Hey, there! Log in / Register

Are we doomed? Brooklyn hipsters infesting New England

The Bangor Daily News reports Portland is attracting so many Brooklynites seeking authenticity at prices they can afford that they're recently held a "Portlyn" get together to commiserate about their JetBlue commutes down to their jobs in The City (yes, of course they keep their jobs down there).

And given that one of their complaints is that Portland doesn't have good public transit, how long can we hold out against the tomato-chowder hordes?

Oh, wait, good public transit ....

Ed. note: Yes, I am a recovering Brooklynite. But there were no hipsters when I lived there, I've never tried remaking Boston into Brooklyn Lite and, anyway, the part of Brooklyn I'm from is part of the 90% of the borough where people don't spend their weekends in search of the "authentic."

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

Head to Brooklyn in search of in-authenti-city.

up
Voting closed 0

If we moved to Portland and pretended it was Manhatten?
We can wear LL Bean snow boots and dress like Yukon Cornelius.

It will be so real.

up
Voting closed 0

I might be among the first to roll my eyes at this kind of thing but...well, heck. They don't seem like a whiny bunch. The non-driver is learning to drive, not actually complaining about the lack of public transport. And it sounds like they are all just looking for a fundamentally sound thing--a place they can live and raise their families that's affordable, that's got some kind of small town, walkable feel, a thriving arts community...I'd take these folks as neighbors any day over people who want to live in a gated community or in a million dollar glass tower condo.

up
Voting closed 0

Yup. It's not all that fundamentally different a plan than the folks who are commuting from Barcelona to London daily (because rent in Barcelona + 5 round-trip RyanAir flights a week is STILL cheaper than rent in London)

up
Voting closed 0

First off, its the Daily Fail. Its the UK's version of The New York Post.

Secondly, and more importantly, the numbers don't add up.

RyanAir flies from London Stansted to Barcelona El Prat.

City of London to Stansted - 90 Mins by train.
You need to be at airport 90 Mins before flight.
Flight from London to Barcelona 135 Mins.
Barcelona El Prat Airport to central Barcelona commute = 45 mins.

Thats a Six Hour Commute. Each Way. On a Sunny Day with no aircraft/Airport/Subway delays.

up
Voting closed 0

It's not total bull.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/5187096.stm

It's not a daily commute. You fly to London and work a few days and then fly back to Barcelona (or wherever).

Also, the Daily Mail article is based on a blogger who came up with the daily commuter version and then wrote a blog about it detailing how it *could* work. He didn't actually do it (and still lives in London).

For a while, there was a guy in my company who lived in SE PA and drove to Boston on Mondays and back home to his family on either Thursdays or Fridays. It was about 4 hours door-to-door and he found it entirely reasonable (how his wife took it so well with 2 kids at home, I have no idea). But even they moved to MA eventually.

up
Voting closed 0

My father worked in Albany NY for about a year. Each Sunday night and Friday night Mom would load us all up in the car as we'd pick/drop him up at Logan.

As a child, it was sad for me to see my father head off on Sunday nights. I can only imagine how my mother felt as she had us 3 at home.

I also worked for a guy once from Wisconsin. He too would fly home on Friday nights and make sure he'd get home for the weekly fish fry.

People do this, not sure if I could.

up
Voting closed 0

To commuting twice a week.

Totally different stories.

up
Voting closed 0

That worked on the International Space Station. They eventually quit because they couldn't take the daily commute.

True story.

up
Voting closed 0

At band camp...

up
Voting closed 0

No, the story is about weekly commutes not daily commutes. See original post about Brooklynites commuting to Portland .

I think you're the one on the wrong track.

up
Voting closed 0

People live in Tours and work in Paris - 160 miles each way, a bit over an hour by TGV train due to the stops en route.

One can also get from Marseilles to Paris in 3 hours - 540 miles. That's about the distance between Portland, ME and Washington DC.

Portland to Boston is 105 miles; Portland to NYC is about 310 miles. Call it an hour and two hours. We all know people who would commute that distance to spend less on housing, different type of home spaces and environments, etc., even if we ourselves would not.

If this country had a respectable rail system, people would have a lot of options for such commutes.

up
Voting closed 0

This search for "authenticity" is such a pretentious crock.

As an aside, my great aunt used to tell me that as the offspring of Italian immigrants living in East Boston in the early part of the 20th century they had all the "authentic"homemade Italian food you could ask for, yet her and her siblings longed to have Wonder Bread (or whatever the commercial white bread brand of the day was) like their "Yankee" neighbors. The grass is always greener.

up
Voting closed 0

People who try to find pleasure in their lives are totally lame and pretentious!

