Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Invasion of the (New Jersey) Bridge & Tunnel People


Yes, it's a cheap shot, but if you stand on Kent Avenue long enough you can almost instinctively sense which cars are there to scope out Northside Piers (20 stories and growing) and to visit the sales office. One giveaway, of course, is the model of the car. The real estate shoppers tend toward luxury models or, at least, well washed and waxed newer cars. There is also something, however, in the way possible Northside Piers buyers drive slowly down Kent Avenue, almost as though they are unsure they are in the right place. Arriving at the construction site entrance, they turn very slowly and very tentatively into the street that leads to the East River. You can actually watch most of them inch down the street, still driving as though they're being lured into an awful trap.

The really obvious Northside Pieristas, of course, pull over and look around as though they are (a). frightened that they're lost on the Brooklyn waterfront, (b). half expect something really awful to happen at any moment and (c). wonder what the hell they're doing thinking about putting down $1M on a condo in this wasteland (especially the ones that drive past the now defunct Kent Avenue cement factory first...and the Austin Nichols Warehouse at 184 Kent is not looking too good either).

So, if you really want to defend the neighborhood, scare away the suburbanites scoping out the hood. To this end, GL strongly suggests that you hang frightening crap out your windows--effigies, the carcasses of animals you might have roasted for dinner and devil worship things are excellent if you have them. Also, really super-extra trash up the street. Tag stuff up with Satanic symbols. Scatter food all over the place to encourage breeding of Brooklyn Super Rats. (Clearly, artsy, hipster, oooh the neighborhood is so trashy kind of stuff won't work. We're talking about end-of-the-world, Dear God, Muffy, we're going to die shit.) All of this is especially important to do on Saturday and on Sunday, which is when the potential buyers and investors come. You can skip Monday-Friday if you wish, as the construction workers probably won't care.

Which is all an excessively long way of saying that when Northside opens this year, it's going to be Jersey City East down there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We are looking to buy, but we really have no intention of staying."

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The writings of an intelligent, objective social critic? Or of a jingoistic jerk?

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bridge & Tunnel" refers to all non-Manhattanites. Qualifying the term with a New Jersey tag just makes you elitist. Face it, you are so B&T.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, aren't you CUTE! I'm guessing you've been in New York...hmmmm...about four years? That's so sweet that you've developed such a sense of ownership. But I'm sorry to break it to you, darling - the gentrification of the waterfront started with YOU and all the other wannabe hipster spawn of suburbia who have invaded Williamsburg over the last few years. Get over yourself - this is the way the world works.

Now pack up your things and leave the playground - your time here is done.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But I'm sorry to break it to you, darling - the gentrification of the waterfront started with YOU and all the other wannabe hipster spawn of suburbia who have invaded Williamsburg over the last few years.

No matter how many times you say it to them, they will never get it...

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks like this didn't go over too well with all the "anonymous" (real estate agents) posting comments... I actually miss Spatial (just threw up a little in my mouth)

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if this is how people felt when all you crackers moved in and started all this gentrification.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone told you that Manhattanites consider YOU (as a Brooklynite) bridge and tunnel?

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hipster does mean, by definition:

"supported by a trust fund, or drawing a monthly stipend from parents, but certainly not working for a living, and/or with no discernible skills, talent, abilities or strengths beyond getting wasted; ages very poorly"

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of those people are actually from Brooklyn originally.

Being a born-in-Brooklyn-grew-up-in-NJ person who has been in Williamsburg some 25 years (and my parents lived here back in the 40s-60s), I can tell that you're a post-9/11 import.

And I bet you don't tip either.


9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do it dude. I hate those Jersey boys, and I used to be one.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and thanks to the 9 or 10 of the rest of you who stood up to this continued bullshit. Join me in calling this guy's bigotry out until it ends.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GL - you don't need me to tell you this, but you're doing a terrific job--you're one of the most important voices in the city. That so many people comment here is a testament to that fact. Keep up the good work.

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert's speaking his voice about what he thinks is right and wrong is fine.

