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Brooklyn

Posted on October 5th, 2007 after 8177 miles by Dean Croshere.

What happens when you take a population and shift them into an entirely different location?

Brooklyn is the new place to be for artsy (read: hippie/hipster/etc in denial) types. This leads to an interesting contradiction where everything is covered in graffiti and trash, but the shops are all bike shops, audiophile speaker stors, Pan-asian vegan cuisine restaurants, and the "Rolix" watch street salesmen have been replaced by used book street salesmen. I think this picture of a painted hippie van in front of a spray paint tagged, plywood covered, empty lot is descriptive of the area. I was standing in front of a nice sushi restaurant when I took this picture.

Last night I planned on bar hopping, but I found myself spending most of the night at one place.

The first thing I did was order a cheap beer. I've decided that it is time to cut the costs of a night on the town with cheaper drinks. I was surprised when I got the 32 oz monstrosity pictured here for what I thought was an only slightly over inflated price, (indeed, a price that would fit right in on the other side of the Hudson).

Shortly after I found an interesting group of people that I spent most of the night chatting with. One of the primary subjects of discussion was, "what is iconic about Brooklyn."

There was a claim thrown about that if Brooklyn were its own city, not a boro of New York, it would be the sixth largest city in the US.

It must, then, have something iconic about it. Something that anyone can look at and say, "that is Brooklyn." Chicago has Wrigley and the Sears Tower, St. Louis has the Arch, Portland even has the tram now. The answer I kept getting about Brooklyn was that there were awesome rooftop views of Manhattan.

It is true, there are some great views, but it seems like there should be something more iconic about an area than a view of another area.

"Go to Manhattan and take a picture of Brooklyn," one gentleman jokingly suggested, shortly before buying us all a round.

"Us, here, the people of Brooklyn, we are the iconic thing about Brooklyn." It sounds good while in a Brooklyn bar, but it really is a cop out. A picture of a bunch of cool people in an awesome Brooklyn bar could be a bunch of cool people in any awesome bar.

I guess there really isn't anything iconic about this recently turned artsy suburb. I do really like it though. Something about the entirely unpredictable and unassuming landscape spotted with interesting and kitschy shops appeals to me.

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