By Jennifer Maerz
If you're keeping track of the "Oakland is the new Brooklyn" comparisons coming at us recently, the New York Times contributed the latest piece to the growing national fascination with our sister city in its Sunday paper. "Oakland: Brooklyn by the Bay" was the main feature in yesterday's Fashion & Style section (although it ran online earlier) and a decent read, although I'm curious to hear the feedback from locals, as any trend piece about the Bay Area automatically incites a collective cringe. Among the Oakland issues discussed was the number of Brooklyn-Oakland comparisons that've been made already. From the Times:
Style.com recently published an article on Temescal Alley and pronounced it “Williamsburg-esque.” Last year, VegNews, a vegan-oriented website, ran a travel article titled “11 Reasons Why Oakland Is the New Brooklyn,” calling it “the new vegan mecca.” And in an interview with National Journal, the mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan, citing the city’s thriving arts and food scenes, proclaimed, “We’re a little bit like Brooklyn.” (Even HBO has jumped on the bandwagon, setting “Looking” — the gay man’s answer to “Girls” — partly in Oakland.)
The writer talks about the food, the growing tech scene, the local pride from groups like Oaklandish (which just opened a new store, Oakland Supply Co., in Jack London Square on Saturday), and the growing disdain for hipsters – most notably, the "Kill a Hipster" video by Watsky.
The clip was created in collaboration with poet and screenplay writer Chinaka Hodge, who, the Times article notes, splits her time between Oakland and Los Angeles but is still worried about her hometown becoming unrecognizable.
Her concern obviously isn't unfounded. A recent study by real estate data site Trulia put Oakland at the #1 fastest-moving housing market in the country, a place where only 29% of the homes listed two months earlier are still available. That means more East Bay transplants, zombies and otherwise, are on their way over. And speaking of housing, the New York Times Magazine had a good little piece about San Francisco's housing crunch, and a solution that involves building skyward like Singapore.
Image from "Kill a Hipster"