But when he rails out against people just because of where they come from, or what cars they drive, or what jobs he assumes they have, is petty at minimum, bigotry at worst.

If you think that's cool Bob, then fuck you too.

This the kind of shit that leads to really ugly things when these innocent people looking for a nice place to live move into these neighborhoods.

You and Robert are blaming the wrong people for the problems you see happening.

Making everyone in the neighborhood hate the newbies does nothing for your cause.

Surely half an intelligent person would realize that and stop thinking their idealism trumps all...

This is why someone needs to call this shit out once and for all. Enough is enough. It's not funny or cute anymore.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kill the yuppie scum!

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another pathetic transplant from Vermont or Minnesota, or Nashville, who has to mask his own insecurities about where he comes from by making fun of people from NJ. New Jersey has cities that make the worst hood in NYC look like Disneyland. You're an ignorant asshole. Go back to Tennesee and get your job back at Best Buy cuz your self loathing is going to eat you up.

2:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're not from around here, are you? I grew up in New Jersey, and half the people I grew up with were born in Greenpoint or Williamsburg.

Brooklyn, NJ, Manhattan - people move around all the time. If you're amazed at people from New Jersey being in Brooklyn, it just shows there is absolutely no way in hell you're from here.

So, you not being from here, do you really have the right to make fun of people who are actually from the NYC metro? They've got more right to live in NYC than you do, if there was ever such a stupid thing as that.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"effigies, the carcasses of animals you might have roasted for dinner and devil worship things"

I just think it would be neat to see this sort of things hanging out of all windows all the time--and different neighborhoods can use different symbology: in Sheepshead Bay (where I'm from), we could go for a fish theme--hanging rotting bluefish from all the stop signs--and in the East Village (where I now am), we could throw our broken guitars up on the street lamps, where the sneakers used to be.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ivan, that would just make people from out of town want to live there that much more.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Robert deleted my comment AGAIN. I will just post it again and again until he stops censoring me:

So here's a little bit about Robert. He's a jackoff who thinks he's all-knowing and all-cool because he thinks he's preserving something so historically and so artistically sacred that god forbid anyone from outside of Williamsburg move into Williamsburg and soil his regal palace.

Believe me, his cause would be noble if he were fair. There are plenty of shitty things going on in Brooklyn right now that he has every right to rail out against.

But the fact that Robert loves to make it personal - a la "anti-Jersey," "anti-luxury automobile" -- this is one of the worst kinds of stereotyping that exists in this country.

Make no mistake. Robert's rhetoric is based in hate. It is no different than judging people by the color of their skin.

Robert thinks he is some kind of clever elitist, but judging by his photo (look up him up) you can quickly tell why he gets off making fun of other people.

Robert is no hero warrior for exposing what's right or wrong with Brooklyn. He's just another snarky fraud who rips on people solely because of the cars they drive, the evil establishment jobs he assumes they have, etc. etc. etc.

It's sickening.

And to make matters even more punitive -- HE ERASES ANY POST HE DOESN'T LIKE!

All this elitism. All this holier-than-thou bullshit, and here he is not only a BIGOT, but a CENSOR.

Fuck you, Robert.
Fuck you and your bullshit stereotyping.

You are no better than anyone else.

You'll see this post every day until it sticks.

8:36 AM  
Blogger gasparutto said...

your blog will single-handedly stop the expansion of new building and population density in Brooklyn. good luck with that.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do people still make Polish jokes, too?

This guy must be from Connecticut.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. See above. Bob actually commented on what a good job he is doing.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gasparutto - of course not. but what he does do is help to rile the neighborhood up to hate the people who move into the new buildings he doesn't approve of. as if they were the root cause of the problems. shows what a bad "journalist" he is.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right. Personally, I hate fucking hipsters, but this guy is right. Even though anyone who lives outside of Manhattan is considered "Bridge and Tunnel", Jersey people bring a whole new meaning to it.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was @ the DOC Wine Bar the other day, and some bennys came in there and were loud as shit in their muscle tees and one answered his cell phone and was like "yo.. i'm at da wine bar.. nah man i fuckin love that wine shit."

i shit you not. i really hope it was a one-off kinda thing. i can handle yuppies moving in, but loud rude guys in muscle tees and their chicks w/ gallons of perfume i cant stand.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. I'm sure DOC Wine Bar was chock full of guys in muscle Ts last night in the snowstorm... you guys are hilarious.

