This past Friday I received an exciting email regarding a potentially lucrative business partnership, and today I was thrilled to receive a reply to my reply:
If they're asking me to post a link I assume they're greenlighting my North Korean naked white water rafting adventure, which means soon I'll be able to buy a big house in Westchester (I will call it "the house that spam built") along with all the cool people:
People who write articles about gentrification generally have short memories with regard to New York neighborhoods, but this reporter appears to have no memory whatsoever:
A yoga studio opened on Main Street that offers lunch-hour vinyasa classes. Nearby is a bicycle store that sells Dutch-style bikes, and a farm-to-table restaurant that sources its edible nasturtiums from its backyard garden...
You no longer have to take the L train to experience this slice of cosmopolitan bohemia. Instead, you’ll find it along the Metro-North Railroad, roughly 25 miles north of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the suburb of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.
In recent years Williamsburg, Brooklyn received an infusion of artsy people. These artsy people were inevitably followed by rich people, and together they successfully turned the neighborhood into a designer iteration of a quaint town full of quasi-rustic retail and dining establishments. Now, this guy has written an article about how actual quaint towns are becoming like Williamsburg, which is like saying Paris is becoming like the Vegas strip because it has an Eiffel Tower in it. Furthermore, he's pointing out that creative types are moving from the city to these Hudson River towns, which is something that has only been happening for centuries:
Here, beside the gray-suited salarymen and four-door minivans, it is no longer unusual to see a heritage-clad novelist type with ironic mutton chops sipping shade-grown coffee at the patisserie, or hear 30-somethings in statement sneakers discuss their latest film project as they wait for the 9:06 to Grand Central.
Aren't we all clad in our heritage? I also had to G__gle "statement sneakers" because I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. This is what I found:
I don't know if this is actually what he meant, but if so it's more non-news because there's nothing more quintessentially suburban than moronic sneakers. The more you drive, the stupider your footwear gets.
Still, to be fair, the writer does manage to corral a formidably cringeworth array of Nü-Suburbanites for insight as to why they moved, though I suspect he fabricated some if not all of them. For example, consider Patrick McNeil, who couldn't possibly exist:
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. His wife, Nicole Miziolek, is an acupuncturist.
Lauded by whom, exactly? This was even more puzzling:
“When we checked towns out,” Ms. Miziolek recalled, “I saw some moms out in Hastings with their kids with tattoos. A little glimmer of Williamsburg!”
Wait, does she mean the kids had tattoos? Either way, it's entirely possible that the families she's mistaking for fellow hipsters are actually what some people refer to as "white trash." See, the trendy people of Brooklyn have been copying that look for years, so they're understandably confused when confronted with the real thing. Anyway, Mr. McNeil and Ms. Miziolek and Denim and Bowie have now moved to a great big house, and presumably the stork will bring a Corduroy and a Mott The Hoople to fill those extra bedrooms:
But he was won over once he saw a rambling three-story, five-bedroom Victorian with a wraparound porch for $860,000. There was even space for a basement rec room. And it was only a 40-minute drive to his Brooklyn studio.
To be clear, as a complete bullshit artist myself, I don't begrudge anybody parlaying his explosive swirls of wheat paste into a nice house in Westchester. However, the article is also taking the offensive extra step of putting this lifestyle forth as a more affordable alternative to life in Brooklyn. To be sure, Brooklyn has gotten ridiculously expensive, but there's no way that buying an $860,000 house, paying Westchester property taxes, owning a car, and using it to commute back and forth to a studio in Brooklyn is a money-saving endeavor. At that point, you're just wealthy. And if you're wealthy, I'm very happy for you--provided you also have the decency to tell the reporter who's writing the stupid article about hipster suburbs to leave you the fuck alone.
By the way, did you know there's a service that relocates people from New York City to the suburbs? Well, there is:
Alison Bernstein, the founder of the Suburban Jungle Realty Group in Manhattan, which specializes in relocating New Yorkers to the suburbs, said that more than 85 percent of her business is coming from Brooklyn, with a notable spike in just the last year. Most focus on what she calls “the Brooklyn triangle”: the somewhat artsier suburbs between Montclair or Glen Ridge in New Jersey, Larchmont in Westchester and the Hudson River towns.
