In the last few months, The NY Times Presents: Brunch Hate Reads has shifted focus from waging war against Irony and trolling Brooklyn futurism consultants in order to cast its terrible gaze upon Queens, turning up stones in a series of Real Estate, Style and Weekend articles only to find the most singularly irritating new gentrifiers in the borough. Come and cringe as the Times takes a tour of the "Toyota Corolla" of neighborhoods only to find that, among obnoxious bandwagon jumpers, Queens "is finally getting some respect."

Life coach Corey Anker, a 15-year resident of Manhattan, and his family felt cramped in their Gramercy apartment. "I just didn’t see myself living there,” Anker said of Queens. "To me, it was an old person’s borough." But this prejudice against mortality gave way to an epiphany: Queens apartment buildings have some super sweet retro-chic wall coverings.

While the exterior was unimpressive, his interest was piqued when he entered a hotel-like lobby with retro-chic wall coverings and a convenience store called the Pantry tucked into a corner. Upstairs, roomy apartments were being updated with open kitchens, new flooring and bathrooms. There was a new gym.

A couple of blocks away on Austin Street, he found a mix of cafes, bars, chain stores and small businesses and began to picture a life there. Twenty minutes and four express stops later, he was back in Manhattan planning their move.

“I was vehemently opposed to moving to Queens,” said Mr. Anker, a life coach who arrived with his family to Parker Towers in May, renting a renovated $3,600-a-month three-bedroom, two-bath with a balcony. “Now, I couldn’t love it any more if you paid me.”

Anker will be neighbors with artists like Michelle Byrd, who are just relieved that Queens finally looks enough like Brooklyn as to be habitable.

The vibrant arts scene was what drew Michelle Byrd, who consults on media and social change, to a one-bedroom rental in Long Island City, after she sold her rowhouse duplex in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Her old home was within a few blocks of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, “so it was really important for me that I lived somewhere that was an international destination for the arts,” Ms. Byrd said.

Into her life came Pearson Court Square, a new 197-unit rental building with prices that range from $2,600 a month for a studio to $5,800 for a two-bedroom penthouse. Now she’s not far from MoMA PS1 and exhibition spaces like the SculptureCenter, Ms. Byrd said. “The number of people jumping off the 7 train,” she said, “asking directions and taking photographs — that makes it feel very cosmopolitan.”

Then there are the advertising strategists who see a gentrified neighborhood, and can peer into the future at the potential for even MORE gentrifying to come.

“The price is right, the transportation options are really good, and I see the potential in the neighborhood,” said Amadeo Plaza, 27, an advertising strategist who moved with his wife, Noelia, in January to a rent-stabilized two-bedroom, two-bath at the Linc LIC, a 42-story building by the Rockrose Development Corporation.

The couple pay $3,720 a month, including use of a two-story gym, squash and basketball courts, a coffee lounge, a screening room, a children’s playroom and three roof decks with barbecues, wet bars and misting machines for hot summer days. “If you were to pick up this apartment and drop it into Manhattan,” Mr. Plaza said, “you’d be asking for north of $5,000 a month.”

If someone came into your bedroom every night and whispered, "Ringo was the true genius of The Beatles" for a year, you might wake up one day and inexplicably find yourself passionately arguing that "Don't Pass Me By" was the best song on The White Album, or that "Octopus's Garden" was actually a deep metaphor for soldiers coming home from Vietnam. So of course, we can't forget about the brokerage firms that have set up shop in Long Island City and are doing everything they can to jam their own mantra down our throats: "Queens is the new Brooklyn."

“Within the last two years there’s been huge interest in Queens, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before,” said Eric Benaim, the chief executive of the Modern Spaces brokerage, which has offices in Queens in Long Island City and Astoria. “People are flocking to Queens like they did to Brooklyn as the next frontier.”


While many of the new and refreshed residential offerings opening up in Queens are rentals, industry watchers say condos are next. “It is following the same track that Brooklyn did,” said Michael A. Tortorici, a founder of Ariel Property Advisors, which monitors the market. “First you have rentals, then people see it as a viable destination and people want to buy into that.”

Of course, the Times is as responsible for this as anyone; as they wrote earlier this month, "Ridgewood is in the chrysalis stage of an outer-borough transformation that shrieks 'Brooklyn.' Except it’s not in that overhyped borough." And what does that chrysalis stage encompass exactly?

The trajectory is familiar, and the players have slid into familiar position: broke millennials, underemployed artists, craven property speculators, fearful natives and first-time homeowners priced out of other markets.

Cafes with vegan muffins, yoga studios and destination pizzerias have (naturally) sprouted. Bars with names like Milo’s Yard and Bierleichen are slated to open. Guitar cases, tote bags and shearling coats are increasingly frequent accessories on pedestrians.

Current Ridgewood residents have pushed back against the Timesification of the neighborhood (hell, even some Times editors are embarrassed by it), but as the saying goes, it's hard to fight city hall when it's wearing a monocle and on a quest to discover "authentic New York" real estate.

So is Queens transitioning into a welcoming place for the dorm room chandelier crowd? Or is it just destined to be filled with "pretentious a-holes who wish they could afford Manhattan, but won't admit it?"

PSA: The NY Times has a weakness for self-parodying trend-baiting, masochistic Millennial obsessing, and the perverse lifestyles of the filthy rich. If a reporter with the Real Estate, Style or Weekend sections approaches you about a story, just smile gently and run in the opposite direction. No one is forcing you to become representative of everything that everyone hates about New Yorkers.