Anyway, there are annoying people from and within every geographical spot on the planet. Jersey certainly gets it's fair share. And the whole yuppie-hipster thing has gotten pretty epic at this point. I guess that's why I'm relieved when I go out in Williamsburg and see people all getting along for the most part. All this us-vs-them rhetoric seems to be more bullshit than reality.

How 'bout a nice game of Red Rover to settle it all once and for all?

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it was last weekend, asshole.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just really don't think Williamsburg is gentrifying fast enough. There are still too many people paying less rent than me and that's just not fair. In terms of the B&Ts...whatevs. They generally stick to N.6th. They love Sea. Just don't go there. Just don't go in that area. If I hear another person talk about how this neighborhood is changing so much I used to hang at this bar when it was Cokies...just stop. Right but in terms of gentrification, it needs to happen faster because there will be less terrible music, less fat cats in bodegas, less old men with nothing to do but sit in bodegas, less thugs on my stoop, less domestic violence....oh then maybe some better restaurants will come in. That would be nice.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, since when is a Volkswagen a "luxury vehicle"? And since the REAL Williamsburg minorities have long since stopped trying to say anything about the influx of hipsters, I doubt you'll be saying anything once the B&T get settled too.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ivan, that would just make people from out of town want to live there that much more."

Ha-ha! I hadn't thought of that. But then at least any so-called newcomers would try to blend into the tribalism of the community--before they totally co-opt it, of course...Or start a new "keeping up with the Joneses": as hedge funders move in, their disposable income allows them to make more and more extranvagant additions to where they are--but keeping to the neighborhood themes. For Sheepshead Bay, larger and larger fish need to be propped up on the lawn, until Mr. Smith trumps Mr. Jones's dead great white shark with the carcass of a sperm whale.

One can dream, right?

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the point is that some of us enjoy our corner shops and local restaurants, instead of TGIFridays and Starbucks. Its not a matter of hating people from the burbs, its a matter of hating the burbs. The reason why people move from all over the country to Brooklyn, is to get away from that shit, and the fact that people keep trying to bring that into Brooklyn, is what the writer, I'm assuming, is lashing out at. It doesn't matter who you are or where you were born, its about ideology and a lifestyle.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DOC Winebar guy: Surrrrre it was. What are you like, 15 years old?

As for gentrification... Williamsburg definitely needs some better restaurants. And now that people are moving in who actually have some money, hopefully some good chefs will be lured to the area. Williamsburg can't survive on Aurora, DOCWB, and Dressler forever.

I still think it's hilarious how people believe that everyone moving into Williamsburg is a hedge-fund guy. Trust me, those guys buy $30M mansions out in CT. They have no need to live in Williamsburg.

Sure, the people I see moving into town definitely aren't the artists and poets everyone would like to think Williamsburg is all about. But anyone I've met seems like a nice, hard-working Average Joe, who just happen to like and want to live in the area.

Have we devolved to the extent that if we see someone in a suit, we automatically hate them? It's no better with the people who assault those defined as Hipsters. Yeah, I see the "Hipster" look all over Williamsburg. But frankly, any one of them I've ever spoken to have been very friendly, very nice. So I really think this whole stereotyping thing is just ridiculous.

I mean seriously, would you really be happier if everyone in your neighborhood hated everyone else because a bunch of jerky elitists got you to believing everyone not like them is the enemy?

That shit ended for me back in 7th grade.

Grow up already. I'm tired of seeing people shamelessly promote bigotry and am gonna keep coming out swinging when I see it. I don't think it's funny like some of you do.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think the point is that some of us enjoy our corner shops and local restaurants, instead of TGIFridays and Starbucks. Its not a matter of hating people from the burbs, its a matter of hating the burbs."

