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the other day we found ourselves with a car and time on our hands while returning from a trip with friends. i remembered that a newish pizza place in Bushwick, which had an impressive xmas menu. unass

Not just the beer - everything down to dessert wines.

Very recently someone who's taste I trust told me there is some serious cooking coming out of this kitchen. Initially I thought it was a joke but apparently not.

Can't The Bronx get trendy soon? Please.

I'm amazed that the Bronx hasn't happened yet.

 

Me too. But its just that Bklyn is so damn big and there are just so many "fringe" neighborhoods to invest in while guaranteeing reasonable transportation & access to previously fringe neighborhoods that are now trendy, as well as the potential to explore and colonize ethnic outposts. So Williamsburg wannabes or priced outs can keep drifting just outside the range, as can Park Slopians and Ft. Greene-ites. No need for the Bronx (yet).... Queens is already next in line.

 

Last night, we went to see "Harvey" at the Roundabout (good production, by the way) and we attended the pre-show wine tasting. There's always a raffle and, last night, one of the winners was Joyce Randolph, who's a part of this Wed night grouping. So I asked the young woman who picked the name if she knew who JR was and she said no. I asked her if she'd ever seen or heard of The Honeymooners and she had to think about it before saying that she'd heard something about it but had never seen it. But, when I asked her if she knew anyone living in Bushwick, East NY or Brownsville Bklyn, she knew many of her peers (20-somethings) who did and do live there.

 

ARRRRGGGH. (rant over)

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As for hotels, I guess you haven't noticed that there are 3-4 hotels now available on the stretch of 3rd Ave the is affectionately known as Gowanus? Yes, Littleneck and a handful of other nice places are there and the Slope is only 2 blocks away in one direction while Smith St and other Boerum Hill trendy spots are 2-3 blocks in the other ...

 

Seriously, I'd rather be around the corner from Roberta's.

How many times can you eat at Roberta's?

 

Those hotels on 3rd Ave. were put there in response to the the amenities already in existence in Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, etc. The hotel in Bushwick is a speculative venture, built in anticipation of things that the developers think are coming.

 

I take Wilf's word on this - Bushwick isn't there yet.

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I always wonder why the Bronx hasn't happened yet. I've decided that maybe the reason is that Brooklyn had all these attractive Brownstone neighborhoods that had been gentrified for decades before the "fringe" areas took off for the Hipsters. The nice parts of the Bronx are like the farther-out nice parts of Brooklyn -- more suburban than urban, and not the kind of thing that's going to lay the groundwork for Hipster infestation of the "fringe" areas.

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As for hotels, I guess you haven't noticed that there are 3-4 hotels now available on the stretch of 3rd Ave the is affectionately known as Gowanus? Yes, Littleneck and a handful of other nice places are there and the Slope is only 2 blocks away in one direction while Smith St and other Boerum Hill trendy spots are 2-3 blocks in the other ...

 

Seriously, I'd rather be around the corner from Roberta's.

How many times can you eat at Roberta's?

 

Those hotels on 3rd Ave. were put there in response to the the amenities already in existence in Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, etc. The hotel in Bushwick is a speculative venture, built in anticipation of things that the developers think are coming.

 

I take Wilf's word on this - Bushwick isn't there yet.

 

Yes, Bushwick aint the Slope. But its not just Roberta's by a long shot. Even I've been to at least 2 other places in the area that serve good food. And lots of 20somethings who work in the other areas of Bklyn and in Manhattan all live in Bushwick ("East Williamsburg"????). I'd make this less "speculative" than Red Hook (seriously). But I understand and basically agree with you... although the ones on 3rd Ave are already there and this one in Bushwick is just breaking ground. Wont be speculative by the time it opens.

 

Wait, are you saying you know Joyce Randolph?

 

Sort of. She wouldn't know me but we've talked several times and she's part of this grouping. So are Rich and Peg. They know me.

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My personal unprovable Bronx hypothesis is geograhical. Williamsburg is one subway stop from very desirable hip neighborhoods in Manhattan. When hipsters were priced out of Manhattan, it was the next logical place to go. When they were priced out of Williamsburg (or no longer considered it cool), they just kept moving one L train stop farther out.

