There’s been a lot of talk lately about little Brooklyns (neighborhoods so hip they might as well be BK) popping up across the South—East Nashville, East Austin, Wynwood. And while we agree the hipster factor is clearly on the up in these areas, we have to argue, a lot of the characteristics that make Brooklyn so cool come straight from the South. So, really Brooklyn is just a small South. Let’s see how.
The style? That around here is just called being country. Boots, roughed-up denim, plaid shirts, faded camo jackets, beards—the elements of the hipster are same as the county boy’s. Or as Mr. Rick Bragg puts it, the Vanishing Redneck.
Reclaimed wood? We have it by the truckloads. Barns are everywhere in the South, and whenever one is torn down it makes perfect sense that the wood would turned into a side table, a cutting board, a chair. No import or premeditation necessary.
Craft cocktails? They came from New Orleans. The origin of cocktail is hotly debated, but plenty of literature points early beginnings to the Crescent City. And even if NOLA didn’t create the first cocktail ever, they did invent the sazerac and that’s enough for us.
The artisans? We bred them. Many of the borough’s crafters have ties to the South. To name a few—Cut Brooklyn’s Joel Bukiewicz learned how to make his gorgeous knives in Georgia; the Mason Shaker (mason jar meets cocktail shaker) guys are from Virginia; and the owner of the city’s first moonshine distiller, Kings County Distillery, is a Kentucky native. Even the CEO of Brooklyn-based Etsy is from the South—Greenville, South Carolina, baby. (P.s. this Cut Brooklyn video will make for the best 10 minutes you spend online today).
Farm-to-table? It’s just a way of life in the South. It’s standard form for fish to go straight from ocean or lake to the grill, berries from basket to cobbler, and don’t even get Alabamians started on the value of a homegrown tomato.
And have you heard about New York’s fascination with Southern food? It’s a thing—as evidence by this article.
So, Brooklyn we love you, but please stop ripping us off.