While trend forecasters have been eager to name a dessert-world successor to the cupcake, perhaps they should be looking at a map instead of inside a display case. Because if the fine folks at the Gap and Ford have anything to say about it, Brooklyn can be as easily packaged and sold as anything that comes out of an oven.
Up in Midtown, the Gap is sponsoring a holiday pop-up shop that is all about Foods Found in Brooklyn (or at least its more aggressively tattooed parts). Grub Street reports that the shop, located next door to the Fifth Avenue Gap, will sell Brooklyn Salsa, Brooklyn Brew beer-making kits, Brooklyn Brine’s salty spears, jams from Anarchy in a Jar, and chocolate from the Mast Brothers.
Meanwhile, on the pages of this week’s New Yorker, there’s a two-page Ford Edge ad that features Brooklyn Based listings editor Chrysanthe Tennentes and the (Brooklyn) trends she believes will be “sweeping the nation.” Along with “serious coffee,” “urban farming,” “trade school,” and quilts that look like maps, there is “gourmet canning.” “The new urban homesteading,” the ad informs us, “harks back to your grandparents’ days. Small-batch jams and pickled vegetables, such as McClure’s Pickles [emphasis theirs], are filling up local food enthusiasts’ cupboards.” Assuming, that is, there’s any room left over from all of the hype.
On the one hand, great! Who doesn’t want independent businesses to gain exposure and introduce their high-quality products to a wider audience? On the other: An entire borough (to say nothing of a “movement”) is now so neatly and reductively defined that it can be packaged in a car ad and used, albeit indirectly, to sell hoodies made in China. Which is, well, sad.
[Ford ad via Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 2, 2010