Queens blogger The Backburner takes a look around and asks the age-old NYC question: Why is their neighborhood (say, Red Hook) so hip whereas mine (Forest Hills) isn't? The analysis includes reasons like the fact that Forest Hills is too far from Manhattan, too expensive, doesn't have good space for artists, doesn't have hip retail and--drum roll--isn't grungy enough:
Hipsters of all economic strata like to feel like they’re “slumming it"...I looked at neighborhoods that were once undesirable and were now the talk of the town, and I figured the common thread was that hipsters liked the idea of living in uncool neighborhoods because doing so made them so much cooler. As tough as it might be for a recent New York transplant to believe, there was a time not so long ago when nothing sounded less cool than “the Lower East Side,” “Williamsburg,” “Astoria,” “Long Island City.” I like to call this the Knitting Phenomenon. Ten years ago, the least hip thing in the world was knitting...Today, of course, knitting is so hip that it’s probably becoming unhip again. I figured, hey, Forest Hills is unhip. What better neighborhood to sprout some T-shirt boutiques and poetry-slam coffee shops? But nobody is ever going to move to Forest Hills and feel like they’re slumming it.No, indeed.
· On the Hipness of Neighborhoods [The Back Burner]