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Letters From the Editor

Reaping What We Sowed

In today’s Sunday Times: ‘Singles Head to [Williamsburg] for Romance’ by Julia Chaplin (all italics added)

For decades Brooklynites have put on their slinky best and commuted to Manhattan to lay siege to the velvet ropes in the hope of meeting Mr. or Ms. Right. Now, in a reversal of the old bridge-and-tunnel migration, young Manhattanites discouraged by the sky-high expectations of the opposite sex in their home borough are dressing down, in faded jeans and vintage leather, and taking the L train to the bars and loft parties of Brooklyn. There, especially in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, where lower rents have encouraged an influx of arty postcollegiates, dating success doesn’t require a big bankroll or blinding beauty.
[Translation: It is impossible to get laid in Manhattan if you’re not a banker or a model. Likewise, it is possible to get laid in Brooklyn if you look like everyone else.]

‘Manhattanites arrive every weekend like tourists in Tijuana,’ said Jon Weiss, a promoter at Warsaw, a bar and concert venue housed in the Polish National Home in Greenpoint. ‘They’re easy to spot because they look like they’re ready for adventure and they get really drunk.’
[Translation: Manhattanites will be led astray, robbed, and knifed; with their passports and sneakers stolen, they’ll have to beg to get back across the border, a la Michael Douglas in The Game.]

Really, this won’t matter much to anyone outside New York, but for those of us who actually live in Williamsburg, or readers in Manhattan or other boroughs, let’s have fun and subject this to a truth quiz (note: I’ll be pulling in quotes not mentioned above).

Q: Williamsburg is over-run by Manhattanites on the weekend, some in Miatas, others in cowboy hats, all looking for cheap drinks and easy women. They have soured bars previously held dear and should be avoided.

A: True.

Q: Young, no-pretense girls are always on the make for a Miata-driving middle-aged TriBeCan.

A: Yes, except they don’t live here; all 21 to 24 year-olds in Williamsburg operate with massive pretense and want big money guys, not cheapskates with record collections.

Q: ‘[Social climbing is] a barrier to getting to know someone and a barrier to getting a date, unless you happen to be Puff Daddy.’

A: False, except for this guy, for whom it’s true, and pathetic.

Q: ‘On a recent Friday night, Danny Leder, 24, an accountant, and 15 friends of his from Manhattan rented a school minibus to take them on a bar-hopping tour that arrived in Williamsburg around midnight. The bus was called La Rumba Express, and several passengers wore straw cowboy hats. At Galapagos, a bar with art exhibitions, they stood near an installation of bikini underwear dangling in front of photographs of topless women. ‘Beers here are only $4!’ Mr. Leder marveled. ‘Girls can’t be looking for too much if a guy only has to spend $4 to buy them a drink.’’

A: BLUUEAACHCCHCHHHCHC [followed by dry heaves]

Q: ‘Last Tuesday night, April Johnson, 30, a fashion stylist, drove over to Williamsburg from Lower Manhattan with six of her single girlfriends. They sat drinking six-packs of Corona at Tonita’s, a Mexican restaurant in a converted bodega that opened last week. They were on the lookout for the archetypal Williamsburg man, whom they christened Carhartt Guy, after the popular work clothes. ‘Carhartt Guy is a carpenter who went to an art school like R.I.S.D.,’ Ms. Johnson cooed, referring to the Rhode Island School of Design. She was wearing a Marc Jacobs peasant dress and knee-high boots. ‘He has a truck and a dog.’’

A: False, or at least, Unavailable. There is actually only one Carhartt guy in Williamsburg – he’s tall, wears glasses, reddish-blond dreads to his shoulders, and always wears Carhartts plus a cardigan sweater and a button-down. He has a bagel and coffee at Verb every morning around 9:10. And ladies, he’s taken (by a blond in a Patagonia jacket; likewise, vaguely nouveau-hippie-ish).
biopic

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. He is the author of three books, including his latest novel The Last Kid Left (NPR’s Best Books of the Year). His nonfiction appears in a variety of magazines, mostly GQ. More information can be found at rosecransbaldwin.com. More by Rosecrans Baldwin

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