Brookland, Oregon

c/o The New York Observer

Turns out Brooklyn hipsters aren’t as unique as they’d like to believe. This week’s Observer features an article by Adrianne Jeffries comparing and criticizing Brooklyn and its ever growing DIY, organic-living lifestyle as being a carbon copy of the Northwest hipster haven Portland, Oregon.

Jeffries notes that the similarities between the two areas include local interest in an arts and music scene, environmentally friendly DIY products sold auspiciously at markets like the Brooklyn Flea (just a few examples from the article include “rings glued to typewriter keys, handmade, vegetable-dyed, vintage Oriental rugs,” and homemade chocolate bars wrapped in packaging, “printer with soy inks on 100 percent postconsumer-recycled, chlorine-free, processed paper that was made from wind-generated energy”), an affinity for food trucks and the preferred mode of transpiration as bicycles.

These examples and more lead Jeffries to rebrand the borough, Brooklandia, after Portlandia the IFC comedy show starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein that makes fun of the West Coast hipsters.

This negative comparison to Portland is only one of many jibes Jeffries manages to get into the article as he writes off Brooklyn’s creative, environmentally conscious community as hackneyed and pretentious. Check out some choice Brooklyn-bashing quotes below:

  • “Brooklyn’s overwrought mustaches and handmade ice cream in upcycled cups are now well-established facts of life. It’s as if the tumor of hipster culture that formed when the cool kids moved to Williamsburg had metastasized into a cluster of cysts pressing down on parts of the borough’s brain.”
  • “One of the things I’ve found is that as a reporter it’s getting harder for me to pitch Brooklyn stories that start like, ‘Hey, there’s a group of guys in Brooklyn or a group of young people in Brooklyn who—’” Mr. Smith said. “You can sort of feel the eye-roll of the editor, like, yeah, there’s a bunch of people in Brooklyn who, you name it, are constructing a huge skyscraper out of used coffee cups! They’re learning how to butcher pigs in their own kitchen!”

-Robert Smith, NPR Reporter

  • “Williamsburg is just becoming like a circus,” he said. “When I’m there, I hear the circus music in my head. Mustaches were like 2010. We’re on to mutton chops. Everyone is walking around like the Satorialist is about to take a picture of them. That’s not a healthy way to live.“It’s all just becoming so precious,” he reflected. “And Brooklyn is not supposed to be a precious place.”

– Jake Dobkin, Gothamist publisher


  1. Stephen says:

    How would Robert Smith like people to look and dress in Williamsburg?

    The other interesting note on Dobkin’s statement is Brooklyn also doesn’t like being told what it is and what it isn’t.

    I’ve lived in both Portland and now Brooklyn and other then people enjoying bike rides in the summer there is very little difference other than the fact that people think they can marginalize a culture by breaking it down to its lowest common denominator, Which is why Portlandia is only funny and clever to writers of NPR

  2. Bobby Rodman says:

    Who fucking cares. Since when did anyone give a fuck what anyone else does or looks like in New York City. I need to be somewhere on time, now get the fuck out of my way. Thats the motto.

  3. Did someone not know this or something?

  4. brandonmetal says:

    haha whatever, give portland a medal! they don’t even know about the whole hipster-lite wannabes in stockholm!

  5. better “hipsters” than the suits, frat boys, average joes…proles.

  6. first off: isn’t it time to retire the word, “hipster”?

    and so what if people are conscious of what they put in their bodies or about taking care of the planet… i really fail to understand why this makes people annoying. just focus on your own interests. so what if people have mustaches and wear handmade jewelry. and if dude is having problems pitching stories about “young people in Brooklyn” then maybe he shouldn’t write about Brooklyn?

  7. You mean isn’t it time retire “hipsters” not just the word ? But as long as there are attention hungry, over-privileged youths wandering about wanting desperately to be noticed then we can’t do that just yet. But go on and drink your PBR, grow your ironic moustaches, wear your keffiyahs, overpay for coffee, and continue to live secretly off Dad’s credit card while claiming to be an “artist” – but don’t ask me to think its anything but some poser trying to be hip.

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