IMAGE(https://reposti.com/i/m/dQd.jpg)

up
Voting closed 0

Portland has an amazing amount of restaurants, affordable(ish) housing stock, and it's pretty artist friendly. It makes sense to live somewhere more affordable and less stressful if you're in a field that allows you to telecommute.

Portland seems like it should be a bigger city than it is. It has some cute record shops, (affordable) thrift stores, and even high end fashion (Black Parrot). And of course plenty of craft beer, craft everything, organic whatever. And a still active alt weekly? It seems that the Portland Phoenix is still going.

I do hope that Portland (and other smaller cities and towns in New England) get redeveloped and thrive long term because there is so much potential!

I love the city's motto, too: "Resurgam" ("I will rise again").

"Portlyn" kills me though.

up
Voting closed 0

Why on earth do you think Portland needs to be re-developed???

up
Voting closed 0

that she means keep following the path that Portland has taken--i.e. revived its downtown through a combination of tourism, the arts, and good food and managed to avoid the fate of other run-down shipping ports. You don't think downtown Portland was always the cheery beer and handmade doughnut Mecca it is today, do you? It doesn't mean it has to turn into Nantucket but it doesn't have to be New Bedford either.

up
Voting closed 0

it is a great city. They offer a 1/2 marathon that has been going strong for close to 39 years (as a runner, on my list to do), I believe, the whole whaling history thing, including the country's largest museum of whaling, a beautiful harbor area, and one of the best National Park tours I ever went on (New Bedford National Historic Park) - I great take on a sunny summer's day. Plus, if you love history, they have nine historic districts.

Or you can just focus on the crime that many of these old mill towns have to deal with and leave it at that.

up
Voting closed 0

Also, the New Bedford Folk Festival (formerly called New Bedford Summerfest) is a wonderful event, with 2 full days and evenings of mostly-outdoor music for just $20.

If you want a decaying port city to use as a counter-example, Fall River is a better choice.

up
Voting closed 0

I KNEW that would get me in trouble. I admit--it's been years since I've been to New Bedford and I know there are amazing things there. The Nantucket/New Bedford comparison is always my lazy go-to because there were so many hostorical similarities between them. And trust me--I don't think the Nantucket model is ideal in any way. So apologies--no offense meant. I need to plan a trip down there this summer. AND to Portland.

up
Voting closed 0

Why don't they all move to New Bedford, or even Providence, as it isn't all that bad a train commute from NYC?

up
Voting closed 0

Please present yourself to the Whaling City Chamber Of Commerce as their goodwill ambassador. You can promote an environmental justice rally on the Hurricane Barrier and then decamp to First Base for $2.50 Buds for all the Greenpoint economic refugees.

up
Voting closed 0

Because the commute would be twice as long even from Providence, and God knows how long from New Bedford. A 90-minute one-way commute is about three times longer than my ideal commute, but lots of people do that to New York anyway (and plenty of people do it by car in Boston). A three or four-hour one-way commute? You really think that's just as reasonable an option?

up
Voting closed 0

Seriously?

Those airports are circles of hell unto themselves. And you must not fly much if you don't know that a two hour flight takes more than four hours of your time because of security and the somewhat remote locations of the airports in question.

up
Voting closed 0

I'm sure it doesn't take two hours to get through security on a Monday morning in the Portland airport, but whatever, Swirls. I'm sure you or someone in your family has much more detailed and intimate knowledge of the options than I do, as they do with every other subject that gets raised on UH. Please explain why it would make sense to commute via train from New Bedford and how long that would take.

up
Voting closed 0

A few clicks of the ruby slippers and its NYC to Portland Maine. Right. No delays there. What? You mean they don't come back?

Oh, and you have to be at the airport more than an hour before your plane is due to depart or you can't get on it, regardless of how easy it is to get through security.

When was your last plane trip, Scratchie? 1998 you say?

There are some pretty big reasons that Acela is so popular that it is more expensive and often sold out - not to mention faster than air travel - to NYC.

up
Voting closed 0

So you don't actually have any figures to explain how much time it would take to commute from New Bedford. I'm shocked.

