplicably taken a liking to the 2011 version of Williamsburg. I agree with the above Caleo, the neighborhood had become as unbearable as the Meatpacking District by 2005.

I'm going to repost a good post on the Gothamist discussion of Williamsburg:

"Williamsburg and Dumbo were logical for proximity to the city center, but deep Brooklyn is just pushing it at this point. Neighborhood density plays into a lot of the energy of any art scene. Shit starts to spread out the further you get into Brooklyn. Hopping from gallery, to party, to bar is no longer as easy as walking down the street you live on, it would turn into a destination sort of thing. I already feel that way about Bushwick."

This is pretty much my thoughts exactly, but I will add that the time between a neighborhood getting discovered by pioneering artists, and becoming overgentrified, has been shrinking. As soon as a scene emerges, you know it will be doomed in a matter of months, so why bother exploring it?

I'm typing this from Birmingham, Alabama, which against all odds managed to develop a small artsy district, a space of a few blocks in the southern part of the central city. It barely developed before the city started promoting it in tourist literature, and now I've discovered that the chain Chickfila opened a huge branch in the center of the area that dominates the place.

Caleo said...

I agree with Ed, the process of gentrification and change has been speeding up to a ridiculous level.
What took 10 to 15 years in the EV ( and is still going on now ) is happening in 12 to 36 months in Brooklyn.
And when it hits a nabe in Brooklyn, forget it, it's ALL over.
I walked down to Williamsburg from Greenpoint 2 summers ago, and was astonished by the sheer volume of young hipster fiends, and the L train at Bedford is so crowded it takes 10 minutes to walk up the stairs out of the station.
I swore I would never go back.
I think to myself, what is it that attracts all these kids ?
How can they like it ? Is suburbia so stultifying at this point that even Williamsburg seems nice.
I really don't get it.
For all our complaints about the LES, it still has life.
But Williamsburg... it's so far gone that it seems comical to me.