Data-less Trend Story of the Year
Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 10 years ago, in 2013, on the World Wide Web.
I know, it’s early, but I feel like this one is going to be hard to top. Last week, in the pages of the New York Times, we learn, from a completely impressionistic, completely dataless smattering of interviews that some vaguely-defined mass of
hipsters from Brooklyn
are starting to ponder the unthinkable: a move to the suburbs, and beginning an as-yet completely undocumented
mass exodus from Brooklyn Now if you read through the story you will find that this reporting is based on a series of interviews with a handful of married couples, several of them with young children and almost all of them in their late thirties, punctuated in the middle by an interview with a professional realtor who has a direct financial and self-promotional interest in talking up the trend. Now of course neighborhoods and boroughs are constantly changing and it’s perfectly possible that something interesting is really systematically going on — actually there are a few different interesting things that might be systematically going on. Or it might be nothing. In either case this would certainly be an interesting topic to get some systematic data on.
However, what we get from the New York Times is, instead, a colorfully illustrated discussion of the stunning news that when a subcultural demographic was partly identified and defined by the fact that they are young, then eventually they will get old. And when they get older — especially once they get into their mid- to late-30s, and especially if they get married and have kids — then many of them will move out of the big city and into the suburbs. And when people of a particular age reach the particular age where some of them start moving to the suburbs, it turns out that those who do take their fashions and their market niches with them.
Also, this reporter has discovered that people who are now in their late 30s and raising children find the city they’re living in
no longer feels as carefree as it did when they were young, unattached, and had fewer responsibilities.
I am sure that the bakery with the bird silhouettes is really quite cute.
- The theory of the article is that gentrifying hipsters and artistes are now being driven out of Brooklyn by the real-estate prices they helped to drive up. Maybe. Or maybe not. This is the sort of thing you’d want to collect data on.↩
- In the absence of any data, of course, we have no idea how many people are moving out, and no idea how many people, with what sorts of backgrounds, are or are not moving in to replace them.↩
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