A Williamsburg resident in the early aughts

"Has Billburg Lost Its Cool?" That was the title of a NY Times article published on July 27th, 2003. Below are quotes from the article, presented without context and in chronological order.

  • He listens to Electroclash music, has 40-plus pals on Friendster and creates art with discarded household paint under the moniker Scooter.
  • He explored the cafe society of Bedford Avenue... by day, he shared war stories with other hardscrabble artists over chai and iBooks.
  • Then the edginess started to dull. "It's a cool spot... But you know what? It started to get too cool."
  • "All the hipsters were dressing the same way. Sideways trucker caps, tight T-shirts, vintage jeans and Converse high-tops for guys. And for girls: very 80's studded belts, off-the-shoulder shirts, leg warmers and asymmetrical haircuts."
  • Plenty of hipsters are still ardent Williamsburgers and would never live anywhere else. And many of them are skeptical about any hipster exodus from Brooklyn to Manhattan. "I don't know who made up this story," said Fabio Roberti, a partner of Earwax Records.
  • But after the nth visit, at least for some, the ebony reflecting pool at Galapagos lost its novel sheen.
  • Williamsburg struck him as more like a third-world country.
  • Amenities that Williamsburg lacks: Korean delis, an actual bank.
  • "The so-called hipsterati are very proud to be here,'' said Jason Jeffries, the founder of a community Web site called Billburg.com, "The beauty of the neighborhood comes from the inside out."
  • "Everyone is trying so hard to be different."
  • "I'm tired of Williamsburg."
  • "Everybody looks like they stepped out of Urban Outfitters, times a thousand."
  • Ms. Libbey is moving next month from a converted warehouse on Kent Avenue to a one-bedroom in Midtown.
  • "Outside of New York, Williamsburg is still spoken of constantly as the hipsters' place, which will probably make New Yorkers disdain it more."
  • Some are even declaring the Williamsburg scene officially over.

Now, less than fifteen years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Queens and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.