As for Providence, even if the commute time were identical (or shorter), maybe they don't want to live in a much larger city with higher crime and (I'm guessing) lousier schools. Did that ever occur to you? The question of crime and schools probably applies to New Bedford, too.

up
Voting closed 0

How about this - having done Boston->NYC (and back) many times for work/meetings in the past, it is faster to take the Acela out of Boston (rt 128) to Penn then flying Logan -> JFK/Laguardia. Well, to be honest, it just about breaks even with a slight advantage to the plane. With the plane, you have a -ton- of dead/waiting time, where as for the train you show up 5 minutes before it arrives, sit down, plug in, and get get work done for the next 3-3.5 hours (or a nice nap in the AM and a few pints in the PM). I would only With an even longer flight from Maine (although perhaps less of a shit show than Logan), and a shorter Acela ride from Providence, I would think Providence overall would win. It also depends on where in NYC they were going - is it out in the boroughs or in the center? Penn is convenient to many places, but if they work way out in Brooklyn, that might also tip the scale in JFK's favor.

All this said - why wouldn't they just find a job in Boston and cut the commute a ton ?!

up
Voting closed 0

The same positive attributes that whya identifies in New Bedford could be said of Dorchester. When I tell friends from out of town that I live in Dot, often their first reaction is "Oh my god, how often do you have drive by shootings? Do you ever go out at night?" Seriously? Is this why UMass Boston, the Boston Globe and BC High use as their address Morrissey Blvd., Boston 02125, not Dorchester? Dot Strong!!!!!

up
Voting closed 0

I also use a G on the end of the word hating. That might be a first step in countering the negative attitudes which prevail regarding Dorchester. Just a thought. Every little bit helps.

up
Voting closed 0

was from Dorchester and spoke with that very old school trans-Atlantic accent that used to be more common in Boston. Not a dropped G in sight. But she was kind of a tough character.

up
Voting closed 0

Yes, that's exactly what I meant! :)

up
Voting closed 0

"Portlyn" kills me though.

I'm sorry, but I threw up in my mouth when I read this... really "Portlyn"?

Is that near SoWa or NoWa or SoBo?

PS - and cry me a river about the JetBlue flights.. must be nice to have the cash to do that all the time.

up
Voting closed 0

Their company is most likely paying for the flights...and no. it's not near SoBo.

but SoBo could use some hipsters. It's mostly clean cut yuppies.

up
Voting closed 0

I know SouthBoston is no where near Portland.. I was just making a joke about their new spelling and pronunciation.

Why would a company pay for flights so you live or visit elsewhere, far far away?

up
Voting closed 0

> Why would a company pay for flights

Because they think your contributions are valuable and it's worth being flexible to keep you happy?

Also, if the job requires a lot of travel anyway (e.g. many consultants, regional manager who visits lots of locations), it may not make much difference where you live.

up
Voting closed 0

A large number of people I know who work in NYC don't really work in NYC but spend likley 75% of there time on the road. Even at 50% some companies (Banks / Multi Nations / Hedge Funds / Consulting Firms / ie classic NYC employers) just care that you can get on an airplane on monday morning to be where they want you.

Companies here will pay for a Zone 9 Commuter Pass for some employees, this is just you know slightly larger scale.

up
Voting closed 0

I love the city's motto, too: "Resurgam" ("I will rise again").

That should really embiggen them.

up
Voting closed 0

Portland's motto is that because the British burned the town down during the Revolution.

In defense of the infiltration of Portland by the Fair TradeShoe Polish crowd, Portland was really down in the 90's. The arts scene has been very organic and development of new housing has been on old industrial sites.

Things are changing though. Munjoy Hill is seeing a lot of new construction, very much like the Post Rent Control Invasion of Somerville 15 years ago by a lot of people on these posts.

There is still plenty of room for everyone however. Rents are still only $800 a month in some houses for a two bedroom in parts of the West End.

Cut the Brooklyn crowd some slack. Big deal if someone commutes to NYC. There are probably 50 people in their late 20's who just want to raise a kid in a nice urban environment versus one who commutes.

up
Voting closed 0

Although please note that the story ends with some local urging/pleading with the arrivistes not to ruin the very thing they came in search of.

This whole Brooklyn expat thing has become such a journalistic cliche that a few months ago, the NY Times' public editor (what they used to call an ombudsman) had to beg reporters there to knock if off already - not every single place is the new Brooklyn, no matter how many stories the Times runs about Brooklynites moving to Westchester/the Catskills/Wherever.

up
Voting closed 0

I will never forget that article, and the photos of the beautiful young couple (her, blonde and barefoot, him:top bun) and their children...Denim and Bowie. It felt just this side of parody. But that said...again, I empathize to some degree. It's easy to make fun of young people seeking "authenticity" but what's the alternative exactly? Living in some depressing strip mall suburb and commuting two hours each way to work? Competing with hedge funders and Wall Street types for living space in cities? And then we make fun of them for wanting something that feels solid. It's kind of a no-win.

up
Voting closed 0

Is the South End "authentic"? It's certainly tony and tasteful and has good restaurants and interesting architecture. But it's also certainly not what it was in 1995, let alone 1975.

