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March 29, 2005

Due respect, but...

Why is Ezra hatin' on my beloved Brooklyn?

So far as I can tell, from a fair number of visits and a large number of friends, the Chi-town/NY mystique is entirely an invention of hardship. Unable to compete with the massively enjoyable lifestyle offered by California, they've fallen back on some ephemeral claim to sophistication and worldliness (though, so far as I know, Chicago isn't very sophisticated, and nor is Brooklyn). But Manhattan, which is what everyone thinks of when they call New York to mind, could fit in LA's back pocket. We could set it between Sunset's club strip and the Hollywood Bowl, a little to the left of the Disney Center, and let it hang out there. Would anyone even notice?

If Manhattan is to be moved to sunny California, I demand that Brooklyn be relocated as well (perhaps as part of some urban witness protection program). If Manhattan and Brooklyn decamp, large hip swathes of Queens and the Bronx may also need to be relocated for their own safety.

New Jersey can keep Staten Island.


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there is a call out to all the blogs. I found this and i think its a fine idea. filablogging!!!

It's Time to Begin the Filiblog!!
Senator Bill Frist is sitting on his nuclear option. The filibuster is in danger. Right now, the future of the filibuster rests in the hands of a few Senators--and, of course, US.

Because after all, THEY WORK FOR US. So no matter who you voted for, or what your persuasions are--take the time to think about this issue. Really think. Do you want checks and balances? Do you want discussion of judgeships? Or are you thinking that it is a good thing to rush appointments to the Federal bench through without much discussion?

The Democracy Cell Project is inviting all other blogs to begin what we are pleased to introduce as the FILIBLOG.


We are calling out to all of you, become filiblogsters by contacting the Senate and let them know how you feel about using the nuclear option in the confirming of judges. If the filibuster is to survive, the time to filiblog is now. Phone, fax, and e-mail your concerns and comments.

Senator Bill Frist
509 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington D. C. 20510
202-228-1264 (fax)
In Nashville
615-352-9985 (fax)

You can start with Senator Frist and keep the filiblog going by contacting your own senators:


Actually, I love Brooklyn and hate Manhattan. Sophisticated, to me, is an insult.

Ezra, come see us anytime. We'll show you a good time in Brooklyn. I won't prejudge whether it will be sophisticated, but it'll be fun.

Sophisticated, to me, is an insult.

Yo, why din't you say so, son?

Ok, I can go along with moving Manhattan. My rent in Jersey City will go down. :-)

(ignoring the Staten Island comment)

A friend of mine who lives in Cobble Hill showed me an article she'd seen in a London paper over a year ago about the Smith Street scene.

And that's not hip?

Mathias, I lived in JC 5 years ago and can't believe how it's gentrified. When I moved in 7 years ago, in the Hamilton Park area, we had a crackhouse down the street. I keep kicking myself for not buying a house when I could have gotten one for under 100K.

We had in our house, when I was growing up, a book called "The Beach Book," edited by somebody named Gloria Steinem and with a preface, as I recall, by John Kenneth Galbraith, and it was all fun and games and timed readings as you acquired your tan. The games included one called "The Sophistication Circle" - examples of the period were given, but just to get a new one started:

TO Tom DeLay, Benito Mussolini is sophisticated
TO Benito Mussolini, Eleanora Duse is sophisticated
TO Duse, Greta Garbo is sophisticated
TO Garbo, Cecil Beaton is sophisticated
TO Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon is sophisticated
and so on.....

kind of like the Kevin Bacon game, with more amplitude. Some cockroach would end up finding Tom DeLay sophisticated, but we'll let that pass.

Besides, when real estate and rents get too high, sophistication always moves elsewhere - yay Brooklyn, yay Queens - pick your targets!

Brooklyn is, of course, the actually most New York-ish of New York boroughs, Manhattan being the theme park we set out to impress the Ezra Kleins of the world.

I hadn't realized that Majikthise was a Brooklynite, but I can't say I'm surprised. That masthead picture is nothing if not local attitude. (Signed, Sunset Park.)

Excuse me, excuse me people.

Manhattan skyline and left coast continental fault line don't jibe together.

earthquake remember?

Plus black looks rediculous in LA daytime. where is in downtown, one can wear black all year long.

