As has been previously discussed, your mom moved to Williamsburg and it is soooo embarrassing. It’s like, can’t we just put old people on ice floes or something, so that we can sext each other our e-genitals without them freaking out about it. Well, good news young people! The combined powers of your hostility to anyone with wrinkles and your parents’ friends not wanting to come here at all could be sending olds who move here right back across the East River. At least of one woman’s harrowing story is to be believed.
A woman named Nellie Alexander, who proclaimed herself “bored” with her Ambien-haze life, decided to pack up and hit Williamsburg with her husband. This, despite her teenage son warning her she was too old. At first, it was the paradise she wanted:
“Those first few weeks, we loved the neighborhood as much as we thought we would. The streets and shops and subways had that restless hipster energy…It reminded me of the way the Lower East Side felt when I was in high school and my friend Edie and I would each tell our parents we were going to the other one’s house for a sleepover and then take the PATH into the city with our fake IDs to go to CBGBs”
But the bloom came off the rose quickly. “I found myself getting annoyed by the hipsters I once thought were so cool,” Alexander wrote. Her friends wouldn’t take the L train out to see her and her husband. She found herself the recipient of mean stares at Pete’s Candy Store when she brought her friend who wore a tie here (doesn’t he know Williamsburg is a no-tie zone? Sheesh). All the hairstylists had tattoos and purple hair, the nerve!
It finally came to a head one night at Brooklyn Bowl, when Alexander and her husband went to see Questlove at Bowl Train. Not only was it crowded, and people stepped on her feet, Alexander decided to go to the bathroom before leaving, and that’s when the young people there unleashed their greatest weapon of all: callous disregard for everyone who isn’t them.
“No sooner had I shut the door behind me when two girls walked in. ‘I don’t get it,’ one said. ‘Why don’t they just stay in Park Slope with all the other stroller people, where they belong?’ ‘If I see one more suit in my building, I’m going to throw up,’ said the other. ‘If they’re trying to prove to the world that they’re still cool, it’s not working. I mean, last week I saw a fucking gray-haired grandma at Pete’s. Do they not know how ridiculous they look?’
I waited until they left. I practically ran out to the sidewalk and by the time I found Hank outside, I was crying. ‘I’m just tired,’ I said. ‘Fed up and tired.’ I was so humiliated, it was days before I would tell him the whole story.”
Instead of moping about listening to The Smiths to get over it, Alexander and her husband left before the year was up. Now look, as funny as we think this is, we’re not idiots. We understand that we’ll be old and out of touch one day. But we also like to think we’ll be self-aware enough to not write about how hard it is to live in a neighborhood we moved to because we thought it was cool only to find the cool young people there didn’t think we were cool, with all the self-pitying regard of a stereotypical Millennial. Huh, now that we think about it, it sounds like Alexander was learning how to be young again. Maybe she should have stuck it out.