A Doc Martens store is opening on Bedford Avenue, furthering Williamsburg's well-documented SoHo-ification. But do not shake your fist at the gods of gentrification, for Doc Martens is a much more appropriate North Brooklyn transplant than the J. Crews and Ralph Laurens that have preceded it. Because Doc Martens boots are, in fact, the Williamsburg of Shoes.
Think about it. Like the industrial Williamsburg of the past, Docs were meant for the Worker, their comfortable soles appealing to people (first in Germany) who spent a lot of time on their feet. Later, just as the artists found Williamsburg, the subculture found Docs, transforming them into a quintessential punk signifier. Then, both Docs and Williamsburg got hip in the '90s. Now Docs get full spreads in Cosmopolitan magazine and sell for $140 at a storefront in SoHo right next to L'Occitane and Sandro. Williamsburg doesn't have a L'Occitane yet, but those chicks from "The Bedford Stop" look like they're into $60 eye cream, so it's only a matter of time.
A fun fact about 21st Century Docs: there are dozens of videos online in which women model all the outfits they match with their shoes. The modern age is strange indeed.
Docs still look cool, just like Williamsburg is still fun, provided you steer clear of Wythe Avenue on Saturday nights. I was a proud Docs owner until I was forced to leave my pair behind in the wreckage of an apartment fire, and I miss them very much. But I watch The Bachelor, and I do not believe 1970s punks would approve of me appropriating their signature footwear. Docs are mainstream, Williamsburg belongs to the drunk Santas, and their inevitable marriage was written in the stars long ago. The new Docs store is expected to open at the end of next month, at 193 Bedford Avenue.
Now someone buy me these shoes.