Brooklyn has recently been drawing literary agents and basketball teams to its friendly confines. The Nets won’t be called the New York Nets, they’re going to be the Brooklyn Nets. Last night I met a biker from Denver on my way home and welcomed him, telling him that this is the best city in the world (I meant Brooklyn, nothing against Manhattan). That said, is it fair to treat Brooklyn as its own city?
Oakland and San Franscisco, Baltimore and DC, Brooklyn and New York –can we put the last pair in this group? Until 1898 Brooklyn was its own city. The Economist calls it Manhattan’s Left Bank, but for the past decade Brooklyn has regained its status as a city worth living in. The development of North Brooklyn especially has added to this, as Williamsburg has taken Manhattan’s Lower East Side and East Village spillover, and reclaimed the young artists and creatives as their own.
Part of this is due to the increased safety of the city – downtown Manhattan is no longer “rough;” unless you live in deep Bushwick, you don’t have to worry about walking home late at night. So I’m advocating Brooklyn not just as a sister city, but as it’s own city. Manhattanites have to really just how uncool it would be if it didn’t have the creative center of the universe a mile away. After all, with almost 2.5 million people, Brooklyn would be the sixth largest city in the country on its own. That’s pretty cool.