NYC's Washed-Up Hipsters Are Headed West. Here's What To Expect, LA.
Dear Los Angeles:
Normally, I hate you. You are too pretty, too boring, too soft. Your blithe citizens chuck #nofilter Instagrams into my feed. You made Coachella "a thing," which made floral headdresses, lecherous underbutt slideshows, and #branded #poolparty #activations "a thing." Your pizza is an abomination. Your crimes against humanity are vaster than the sprawl of your newly poured concrete, LA. You are despicable, and you know it.
But today? Today, I pity you, Los Angeles. The New York Times, with its infinite Times-ean foresight into world's "new Brooklyns," has declared you the latest refuge of choice for New York City's wayward "L train set."
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Los Angeles, but if this is true, it means one thing: you are entirely and completely fucked. Have you been to Brooklyn?! It's the best place. I live there. But it's also filled with some of the most self-involved, heinously over-opinionated, insufferable middle-class monsters the world has ever known. (As proof that I'm not one of these people: I would never, ever, move to California.)
Say goodbye to your affordable bungalows.
LA, I know that Brooklynites sound similar to the suckheaded fun-vacuums that choke your arteries with leased BMWs and your beaches with designer fedoras, but make no mistake -- they are a different hell entirely.
Here's what you should expect if and when Brooklyn's "creative class" comes to Los Angeles.
"For $600 less than the $1,850 a month Ms. Turner was paying for her grim junior one-bedroom in Greenpoint," exclaimed the Times of one transplant's decision, "she shares a a charming two-bedroom 1920s bungalow in Echo Park with a gated yard, cactuses, a barbecue, a separate work studio and a garage."
Ha! $1250! You're so utterly screwed, LA. Brooklyn's average rent is $2,711 as of February 2015, and its median sale price jumped 17.5% last year alone. Last. Year. Alone. Manhattan, in case you were wondering, trails only San Francisco for the country's worst rental market. The "Rent Is Too Damn High" dude got evicted, for chrissake. We can barely afford it out here.
In other words, a bunch of white people in "boho" sundresses and newly purchased leather jackets are absolutely salivating at the prospect of paying $1,250 for an apartment -- any apartment -- that's nota lightless shoebox on the sixth floor of a Crown Heights walk-up. They can't wait to price you the ever-living fuck out of your charming bungalows. Say goodbye to your cactuses, LA. (Update: Right after we hit publish, we heard news that the Times had misreported that $1,250 as half a rent -- but honestly, $2,500 for all that is still pretty mind-blowing. )
How do you feel about babies in your bars, brunches, and swanky lounge/restaurant/club/event space/secret supper club, Los Angeles? Do you hate the crap out of it, like I do? Brooklyn parents don't care about you.
I'd wish you good luck, but it won't save you.
They care about Shiloh (18 months, gluten-intolerant, prefers French cartoons) and Edie (3 years, already over The Strokes, aspiring bocce enthusiast). They are about to bring the war to your bungalow's front door. Brooklyn parents won't just permit their post-hipster human accessory dolls to terrorize your sidewalks on fall-proof three-wheeled scooters; they'll encourage them to, because Shiloh and Edie really shouldn't grow up hearing "no." That could damage the kids' creative energy, Los Angeles. Don't you see?
Perhaps you will wonder why they don't just move to the suburbs, like a sensible person. I have no answer for you.
More Weird Tinder Matches
"New York feels like it’s all about ‘making it,’ ” one recent transplant in her late 20s told the Times. "L.A. feels like it’s all about making things." This is a semantic distinction that should concern you deeply, because New York's artisanal handcraftigensia already make all sorts of overpriced, faux-rustic bullshit right here in NYC.
Apparently, though, some people didn't think the city was crafty enough. They have yet to really hit high gear. For that, NYC's basket-weavers, wheatgerm whisperers, and candlestick makers are coming to you, LA.
You probably know this about your East Coast counterpart, Los Angeles, but it bears repeating -- we don't drive much. In fact, over half of us straight-up don't have vehicles to drive. We have subways, cabs, bikes, and our own two feet -- all more affordable than keeping a car in the city.
Since you don't have a whole lot in the way of public transportation (besides that elevated subway thing that dead Tom Cruise hangs out in), there's a solid chance that your creative new neighbors from New York have never driven a car before. At all. Does this terrify you? Because it should.
People Complaining That LA "Used To Be Cool"
An important part of living in Brooklyn is judging other people for also living in Brooklyn. The most effective way to do this has traditionally been to condescendingly proclaim that, while Brooklyn was once "authentic" and "gritty" and "not commercialized" (when you were savvy enough to move there), it lost all its personality when everyone else arrived.
You're right, Los Angeles: This is duplicitous, obnoxious, and more cognitively dissonant than, say, knowing about your record-breaking drought and moving there anyway. (More on that in a minute.) Now enivision how mind-numbingly irritating it will be when Brooklyn's sociopathic gentrifiers relocates to Silver Lake and start saying the same thing as they price you -- who lived here when it was actually cool -- out of the neighborhood.
Got that mental image? OK, now you have a sense for the soul-crushingly bitter social cancer headed your way. I would wish you luck, LA, but it won't save you if this NY Times "trend" turns into a real migratory pattern.
I hate you, LA, but I can't help but feel bad for you this time. You're coming off the worst drought in modern history, headed into a formidable wildfire season, and the paper of record is telling New York's "creatives" to fetishize you as a a lush westward oasis covered in affordable housing, outdoor dinner parties with those stupid hang-y string lights, and thriving opportunity. It's a raw deal.
On the upside, if everyone leaves, maybe I'll be able to afford Brooklyn for a few more years. Better you than me, Los Angeles. Better you than me.