There's nothing truly "authentic" about any American city, not even historic-preservation ones like Boston. Cities have been reinventing themselves for generations; today's "authentic" is tomorrow's torn-down tenements awaiting their replacements as LEED-certified, 7-figure condos.

If people want a place they can afford, maybe a nice loft they can rehab, coffee shops, even decent schools, by all means, go for it! Portland is a cool place. Why not consider moving there if you've been priced out of Brooklyn by Saudi princelings?

But "authentic"? No, please, let's not use that word, because it's really code for wanting things done a certain way - your way - even at the cost of driving out all those charming little ethnic restaurants and all the other things that add that splash of "authenticity" that will soon be gone.

up
Voting closed 0

Authentic... Portland may have been at one time, but not now. I was shocked at the pretension and the expensive prices of shops and restaurants. I may as well have lunch in the Back Bay and save the 2 hour drive if I'm going to drop $50 on lunch for two! When we we visited it was fairly empty and there seemed to be too many adult men wandering around looking stoned during typical working hours. Reminded me of parts of San Francisco. Apoligies to those who love SanFran.

up
Voting closed 0

I can't think of ANYWHERE in the Back Bay where you could get a better lunch than in Portland. Duck Fat alone is worth the trip.

up
Voting closed 0

Checked out Duck Fat's menu -- food fried in duck fat is not really my thing... however, I would be willing to give Portland another shot if I was driving through the area. On our way back from Canada, we stopped for dinner at Frontier in Brunswick, Maine. Cool old mill building with music venue, artists galleries, excellent restaurant with killer views of the river -- super impressed with that town. It's what Portland dreams of being.

up
Voting closed 0

Having grown up in the endless identical midwestern suburbs, there IS a sense of authenticity that can be found in places like Portlan and Boston and other old, New England towns. Yeah, neighborhoods change and get reinvented, but there's still a sense of place to them and an ongoing conversation about where, culturally, the neighborhood is going that isn't "do we hit TGI Fridays or Applebees tonight".

up
Voting closed 0

Though I wonder if today's South End is closer to what its creators had in mind c 1875, so maybe it has finally come round to its truly "authentic" self?

I'm fascinated by the cyclical nature of cities and neighborhoods and of families too--a lot of these folks are probably the children of parents who fled the city for the suburbs and now they're eager to raise their kids in a city and to able to walk to work. There's definitely a grass-is-greener element but I'm generally inclined to give these people the benefit of the doubt.

up
Voting closed 0

just go to Bay Ridge?

up
Voting closed 0

You had the perfect opportunity to call them "tomato-chowderheads" and didn't take advantage of it? I am disappoint.

up
Voting closed 0

You're one of them!

up
Voting closed 0

Being born somewhere only means that you put it as your place of birth on your passport.

Even if you can't ever manage to outgrow that tween/middle school clique mentality and join the grown up world.

up
Voting closed 0

I actually gave this some thought before posting and have given it some more this morning and here's my pitiful attempt at explaining how I'm not:

As the kidlet is quick to remind me: I'm no hipster. Way too old, way too set in my ways, still wear aviator-style glasses, can't wear skinny jeans, well, she could go on, but you get the idea.

I didn't move here in search of "authenticity." I'm one of those people the city now says it's desperate to retain - a graduate of a local college who decided NOT to flee the area. Our arrival on the street where we now live didn't herald an influx of authentic fair-trade coffeehouses (if anything, empirical evidence would suggest we've driven all the coffeehouses out of both Roslindale and Hyde Park, well, both of them). We didn't price several generations of native families out of their homes (in fact, we paid less for our house than the people we bought it from paid for it).

In any case, when I did establish Boston residency, Brooklyn wasn't exporting hipsters. The idea of anything in Brooklyn being considered edgy was so far removed from reality as to laugh (and to this day, my old neighborhood is right up near the top of the list of Boring Places Nobody Would Ever Have Any Reason to Visit) . Snooty Manhattanites sneered at the Bridge and Tunnel Crowd coming over from, yes, NJ, but also Brooklyn (now the shoe's on the other foot, eh, Manhattan?).

