Southern Brooklyn

Southern Brooklyn Says “Meh” To Hipsters, As NY Times Discovers That Southern Brooklyn Exists

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The hipster DMZ line. (Source: DieHipster.wordpress.com)

Breaking news from the New York Times: there are hipsters in Brooklyn. Oh, and Southern Brooklynites exist, and, shucks, even have opinions.

The Times recently sent a reporter out to Brooklyn neighborhoods on the hipster-less side of the Die Hipster DMZ line to find out what we really think of the unending waves of trust fund-fueled square-state rejects redefining Brooklyn chic.

The verdict from our neighbors? “Meh.”

Or, as the New York Times puts it:

To many longtime residents in some of the borough’s unaffected corners — in the rough-edged and timeless Brooklyn that has endured in places like Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville and East New York — the renaissance is still being watched with amusement, nervousness and even dismay.

Among the many yuppie-hipster trends sneered at by those in our area, supermarket politics earned considerable ire:

They cited the idea of boycotting products as a political protest, a proposal that was heatedly debated by Park Slope’s food cooperative in regard to Israeli foods.

“You’d never see anything like that here,” said George R. Broadhead, head of the property owners association of Gerritsen Beach, on Brooklyn’s south shore.

Ms. [Jennifer] Avena [of Gerritsen Beach], 35, said the greater availability of organic vegetables or sustainable, grass-fed beef in a place like Park Slope holds no appeal. “If they think it’s healthy, it’s fine with me,” she said. “But it’s not for me.”

But it’s not just diets that have some local residents looking at their Northern Brooklyn counterparts with raised eyebrows. Though the reporter appears to have wondered aloud if Southern Brooklyn folk are a little jealous of quaint coffee shops and sidewalk cafes, local leaders set  them right, noting that we’ve got more important concerns – like getting our share of the city’s services.

 Greg Borruso, president of the Marine Park Civic Association, said the residents of his south shore neighborhood “are constantly reminding elected officials we’re here, we’re a voting area, we take care of our homes and of each other, and we want to make sure you don’t forget us.”

“What happens when you’re not in the paper a lot and on TV, you’re kind of forgotten,” he said, “so when we ask for something we don’t always get the same response.”

Meanwhile, Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo cut to the core of the difference between our side of the DMZ line and the hipster’s side:

“Here, everything remains the same,” Ms. Scavo said. “They don’t want Trader Joe’s. They don’t want sidewalks crowded with cafes. They want a residential, suburban lifestyle. We’re not looking for innovative ways to do things. I have a hard time setting up a DVR.”

Most residents, Ms. Scavo said, shrug off Brooklyn’s glossy new neighborhoods and are not interested in emulating them.

“When people hear about the new Brooklyn, they say let them have it,” she said.

That sounds like a polite way of saying the “new” Brooklynites are a bunch of attention hungry try-hards; down in our end of Brooklyn, we’re just trying to live our lives.

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