Brooklyn Is Not Just a Brand, It’s a State of Mind

BROOKLYN INDUSTRIES, Brooklyn Bagels, Brooklyn this, Brooklyn that, it’s everywhere–so big a brand that it subdivides. (SmorgasburgThe Gowanus Yacht ClubProspect Park West.) New York Magazine calls Brooklyn’s artisanal foods movement “The Twee Party.” The New York Times writes more respectfully about Brooklyn’s “unique food culture.”

Blogs spring up with names using almost every conceivable spelling of the borough’s name, from the antique-sounding Breuckelen to Brewklyn to Brokelyn.

Individual neighborhoods, even those districted by real estate brokers’ marketing magic, develop enduring public images that perpetuate behaviors and styles and unify a local culture. The stroller moms and chest-pack dads of Park Slope need services and stores that create clusters that attract more young families that need the same things. Playground conversations foster a distinct ethos that endorses fair trade, local, organic, artisanal foods and opposes bottle feeding and certain chain stores.

In the same way, the creative and artisanal businesses of Brooklyn need co-working spaces, fairs to show their wares, and suppliers of their materials — whether CSA partnerships or locally grown plants for natural dyes for fabrics for crafts and fashions. Or rehearsal spaces in Williamsburg. Or film-editing facilities in Greenpoint. Sitting in the middle of all this Brooklyn buzz is pretty exciting.

There’s a baby or a business born here every minute, but it’s definitely not true that what happens in Brooklyn stays in Brooklyn. Up the Hudson Valley, Cold Spring is full of Park Slope ex-pats, and some quaint local wares are Brooklyn exports. Similarly, the seeds of green-mindedness were blown here from other places. Episodes of Portlandia might as well’ve been shot here.

From time to time, Brooklyn Artisan will cover people, events, ideas, products in such places as Portland, OR, Cold Spring, NY, Poultney, VT, Appalachia. You’ll find them slugged “Outer Brooklyn.”

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