We Just Can’t With This Elle Piece on Brooklyn Heights Fashion

Backintheday a cat named Robyn Hitchcock had an indie hit with a song called “Young People Scream”. The chorus “Old people, they make young people scream, old people they make young people want to lay down and die” was sort of an alternative battle cry for us snot nosed college radio kids. These days, I like to flip the words to “young people, they make old people scream,” especially when I see things like Alice Gregory’s recent piece in Elle entitled: ‘All Hail the New Hipster’.

Behold this passage:

A little over a year ago, I moved from downtown Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights, a leafy, cobblestoned neighborhood laden with pedigreed dogs and their well-heeled, mostly white-haired masters. That first day, when the movers had finally finished their hauling and gone on their way, I surveyed my new box-strewn studio, sighed with exhausted satisfaction, and went out for a walk. It was quiet. There were no recent NYU grads, no fixed-gear bikes, no “practice spaces.” Often referred to as “America’s first suburb,” the neighborhood has been gentrified for more than a century. Some of the country’s most famous writers have lived here—Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote—alongside bankers, lawyers, doctors. This is not the Brooklyn made internationally legible by pop culture. There’s nothing hip about it. Strolling the tree-lined street, I smiled at chic retirees in quilted jackets and elegant loafers. Like Roth’s Nathan Zuckerman, first arriving at E. I. Lonoff’s Berkshire farmhouse, I looked around and thought, “This is how I will live.”

Though I’m younger than my zip code’s median age by approximately half a century, I’ve never felt so surrounded by neighbors whose personal style I’d like to crib.

It goes on and makes some points about some fashion stuff that, to be honest, I couldn’t process because I’d gone a little blind after the first 400 words.

So, hivemind, what do you think of the Elle article?

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  • Hicksanthrope

    So… if the median age is 50, then we have a newborn on our hands.

  • David on Middagh

    We’re not *that* cobblestoned, but maybe we should be.

  • Frank Underhill

    Paul Fussell summarized her point over 30 years ago in his book “Class” (paraphrasing)
    “New Money Dresses Up, Old Money Dresses Down.”

  • jv

    I don’t see why it would make you want to scream. She isn’t wrong and I don’t think she is being insulting. Shes saying that’s what she’d like to be like one day.

  • AEB

    No, no: the Heights “style” is no style–at least on people, as opposed to real estate, which is all-the-way (quietly) glam.

    Never have so many disappeared into the woodwork, so to speak, and not because a conscious decision has been to “dress down.” NO decision has been made.

  • CHatter

    I enjoyed the piece, particularly its implications that #1 I don’t have to care how I dress (which I am incapable of doing in any event) and #2 I’m somehow affirmatively doing something better than others by not trying to be hip (score! Who knew?). Not for nothing, it’s also exceptionally well-written for a fashion rag.

    Congratulations to our neighbor for a great article!

  • A Neighbor

    So true. And part of the Heights’ charm, I always think — even very wealthy people who have no real interest in what they wear.

    And neither do they dress as the writer describes. That may be the UES. Not BH.

  • e

    This blog post is hilarious, and the underlying story by Ms. Gregory is pretty funny, too. Nice to live in a neighborhood where both (obviously tongue-in-cheek) perspectives can coexist —

  • brooklynheightsblog

    She is quite a good writer. And thanks for getting it.

  • Buzz Gundersen

    A bit of hyperbole on the age thing, but read the whole piece; this girl can write.

  • David on Middagh

    Sort of an upscale normcore?

  • Frenchbull

    she can write but maybe she is over-thinking this whole neighborhood-geez, do we all have to be so self conscious?
    live and let live. Sometimes I wear a green collar, sometimes a red one.