05/31/16 4:00pm
'We lost some of the shininess of Brooklyn.' Is the Brooklyn artisanal food bubble finally bursting?

Smorgasburg still thrives, but its offshoots are having a harder time. Via Flickr user Terry Jinn.

About five years ago, when I would wonder what gifts to bring people from Brooklyn on holidays, my thoughts suddenly always went to food. McClure’s bloody mary mix for mom, NuNu Chocolates for grandma, a bottle of Kings County Distillery corn whiskey to encourage my sister to drink more. This seemed like an easy way to carve off a slice of Brooklyn and dole it out as a unique gift, a missive from the mini world within the world we call home. It was also a sign of the marketing success of the Brooklyn artisanal boom (for lack of a less gag-inducing phrase), when every month we were treated to new success stories of an entrepreneur who started out with just a mixing bowl and a tiny kitchen. It was a sign that the local economy, here in New York City, Real America, where we buy each other’s pickles and tickets to each other’s concerts, was doing just fine.

But the Brooklyn artisanal bubble might finally be popping in one big, locally sourced, non-GMO bubble. The narrative about the small businesses that attract celebs to far-flung neighborhoods or sprout from a small batch of offerings on a flea market table is evolving into a typical New York story: Real estate prices stand in the way of all our dreams.  (more…)

10/16/15 12:00pm
via Flickr user Eoghan OLionnain

They’ve learned so much from us, but some of it was evil. via Flickr user Eoghan OLionnain

What do we know about Sweden? We know that they love love love Brooklyn. They do picklebacks because we do them! They have their own Brooklyn Brewery plant! They have a bar named for us! It’s all very adorable how much the Brooklyn spirit has infected Sweden. The newest cute tribute to Brooklyn coming out of Sweden? Gothamist shares the story of an imported Swedish property manager refusing to make repairs for rent regulated tenants in their new Crown Heights apartment acquisition. Just like corrupt Brooklyn landlords! (more…)