As far as we can tell, the term "low-hanging fruit" was coined to describe the hilarious and hacky trend pieces that have become the goiters on the otherwise still functioning NY Times body—that includes columns bemoaning the state of irony, bemoaning the state of bartender parties, comparing credit scores to STDs, profiling foodies, about dorm room decorating, and of course, gentrification. Well this weekend, the NY Times has outdone themselves with perhaps the single greatest one of these pieces in its long and storied history: they call the article "Creating Hipsturbia," but it could easily be titled, "Hipsters! Brooklyn Brooklyn! Suburbs? Hipster Brooklyn Suburbs! Vegan Soap. Brooklyn Hipster Suburbs Forever!"
The article is all about Brooklyn hipsters who have decided that they can no longer afford to live in Brooklyn (reversification-gentrification) and/or Brooklyn is just not what it used to be (nostalgification), so they have decided to take the plunge and move to the suburbs (selling outification). But a life of conformity and minivans is NOT what these people want—so instead, they're trying to turn Westchester and Putnam Counties into hipster enclaves, a home-away-from-Brooklyn-but-we-don't-even-care-that-much...a Brooklyn of their own.
They're regular Hipsters-on-the-Hudson, and just because they've given up the dream of living in Brooklyn doesn't mean they've given up the dream of Brooklyning their living situation: “You’re not a failure if you decide to leave Brooklyn,” said dancer Cass Ghiorse. “People move to New York with a plan, a dream, and sometimes it doesn’t work out that you can live that lifestyle. It takes a lot of money.”
The characters truly leap off the page: there's acupuncturist Nicole Miziolek, a mother-of-two: “We were the we’ll-never-leave-Brooklyn types,” she said. “When we checked towns out, I saw some moms out in Hastings with their kids with tattoos. A little glimmer of Williamsburg!” Then there's her husband, Greenpoint painter Patrick McNeil:
Mr. McNeil is one half of the lauded street-art duo Faile, known for its explosive swirls of graffiti art, wheat-paste sloganeering and punk rock. He wears his hair in a top bun and bears tattoos with his sons’ names, Denim and Bowie, on his forearms.
There's Marie Labropoulos, who spells out the moral of the story in between making us vomit ethically-engineered soap:
“I don’t think we need to be in Brooklyn,” said Marie Labropoulos, who recently moved to Westchester County and opened a shop, Kalliste, selling artisanal vegan soap in Dobbs Ferry. “We’re bringing Brooklyn with us.”
There's the heavy stench of denial, of people trying to convince themselves that moving to the suburbs really is badass in its own way, that the Brooklyn dream is more like a guillotine than a setting sun, and it is very, very necessary to get this all down in the paper of record: “People get those Brooklyn goggles,” said McNeil. “They think it’s the center of the earth.”
Suffice to say, you should carve out 10 minutes this weekend to read the whole thing. We love this article. We want to hate fuck this article. How else could we feel about a story that introduces so many magical made-up phrases, such as "wheat-paste sloganeering" and "futurism consultant?" How else could we feel about babies named Denim and Bowie? How else could we feel about people who refuse to give up their "Brooklyn phone number?"
And most of all, how else could we have discovered Ari Wallach, the futurism consultant himself, who is responsible for the two greatest quotes in the whole story:
“There is more looking down, less eye contact,” said Mr. Wallach, 38. “The difference is between the first three days of Burning Man, when everyone is ‘Hey, what’s up?’ to the final three days of Burning Man, when the tent flaps are down. Brooklyn is turning out to be the last three days of Burning Man.”
“Hastings-on-Hudson is a village, in a Wittgensteinian sort of way,” Mr. Wallach said. He added, “We are constantly hearing about the slow-food movement, the slow-learning movement and the slow-everything-else. So why not just go avant-garde into a slow-village movement?”