 

Bronx isn't adjacent to anything that's cool (in the sense of kewlness we are talking about). Leave the Bronx by subway, headed toward Manhattan, and you have to pass through miles and miles of uncoolness, before you get back to cool.

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Wait, so you're saying that you, Rich, and Peg ALL know Joyce Randolph?

 

I can see that this discussion will have to go off line. Yes, we all do.

 

By the way, although it has nothing to do with this method of acquaintance, you do remember that Ginny was a Bdway & off-Bdway Stage Manager and then at N.Line Cinema for her careers, right? You want a list of folks she really does know that you can get star struck over? I was driven home by F. Murray once and went to a party at Mandy's apartment too. On a first name basis with Swoosie as well. The list is long.

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My personal unprovable Bronx hypothesis is geograhical. Williamsburg is one subway stop from very desirable hip neighborhoods in Manhattan. When hipsters were priced out of Manhattan, it was the next logical place to go. When they were priced out of Williamsburg (or no longer considered it cool), they just kept moving one L train stop farther out.

 

Bronx isn't adjacent to anything that's cool (in the sense of kewlness we are talking about). Leave the Bronx by subway, headed toward Manhattan, and you have to pass through miles and miles of uncoolness, before you get back to cool.

 

Yeah, I think you're right.

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By the way, although it has nothing to do with this method of acquaintance, you do remember that Ginny was a Bdway & off-Bdway Stage Manager and then at N.Line Cinema for her careers, right? You want a list of folks she really does know that you can get star struck over? I was driven home by F. Murray once and went to a party at Mandy's apartment too. On a first name basis with Swoosie as well. The list is long.

 

Oh, come on, those people are merely famous.

 

Joyce Randolph is ICONIC.

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I always wonder why the Bronx hasn't happened yet. I've decided that maybe the reason is that Brooklyn had all these attractive Brownstone neighborhoods that had been gentrified for decades before the "fringe" areas took off for the Hipsters. The nice parts of the Bronx are like the farther-out nice parts of Brooklyn -- more suburban than urban, and not the kind of thing that's going to lay the groundwork for Hipster infestation of the "fringe" areas.

That makes a lot of sense. I also think that the fact that the Bronx is further away has something to do with it. (I've brought this up before. People who disagree point out that subway running times from the Bronx to midtown Manhattan are around 30 minutes. My response is that those schedules are fictional, don't include time spent waiting for trains, and at the end, the trains drop you in midtown - not the east or west Village.)

 

I know a bit about the Bronx. I was raised there and worked in the South Bronx as a caseworker during the bad years. I don't know any other way to put this - the south Bronx was a hellhole in the 70s and 80s, by turns depressing and terrifying.

 

Things *are* getting better. I found this out in an unexpected way. Recently the City has put up a vast archive of government photos on the Internet. One part includes an enormous series of photographs taken in the 1980s of nearly every address in the 5 boroughs. (They were taken as part of a real estate assessment.)

 

Out of curiosity I looked at the ones for the south Bronx. They matched my memories - block after block of ruins and desolation. Then I looked at Google maps and called up the contemporary street-view photos. I was amazed to see new buildings that looked to be in fine shape. Things have gotten a lot better.

 

ETA - Oakie beat me to the point about the Bronx's relative remoteness. Staten Island suffers from the same fate.

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My own personal feeling is that my grandparents lived on the Grand Concourse, and the housing stock and urban design there is so fantastic that it would just HAVE to become attractive to upper-middle-clas people if it could only be fixed up.

 

But the distance IS a problem.

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My own personal feeling is that my grandparents lived on the Grand Concourse, and the housing stock and urban design there is so fantastic that it would just HAVE to become attractive to upper-middle-clas people if it could only be fixed up.

 

But the distance IS a problem.

 

It is a problem.

 

Another problem is that even though the more suburban parts of the Bronx could become attractive as the birth rate in Williamsburg spikes in a year or two, there's always the fear that you're going to wake up one day and learn that you've drifted too far and are living in the sticks.

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