Ok, well that's a much more fair argument. But the writer IS personally attacking the people who move here, and that's wrong. People have the right to live anywhere they want.

Yes, as neighborhoods get built up they attract the likes of the big chains. But then wouldn't it make sense to try to counter that by dealing with the government officials who ultimately green light the projects that turn city dwellings into mirrors of the burbs?

Same goes for all the luxury condos. Go rail out against the politicians who push them through, not the people who move into them.

And remember... the so-called "Hipsters" in Williamsburg today that are railing out against the condos and the yuppies moving in did the same thing to the Satmar Jews when they invaded Williamsburg in the 90s. It's a pathetic double standard that smacks of the kind of elitism that they accuse yuppies of having.

Am I the only person who sees this?

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is this even a debate? Brooklyn and New Jersey have been sharing populations for over a century.

This debate never existed until the Manhattanites and post 9/11 transplants started moving into Brooklyn. Coincidence?

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you've been in New York a full, like what, 2 years or so? It's only the morons who move here from every single other nondescript suburb of middle America that thinks that every person in Jersey has gelled hair and a guinea tee. You idiot. If you want to lay claim to the term B&T, you have to realize that you ARE B&T by definition. You live in Brooklyn. If you were from New York you'd also know that there are towns in Jersey that are a hell of a lot nicer than your hood, with better downtowns and a shorter commute to the city that you'll be shelling out an arm and a leg to move to in a few years.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This might sound far-fetched to some of you, but there are people who actually throw up a little bit in their mouths when they see a guy wearing stupid little boy sneakers, an expensive hoodie carefully layered under another piece of outerwear, and artfully mussed hair coming their way. And those glasses...always those glasses....

I would love to see a big strong guy from Jersey punch one of those wimpsters right between the eyes. Mr. Hoodie would cry "don't you know who my daddy is?" and Mr. New Jersey would laugh heartily, flex his pumped up muscles, and climb into his big 'ol SUV and join his hot blonde manicured girlfriend for a night on the town.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I'm not going to get choked up about any displacement of a group of people who will justify the way they treat women due to religions affiliation...SORRY.

One of the old ladies in my buildings told me some great stories about McCarren Pool in its heyday. Do you know what she said next? She said the Puerto Ricans ruined it in the 1950s by moving to the neighborhood! Just sayin', this shit has happened since the Native Americans.

That said, I've been here long enough to have enjoyed Cokies on several occasions. Hell, I've lived here longer than I have anywhere else in my life, so who is anyone to tell me this isn't home?

Contrary to popular belief, most of us who moved into Williamsburg/Greenpoint originally didn't and still don't have these mythical "trust funds." It was affordable, and we loved the neighborhood. Still do.

One poster brought up a place I was going to mention - Sea!! It's a known fact that, for whatever reason, lots of douchebags have expense accounts here. Anyway, I think the original intention of this post was to keep Sea-like patrons from invading the neighborhood.

By the way, you can look to us former Midwesterners for effective "Satanist" effigies, since this area of the country is home to the most backwoods, profoundly fucking scary "Satan Houses." That and the other Deliverance shit make me feel comparatively safe here.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anyway, I think the original intention of this post was to keep Sea-like patrons from invading the neighborhood."

I'm sorry, but I still believe that saying something like this smacks of bigotry because, with one swipe of the brush, it creates a single stereotype that everyone gets judged against. I don't like obnoxious people or rude people or people who think their shit don't smell any more than the next person. But when a Lexus with Jersey plates pulls up to visit the Northside Piers sales office, I don't think it's right to immediately peg these people with a stereotype, let alone blow it up into a blanket statement on people from New Jersey or who people who drive luxury cars.

Substitute "guy from New Jersey" with "black person" or "guy who drives luxury car" with "Latino," and re-read your argument. It's bigotry no matter how you slice it. And on a blog that with (I assume) a fairly decent local reach, I think someone needs to be the voice who calls this kind of thing out.