Although I will admit to being a Mets fan in my youth (or does that buttress my claim not to be a neighborhood-ruining hipster?), I have NEVER liked what the call clam chowder in New York.

Man, I'm long winded sometimes.

up
Voting closed 0

If they only called it soup and not chowder (no milk, no chowder). Oh and stopped calling it "Manhattan" when it really originated in the Portuguese communities of Rhode Island.

So, if they called it Portuguese-style clam soup, then I'd be fine with that.

up
Voting closed 0

I don't know about the Portuguese connection/variation specifically, but I've always been under the impression that RI clam "chowder" has a clear broth with no tomatoes, which distinguishes it from the Manhattan version.

up
Voting closed 0

Correct. There is a "South County Style" or Rhode Island clam chowder that is basically a simple clam soup with a clear broth that is the base before cream or tomatoes are added. Everyone's gotta be different, I guess. It's still not a chowder without the cream/thickener.

up
Voting closed 0

Most hipsters deny that they are hipsters to begin with.

Based on the amount of work you pour into this site during the day, I'll venture a guess you've managed to make maintaining a web blog your day job.

I mean, c'mon. Just come to grips with it. You're an OG hipster.

up
Voting closed 0

I prefer the term "geezster", which my son tagged us with when he realized that my husband and I "had already done this hipster stuff twenty years ago".

Now that there is crowdfunding in numbers producing breweries, cycling amenities, festival concerts, etc. we are back to all of the old that is new. Definitely been a fun couple of years hanging with our kids and these slightly older kids and their yummy beer.

Adam is probably a geezster, too - he just doesn't know it yet. We'll get him on a bike one of these days so he can wear the skinny pants.

up
Voting closed 0

I know what I am--a geezeter!! Actually, I think I might prefer "cronester." :)

up
Voting closed 0

Cronester. Oh hell yes! AARP eat my shorts!

up
Voting closed 0

They must be having "lumberjack" identity crisis.

Or they think they are in Portland, Oregon.

On a positive note, Stephen King can incorporate them into a new novel involving a mysterious man in LL Bean boots who arrives into town one day on a fixie.

up
Voting closed 0

You've been?

Hint: it ain't much like Portlandia at all - those folks get made fun of.

up
Voting closed 0

Hint: I know.

Hint: One does not need to travel somewhere to have an inquisitiveness of what goes on there and thus leads to learning.

Hint: But aside from the television show, which I watch and understand its premise, Portland, Oregon does have an unusual vibe (which is what is being made fun of in Portlandia) which may attract said hipsters from NY.

up
Voting closed 0

We are pretty expensive here too. Although we have the tech industries, but not for nothing, rents are insane.

up
Voting closed 0

I didnt read all the comments (and trolls) but this makes sense. Portland is a nice place with good places to eat, cool shops and very affordable to live. Also, hipsters dont need public transit.. they have "fixies" mannnn. (bikes). I guess thats

up
Voting closed 0

"the City" (emphasis added)

[Disclosure: I grew up in the suburbs of New York City. I have made a conscious effort, ever since I escaped, to avoid referring to New York City as "the City". This is personal preference, however, and I did it only because I thought that it reinforced one of the more negative stereotypes attributed to New Yorkers (that nothing else matters). As we know, this mindset is not unique to New York, however. I just seemed particularly silly to me, especially when standing in a place like London or Paris. On another (perhaps interesting, perhaps not) note, I always thought it funny the way that people who live in the non-Manhattan boroughs referred only to Manhattan as "the City" (at least while in the outer boroughs). Those are, I suppose, my suburban roots showing.]

More to the point, "PORTLYN" is an abomination and disgrace, and I hope that anyone caught using it is reprimanded appropriately by our brethren in the Northern Counties.

up
Voting closed 0

in the Bay Area, this phrase refers to San Francisco. I don't know if it's used for similar purposes elsewhere (such as Chicago)

up
Voting closed 0

Joe Friday works there. He carries a badge.

up
Voting closed 0

Portland is a great city. If I were a youngster in my 20's, Portland would be a place I'd like to move to.
Last time we were there, my daughter started getting the same idea.

I spent some time up there as a kid as I've family in Portland. It's not as "noisy" to me as Boston and I can see why it's lining up to be the next big thing.

up
Voting closed 0

up
Voting closed 0

I mean, he has the look, but I thought he was a Cambridge city councilor.

up
Voting closed 0

There are the Jamaica Plain types and atypical Roslindale types!

see also
http://nadeemmazen.democracyos.org/law/54f8a88cca9b4e0300309994

up
Voting closed 0