I moved to Brooklyn four years ago, so I haven’t quite earned my New Yorker stripes yet. But as my fellow Brooklyn residents have noticed (along with readers across the country), our neck-of-the-woods is compared to different cities domestically and abroad, quite often. Especially by the one we can proudly call our local paper, the Gray Lady.
Most recently, The New York Times deemed Maplewood, New Jersey, "Brooklyn West," due to the increasing trend of ex-Brooklynites buying houses in the neighborhood.
But what, really, does it mean to be Brooklyn? To answer this question, I've compiled a selection (by no means comprehensive) of places and why they're like Brooklyn, according to The New York Times. (Special thanks to Rose Eveleth for the idea and help.) As the last item of this list shows, Brooklynization can happen anywhere.
There are two kinds of stories, first the ones about other cities being like Brooklyn:
West Coast: "Oakland: Brooklyn By the Bay"
Jonathan Hewitt, a 35-year-old London transplant who works as Standard & Strange’s operations manager, and who was describing that same “Manhattan is to San Francisco as Brooklyn is to Oakland” parallel for a recent visitor, was asked if anyone really believed that Oakland was like Brooklyn.
“Abso-bloody-lutely!” he said. “I hate reverting to a cliché like that, but it’s just so true.”
Hutongs in Beijing: "A Streak of Brooklyn in Beijing"
Old-timers have been joined by a new breed of Chinese and expatriate residents clad in skinny jeans riding fixed-gear bikes, a loyal customer base for restaurants that offer locavore menu options and bars that serve drinks like Pabst Blue Ribbon. In this corner of Beijing, the traditional hutong has been overrun not by a large-scale development but by a very Brooklyn sensibility.
The Hamptons west of the of the Shinnecock Canal: "The Hamptons-in-Waiting"
“West of the canal is like the Brooklyn of the Hamptons,” said Ashley Murphy, the director of public relations for Douglas Elliman Real Estate and a native of the Hamptons. “Once upon a time, people felt like they were settling if they lived or summered there, but now it’s a destination of choice. It cuts your trip from New York City by at least an hour in the summer.”
New Orleans: "Experiencing New Orleans With Fresh Eyes and Ears"
With its elegant but rustic décor, cocktails featuring noirish names (Blood in the Gulfstream, Dead Man’s Wallet), and inventive food, Sylvain wouldn’t be out of place in Brooklyn
A shop in Stockholm: "Rugged Americans Welcomed"
The shop, in Sodermalm, the city's answer to Brooklyn and the only party of town that could be called gritty, is outfitted almost entirely in unfinished knotty pine boards; they line the walls and form blocky benches and tables for merchandise that includes Mr. Freedom work shirts, Quoddy moccasins, Pendleton blankets and Wesco motorcycle boots.
And the second kind of stories is about Brooklynites invading other places—Brooklynization if you will: