This letter is in response to this article in yesterday’s New York Times. It is basically the worst.
Dear The New York Times,
Listen, I first moved to Brooklyn eight years ago. As an NYU Student, once I realized I would not be able to afford the East Village after graduation, it seemed like the right thing to do. Brooklyn was very cheap and there were cool bars and boys with beards, and that was pretty much all I cared about.
My first apartment was on 4th Avenue and 14th Street in what was then barely “South Slope” and now is probably just “Park Slope.” The only thing on 4th Ave between my apartment and the F train was a Rim Shop. Do you know that hell?????? Just me, my roommates, and guys changing tires on the street! I had to walk all the way to 5th Ave for the closest bar, and there were only like two!
You rich people, shopping for your townhouses, will never know that kind of pain, because now there’s about to be a Whole Foods with a rooftop bar within walking distance of my old apartment. Congratulations, your money and need for freshly ground almond butter has won. This is a world I could never have imagined.
Our next apartment, when we needed something much cooler in 2007, with much easier access to DIY music venues, was on Evergreen Ave in Bushwick. It was a “duplex,” that was really just an unfinished basement that had no heat and would flood every time it rained and was on an insanely dangerous block. I saw muggings right in front of me on a monthly basis, and once I came home to find my next door neighbor beaten unconscious on our front stoop. Did we leave? NO! How could we leave when the rent was so cheap and we were right off the L train and we had space for bonfires in our abandoned pit of a backyard??? We just got an industrial dehumidifier and I called my mom whenever I walked home after dark so she could call the cops if I stopped talking.
We did the work. We put in the hours, the years, the fair trade elbow grease, the vintage shoes we bought for fifty cents from some guy’s van. Without our toil, Brooklyn would still be too scary for you. We made Brooklyn cool and artsy and hip and quirky and now you repay us by publishing real estate articles about buying dilapidated brownstones in Crown Heights for $950,000?????
Well, now I’ve even been priced out of Bushwick, and I live in Red Hook. I have become so desperate to live somewhere cool that I’ve resorted to an area known most for being destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. But that’s how these things go. I’m sure my illegal loft across from a fire station in a flood zone will soon be overrun by people seeking “authentic Brooklyn” and “cute garden apartments” for their “billungual children” who are “allergic to beaches that are not on the French Riviera.” And on that day, I’ll no longer have easy access to $3 pulled pork sandwiches, and I’ll move in with the Ultra Orthos of Boro Park.
Fuck you, New York Times. Are we, the first wave gentrifiers also awful? Yes. We’re the worst. But hey, firsties. STOP COPYING US. I’m sick of moving. Or, you know, give me $1,000,000 so I can buy a house. Or just a job. I’d settle for a job.
Jewish Hipster, and Brooklyn resident since 2005