You can say the kind of thing you are trying to say without being such a pig about it.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can say the kind of thing you are trying to say without being such a pig about it.

I do agree with you on this.

For the record, Sea patrons are almost as scary as Satan houses or rednecks.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole thread is kind of hilarious, in a sad and pathetic kind of way. Anyone who complains about people from Jersey or the "burbs" moving into Brooklyn clearly needs a bit of history lesson.

The Brooklyn these folks are so fond of is a very recent phenomenon, brought on by an enormous influx of people from - gasp! - places like New Jersey and the midwest!.

Besides, before all the hipsters and info-tech people and media people and bloggers moved in - in other words, for most of the 20th century - hundreds of thousands of Brooklynites busted their humps for entire lifetimes so they could move their families out of the borough and to -- another gasp! -- New Jersey and the "burbs." Or Long Island. Or even Staten Island. Does it really matter? So much for the "authentic" Brooklyn experience.

I'm from Jersey. Down the shore, to be precise. And sure, when we were kids back in the day we all bitched about the "bennies" from Bergen County or even the city or wherever who overran the boardwalk every summer. But we also all had aunts and grandfathers and cousins who were either from or still lived in Brooklyn, or Queens, or other parts of Jersey, and we grew out of it when we realized that people are coming and going all the time. New Jersey, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Yonkers, Long Island, whatever. Who cares? It's a big, big metro area, folks. The only thing constant is change, right?

Whatever. It's just that the idea that people with Jersey plates are somehow "contaminating" Brooklyn is almost as laughable as it wrong. But not quite.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, my friend.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Robert, why don't you weigh in on all this?

4:51 PM  
Blogger rsguskind said...

Hey "anonymous" -- THE anonymous -- email us. This is getting a little out of hand and, actually, frightening.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck you, asshole. There's a lot of people trying to enjoy living in Williamsburg and think your broad public attacks against every stereotype you don't like shouldn't go unanswered. You think you're funny, but we live here too, and you do everyone a big injustice when you attack people because of where they're from, what they drive, where they work, etc.

If you want to dish out like you do, then you should expect to take it in return. Don't try to turn this into anything more than that. You're not that fucking important that you should feel so "frightened."

Rail against what you want, but be fair. You're supposed to be a journalist, not a bigot. The few laughs you're looking for shouldn't have to come at the expense of a bunch of innocent people who'd like an opportunity to love Williamsburg as much as you have come to love it.

Why don't you post THIS?

12:38 AM  
Blogger rsguskind said...

And, by the way, I do understand your point--not the very personalized name calling, but the right of everyone to live in and enjoy any neighborhood they choose. Brooklyn is a collection of people who were, at some point, from somewhere else. I've read all your comments on Curbed and, generally, you make very intelligent points and contribute to the discussion. What I'd like is for the name calling, the anger and everything else to stop. You've made your point and I've heard it.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You're supposed to be a journalist, not a bigot."

try telling that to someone like Rush Limbaugh (etc. etc.)... I read blogs and listen to talk radio for opinions... a journalist? please.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awright, you shit-spewing poseurs, let's just get one thing straight: Kokies was spelled with a "K." Says so right on their business card. Whaddaya, think they kept that place open for 20 years by tipping off the law by actually spelling it "Cokies"? Please.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know, I have to agree with the other folks here. how do you get off dictating who gets to live where in this country? The NYC area is a rich and diverse mix of people who come from all corners of the globe to pursue their dream. isn't that why we're all here? why else would we pay insane rents and costs of living? if I had the cash to buy a place, I might check out this new development too. I'm sorry but your rant is sadly immature, especially for someone who is a journalist by profession. I'd like to think we journalists have a duty to report the unbiased facts. and effigies and trash?? how can you actually tell people to go out there and dump trash in the streets? are you insanely irresponsible? have you no eco-conscience whatsoever? I really would expect you to put in a note retracting that instruction, if not the whole article. thanks.

4:19 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home