The March/April issue of Luxury Listings NYC has an article about the supposed Brooklynification of the affluent North Fork of Long Island, and it is a doozy of a moronic “Is ___ the New Brooklyn?”/ “the hipsters are coming!” trend piece. The article is pointlessly titled “Blurred lines,” which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about how misguided and out-of-touch it is, but we’re going to get into it nonetheless.
Writer Christopher Cameron lays out his thesis as so: “With a rustic vibe, farm-to-table eateries and an influx of affluent hipsters, is the North Fork the new Brooklyn?” Because that’s literally all Brooklyn is, right? It’s a culturally monolithic place where every man is an urban woodsman and every woman is a sentient Instagram filter. In Christopher Cameron’s idyllic Brooklyn, everyone sips switchel out of mason jars at brunch and no one gets their head stomped in a McDonald’s on Flatbush Avenue. (Also, were I to describe something as having a “rustic vibe” — which I wouldn’t — I would have written “with its rustic vibe,” since this piece is describing how a specific location is similar to another specific location).
Cameron cites an episode of Girls where Hannah and friends take a weekend trip to the North Fork as evidence that Brooklyn is moving east. Which, nope! Someone who can afford a $25 million beachfront mansion is not taking cues from Girls. Girls is a show about broke young assholes treating each other poorly, not an advertisement for highly lucrative investment property.
One of Cameron’s sources, Corcoran broker Sheri Clarry, says “her Brooklyn clients regularly bring up the episode while househounting,” but Sheri Clarry clearly has no idea what she’s talking about, because she also says:
“I’ve got everyone from finance hipsters to actors, directors, supermodels, musicians, celebrities and artists,” Clarry said, adding that, no, “finance hipster” is not an oxymoron.
“There are hipsters in finance who work in really cool, boutique hedge funds,” she said. “Finance isn’t always what it was in the ’80s and ’90s anymore. It’s changed.”
“Really cool, boutique hedge funds.” Because when I think of “cool,” I think of rich guys who take exorbitant commissions from other rich guys to play around with a spreadsheet and ruin people’s lives in order to improve the profit margin from 2% to 3%.
Here we encounter the hipster paradox, where everything is labeled as “hipster” no matter how hip or unhip it is. “It’s used to describe people who wear flannel shirts, listen to music not broadcast on the radio and live in Brooklyn to iPod owners, graffiti writers, and basically any young person,” ANIMAL’s own Bucky Turco wrote back in 2012.
“It’s by far the most inane fucking word in the English language,” Turco wrote then, and it’s even truer now. It is a truly meaningless dead horse of a descriptor that’s been beaten, killed, buried, exhumed, beaten again, had a bird put on it, grew a beard, and has now gotten a job at a “cool, boutique hedge fund.” Anyone who describes something as “hipster” in 2015, whether positively or negatively, immediately discredits themselves and should not be taken seriously about anything.
To Cameron’s credit, he does subtly allude to not buying Clarry’s bullshit, writing:
In the North Fork, the gentrification process is already nearing its end game, with working class families in some areas displaced by moneyed nonconformists on vacation, who are in turn being replaced by lawyers and financiers.
So maybe Christopher Cameron is actually satirizing his subjects from the inside, and he isn’t a clueless enemy of the people. I would sleep more easily tonight if that was the case. But these folks certainly are the worst:
At North Fork Table it’s possible to observe young bearded men and tattooed women — sporting the designer streetwear commonly seen at the Bedford Avenue L-train stop — enjoy a $75 lunch tasting menu with locally grown produce, seafood from the Peconic Bay and carefully paired wines, as evident on a recent weekend. Nearby, a wild-haired child noshes on $22 truffled mac n’ cheese. The North Fork Food Truck sits just outside, serving local and seasonal Berkshire pulled pork rolls, lobster rolls and hot dogs for those looking for a pseudo-blue collar lunch.
I want to punch this paragraph in the face. I bet this wild-haired child’s name is Kelp and he’s Donald Rumsfeld’s great-nephew. I hate these people when they’re in Brooklyn, and I hate them when they go to Long Island.
There’s also this gem: “The reality is that the North Fork was Brooklyn before Brooklyn was Brooklyn.” And Brooklyn was Queens before Queens was Manhattan before Manhattan was Bayonne before God made a huge mistake and said, “Let there be light.”
Luxury Listings NYC, here’s some advice: Leave the terrible trend pieces and hipster-name-calling to the New York Times Styles section and stick to publishing real estate listings for properties Kazakh billionaires will buy and then not live in. The only Brooklyn topic you should write about is shit like that.
(Photo: CGP Grey)