26 August 2018

You Can Take the Hipster Out of Brooklyn... Or Can You?

The super hip can only survive in a sub-universe of originality and distinction; remaining untouchable in their ironically independent expression of style and design. The problem with being the author of the constantly revolving redefinition of "cool" in the hipster dictionary, however, is that everyone, eventually, wants to be part of it. More people appropriate the look and join the hipster club until, alas, the synonym for cool quickly becomes a bad word. 

That is what has become of Brooklyn.

The borough that could once only boast about great views of Manhattan, has in the last decade, become a destination of its own; a shorthand adjective that defines a lifestyle; its own design aesthetic. 
The industrial, natural wood and exposed-antiquely lit open-spaced loft design has been adopted by coffee shops and retail stores around the globe.
And the hipster has been lost in its own ubiquity. 
Once a style of independent expression and creative re-use and recycle, Brooklyn-the-aesthetic has become a commercial cover band for overpriced eco goods, creating a homogenous, monotonous, travel culture where one can take an airplane half way around the world only to land in their own neighborhood comfort spot. 

It's expected artists will commune and share design ideas in places like New York, London, Paris, Sydney and San Francisco, but Brooklyn-inspired cafes have popped up in places like Ljublana, Slovenia; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Krakow, Poland. 

This signals the destined end to the Brooklynization of interior design and will soon be the time we bid farewell to the reclaimed wood, Edison bulbs, and wrought iron fixtures that once defined a hipster location.
New Yorkers may remember when Brooklyn was just a scrawny, bullied, bridge and tunnel borough of the city-- when hooking up with a guy that lived there was "slumming it" for the Manhattanite chicster who just wanted a little more "rough" in her rough and tumble for one night. 

But years ago, when Manhattan was busy staring into its after-work Cosmo, Brooklyn grew up, grew a beard and donned some upstate Catskill-chic plaid clothing. Brooklyn looked super cute sipping his fourteen dollar lavender latte in the open-space industrial cafe and Manhattan fawned over its dirty, diy-skilled, lumberjack manliness that refused to conform to the grey concrete urban environment.

Brooklyn brought raw, organic materials into their walk up. It laughed at Manhattans' matchy-matchy sofa and loveseat sets and those thousand dollar analagous living room sets bought at one store. It leaned unabashedly against the exposed brick wall and stood proud amongst its rustic interior look. sans serif logo-ed signage and quirky wall art.
Its strength proved persistent and the look spread, soon over-taking the world. Brooklyn became a household name, its own logo on a hoodie. It's not Brooklyn's fault it was adopted globally so lovingly and widespread. It's a good look with a natural, environmentally proud design sense and I will miss it terribly. We just don't want to feel at home everywhere we go, sanitizing our travel adventures when we explore other cultures. That is how I feel when I leave Brooklyn now-- that I just  never left. 
But Brooklyn is nothing but hipster and hipsters, like a lizard that lost its tail, regenerate, reinvent and regrow. I know as a resident, I can sink into my coffeeshop's big distressed leather tufted armchair with my nitro cold brew, take a long sip and wait and see how my borough once again will reinvent and redefine interior design chic.

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