So, no. I rather move manhattan to Norway or greenland. Imagine the extended party time during winter nite. :D

Everybody knows that Queens is where it's at! :P

Since I'm in the middle of the country, about as far away from either place as you can get, I shouldn't take sides and should instead praise the big skies and flat, endless emptiness of the rural prairies...

But nah. I've been to LA and hated it. NY might fit in LA's back pocket, but that's only because everything is so wastefully sprawled out. If they were both timepieces, NY is a dense, compact, old-fashioned pocket watch; LA is a clumsy model of stonehenge built out of junked cars.

I agree with PZ. San Fransisco, I'll give Ezra, but climate or no New York is a far better place to live than LA.

scott and PZ are right. LA is a hell-hole. i've been to most major cities in the u.s., and lived in 7 of them. LA is the only one i really can't stand

I'd love to visit New York. I live in London, rank Tokyo and Paris as the other great world cities, but never made it to NYC; sadly, with your stupid new immigration rules, I prolly never will.

In my whole life I've been about eight days in NYC and four in LA, but from these brief visits I can tell that Ezra is very wrong. Sure, Manhattan can fit in LA's back pocket, but that's its entire idea: instead of an endless sprawling maze, Manhattan is a place small enough I can get around in it better than in the city I live in. LA looks like a village copied a thousand times more than like a real city. I haven't been in Brooklyn so I can't judge it, unfortunately. One thing I will grant LA, however, is that it's better than London, which looks like it was liberated from communism yesterday. San Francisco's nice, though.

Los Angeles is not a city, it's a five-block downtown surrounded by slums and suburbs.

Anyone who thinks Brooklyn isn't sophisticated hasn't been there in the last ten years. Since everyone who's not an investment banker or trustafarian is priced out of Manhattan, more and more of the interesting people now live in Brooklyn and Queens, and the nightlife and creative scenes reflect that. Meanwhile formerly hip Manhattan neighborhoods increasingly resemble suburban malls, and Manhattan nightlife is mostly focused on cheesy overpriced clubs for the Bridge and Tunnel crowd.

I grew up on Staten Island, and it could sink into the ocean for all I care.

"One thing I will grant LA, however, is that it's better than London, which looks like it was liberated from communism yesterday."

Bollocks to you! We like it that way. Better than the hermetic and at the same time savage environment of LA.

"M.A.B. it's a big horse I'm a Londoner..."

Ahhh the Bridge and Tunnel crowd. Makes ya wanna watch some Kevin Smith films, don'it?

Queens REPRESENT, yo. Born and raised. NYC, of course, wollops LA. And Brooklyn... well... where else can you attend a high school girl's birthday party that gets invaded and attacked by mafia thugs? (True story. Good times. heh)

Actually, speaking as a New Yorker who loves London, I'd live in LA before I'd live in the city of San Francisco again.

LA, for all its faults, is a world city. Large chunks of it may look like Satan's suburbs, but amazingly cosmopolitan things are happening behind those endless strip-mall storefronts. San Francisco is a provincial center that badly needs to get over itself.

No love for Chicago? Got us some of them art museums, plus a whole big symphony too. Plus black clothing and a small inland sea.

"But Manhattan, which is what everyone thinks of when they call New York to mind, could fit in LA's back pocket. "

Sounds like LA has a big fat ass.

Being from Philadelphia, it is required that I hate New York, but I hate it like a brother. LA, ewwww (shudder).

As a Manhattanite (transplanted from Philly, yo Njorl!) who's engaged in some vague co-op shopping related activities lately, with the hope of moving in the next couple of years, I can testify that Queens is the new frontier. The "nice" neighborhoods of Brooklyn are simply prohibitively expensive; the best parts of Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights are pretty much at Upper West Side prices now, and still rising. Every realtor we've spoken to in Queens has talked about the hordes of Brooklynites moving north for more space and better access to Manhattan.

I can testify that Queens is the new frontier.

Well, all the jazz musicians have been living in Astoria for years now.

[However, this has not led to a rash of jazz clubs opening in Astoria.]

Well, all the jazz musicians have been living in Astoria for years now. [However, this has not led to a rash of jazz clubs opening in Astoria.]

An important distinction. But I think it could happen. As Williamsburg gets ever more gentrified it's kinda fun to speculate in what part of Queens a new hipster enclave would be most likely to spring up. Between Astoria, Jackson Heights, Woodside, Sunnyside, Elmhurst, etc., there's no shortage of candidates.

What about Long Island City? We almost ended up there.

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