I know the country's broke and that we're still cleaning up after Sandy, but is there any way we can get federal funding for a service that relocates these people out of the New York City metropolitan area entirely? Because there shouldn't be any place in New York City or its suburbs for people who talk like Ari Wallach, whom the article identifies as a "futurism consultant:"
“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.”
I have no idea what any of the days that comprise Burning Man are like, but I can tell you from experience that Brooklyn has in fact turned into a cross between Portland and the last 20 minutes of any given Judd Apatow film. But at least he moved to a town after really getting to know it:
He conducted a Google Maps street-view search of Westchester, and settled on Hastings for his family when he saw Subarus parked on the streets, not Lexus SUVs.
Which are the days of Burning Man where everybody judges everybody else by their possessions?
Perhaps most disturbing though is that these people who are fortunate enough to move to nice homes in beautiful suburban towns are nevertheless full of angst over their decisions:
To finally pull up stakes in Brooklyn, however, one has to make peace with the idea that a certain New York adventure is over, said Cass Ghiorse, 32, a dancer who recently had her first child and moved, with her husband, Joe McCarthy, from Williamsburg to Irvington. She now teaches yoga at Hastings Yoga, a new studio.
“You’re not a failure if you decide to leave Brooklyn,” Ms. Ghiorse said. “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.”
It wasn't too long ago that moving your family from Brooklyn to a leafy Westchester suburb was an unmitigated sign of success. I miss those days. Now, it means you're embracing a Wittgensteinian avant-garde slow-village movement--at least according to Burning Man guy:
“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?”
I think Mr. Wallach needs to do something truly avant-garde, like going and fucking himself.
But not everybody in Westchester is like a character from "The Ice Storm." Some of them are just confused:
“I have that balance already,” said Mr. Arment, 30. “From my window, I can see the George Washington Bridge, but there’s a deer in my front yard.”
Actually, having deer in your yard isn't a good thing. It's basically just a giant rat with hooves.
Sill, if you're worried that this latest wave of suburban migration will cost Brooklyn its hard-won tweeness and that the borough will once again be overtaken by the uncool masses, then fear not, for there are still plenty of people insuring that the gentrification of Brooklyn will continue apace and that the minorities and poor people will be kept at bay:
They got in. “The house was trashed from top to bottom,” she said. “I fell in love with it.” There was space for a music studio for Mr. Kushner, a musician known as Dyalekt, and a backyard for his dog, Vinyl.
I'm fairly certain that to be "known as" something people have to have actually heard of you. Nevertheless, after reading the New York Times I'm confident that the forces of urban cool will beat the rest of Brooklyn all the way out to Hempstead where they belong.
But while the latest generation of affluent suburbanites have yet to learn to keep the details of their luxurious lives to themselves, they have nothing on pro cyclists, who really need to learn how to keep their mouths shut. Consider Thor Hushovd, who has put his gigantic lutefisk of a foot in his mouth by becoming the latest rider to vilify Lance Armstrong:
The BMC rider said he was “amazed by the scope” of Armstrong's doping, and emphasised that he himself has a “clear conscience.”
“I am very pissed at Armstrong and others who have played us for fools,” he told nrk.no. “I have cried going over the mountains because it hurt so much,” he said.
I take this to mean that after watching the Oprah interview Thor Hushovd ran to the mountains for a good cry. But here's where the foot goes in:
When asked if he had ever doped, the Norwegian replied, “The only thing I can say is that I know that I'm sitting here with a clear conscience. Meanwhile, people who have doped said the same thing before, but in my head, and here I have it safe and fine,” pointing to his heart.
In other words, yes, he totally doped. But he's apparently fine with it--as, it should be said, was Lance Armstrong, who told Oprah he didn't feel like he cheated. So basically, the the reason Hushovd feels morally superior to Lance Armstrong is because he's less successful.
Whatever gets you out of bed and over the mountains, I guess.
As for me, I'm going to celebrate Presidents Day by riding my new Beer Runner mountain bike:
Bike is a special edition designed for Mountain Bike Race promotions, so they are very rare!
This one is in good condition with very minimal rust that can be easily removed.
It has "SHIMANO" shift levers and gearing which is supposed to be top-of-the-line.
It is also quite light to be a mountain bike!
Maybe I'll head up to Williamsburg North to shop for some statement sneakers.