It was inevitable. The NY Times City section has a little feature about the Long Island City vs. Williamsburg as better place to live debate that emerged on the Queens West discussion board last month.
You can see a graphic pitting the different neighborhood's charms/cornerstones of gentrification, like upscale pizza joint/French restaurant/pet boutique/etc against each other, and by the looks of it, Williamsburg wins since there's no trendy boutique in Long Island City. Or maybe LIC wins because of the absence. Since Williamsburg residents don't know about Queens, much less the Queens West discussion board, Free Williamsburg's Robert Lanham (also author of "The Hipster Handbook") tells the Times, "I just feel like the tumbleweeds are blowing through whenever I walk through Long Island City."
At this point, like it or not, we'd have to say that Williamsburg is the benchmark for hipster cool, if only because there's better downtown accessibility and much more to criticize. But Billyburg is much closer to being "over," because LIC wasn't even on New York magazine's chart of hot neighborhoods! We can't wait for the SoBro vs. Jersey City as cool place to live debate in about 20 years.
And earlier this year, the debate was Williamburg hispters vs. Park Slope yuppies.
Photograph of couple walking in Long Island City by Bluejake