It's always hard to tell how self-aware The New York Times is when it trolls Brooklyn/hipsters/basically anyone under the age of 40. Is their Brooklyn fetish really that embarrassingly out of touch, or is there someone over there kicking back and laughing maniacally every time the Internet whips itself into a frenzy?
The Times indicated today on its blog that it has maybe, possibly, gone a bit overboard in using Brooklyn as "the measuring stick or point of comparison for everywhere."
"What’s next?" asks the Times' associate managing editor Philip Corbett. "Describing Manaus as the Williamsburg of the Amazon? Katmandu as the Cobble Hill of Nepal?"
Corbett is joking (we think?), but, uh, that's not too far off from what they've been doing, as Corbett himself points out:
"'Chic organic farms, cowsheds serving fresh-picked herbs and tables made from old electric cable spools. Move over, Brooklyn: the South African city’s artisanal charms are enough to make any New Yorker fall in love.'
Granted, the whole conceit of this travel essay was an attempt to impress a jaded New Yorker. But really — is the allure of Cape Town best measured by its resemblance to Williamsburg?"
This point of clarity may have been spurred by the folks at The Atlantic, who published an article last month entitled "All the Places The New York Times Has Compared to Brooklyn", which recounts 12 clear-cut examples that are either about other cities being like Brooklyn, ("Oakland: Brooklyn By the Bay") or Brooklynites encroaching on other places (The Hudson Valley: "Williamsburg on the Hudson").
The first part of overcoming a problem is admitting that you have a problem in the first place, so maybe this is a sign that The Times will take a saner approach to the big borough across the East River. We'll keep you posted. Just as soon as we finish adjusting our monocles.
Pete Dombrosky is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist and he is a proud resident of Brooklyn, but not too proud. Cross the bridge and join him on Twitter.