When the news broke that the Brooklyn Flea was headed to Philadelphia, we gave the residents there some good-natured (well, not outwardly hateful) ribbing about finally becoming civilized. However, because of that post, or just because Philadelphia has flea markets and a sense of civic pride that rejected some New York bigshots coming in and telling them what to do, the Brooklyn Flea Philadelphia is no more. The Brooklyn Flea should be fine, contenting themselves with monopolizing the Brooklyn flea market, uh, market, but could this be the beginning of a pushback against the Brooklyn brand in other cities?
Philly Magazine has the news, and in the analysis, they mention that other New York transplants like Shake Shack have managed to make it down there in part by not emphasizing their New York roots. With the Brooklyn Flea, Philly Mag contends that it came down to a matter of civic pride, pointing to a quote left by one resident in the comments section in an article on the Flea:
“I refuse to support anything in Philadelphia that has some New York thing in their name.”
This is probably where you think we’d laugh at Philly again, but actually, as rabid nativists, we support an attitude like this wholeheartedly. The idea that someone from Brooklyn came down to their town and didn’t even change their name could rouse the patriotic spirit of even the most lackadaisical Philadelphite. So we salute you for standing up for your hometown, and rejecting a perceived interloper like so many white blood cells working to heal a body.
The question is, will this inspire other cities where “Brooklyn cool” is encroaching on culture to look inward and support their own scenes instead of greeting their twee mustachioed invaders as liberators? It probably wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, because nobody loves a bubble. Also, Brooklyn shouldn’t become the Duane Reade of aesthetics and culture, popping up in every corner of the country, since the entire idea of the “Brooklyn brand” is focused on individuality and the DIY spirit, not homogeneity. Which would be fine by us. It’s tough to act superior about where you live if everywhere else in the country ends up doing the same exact thing as you.