Hot new legal argument: ‘We’re the new Brooklyn’

Possibly the brilliant legal mind who came up with this argument.
Possibly the brilliant legal mind who came up with this argument.

Well, we did it, we finally did it. All the joking about “X is the new Brooklyn” just because someone with a RIDICULOUS beard was spotted in a coffee shop or someone made some art is finally having real world impacts beyond disdainful eye-rolling among New York media types. TWO recent separate legal cases in New York and Detroit have featured involved parties arguing that they can be or are known as “the next Brooklyn,” so their side should come out triumphant.

In the case of “Your honor, what you’re looking at is the next Brooklyn,” Bloomberg reports a city adviser to Detroit told a federal bankruptcy judge that allowing the Detroit Institute of Art to keep its art instead of selling it off to pay creditors will allow Detroit to become just like Brooklyn. That’s it, that’s more or less the argument, which seems to misunderstand the idea that cheap warehouse space in which to make art was what actually attracted broke artists to Brooklyn, not the collection at the Brooklyn museum.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the Post shares the news that a cafe in Hudson named Swallow Cafe is suing a Williamsburg cafe named Swallow in federal court for copyright infringement. It seems the Swallow Cafe in Hudson opened in 2009, before the Williamsburg one with the same name, and while maybe you could write it off as coincidence, Hudson Swallow’s owner Sarah Dibben says people have been asking her if the shop is a spinoff of the Williamsburg one. Why? According to Dibben’s court filing “Hudson has been referred to in numerous publications, including the New York Times, as ‘The New Brooklyn’ and ‘Brooklyn on the Hudson.’”

Will either of these silly arguments work? We don’t know, we’re not lawyers. We just hope you’re happy New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek and Albany Times Union and uh…Brokelyn. All those stupid trend pieces have escaped their creator’s control, like a shambling artisanal Frankenstein’s monster with parts lovingly hand-sewn together.

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