A month ago the New York Times wrote about a new term that was being tossed around by Parisians now that food trucks had come to town. I know, I know — food trucks in Paris! Mon dieu! The term, in case you missed the article, was “très Brooklyn” and apparently it’s being used to describe “particularly cool combination of informality, creativity and quality.” I rolled my eyes, then moved on with my day.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Brooklyn. If I had the necessary millions to buy a place, I would buy a place in Brooklyn. But since I do not and I refuse to move until I buy something, I’m staying put in the East Village for now. I just thought it was funny that a city known for its impeccable cuisine was referencing one of the five boroughs of New York City. What’s next? “Très Staten Island” for guys who use too much hair product and think it appropriate to parade around the Lower East Side on a Friday night donning a pukka necklace and fist pumping for no apparent reason? I really hope not.
But then the other day I was Skyping with a friend in Paris who dropped the phrase “très Brooklyn” not once but twice in regards to two different restaurants. Her definition being that these two particular places had food similar to what you’d find in Williamsburg or Bushwick. I pointed out that she had never been to either of those neighborhoods, but she stuck to her guns and would not find another adjective. How else was one supposed to describe something that was “very Brooklyn?” I wasn’t going to argue. I knew it would just make me hungry so we talked about music instead.
Then this morning I was talking to a friend who lives in San Francisco and she described a restaurant she wants to take me to when I visit as “very Brooklyn.” Since she used to live in Brooklyn Heights, I asked her if that was just her way of explaining a place that reminded her of her former home or if it was a thing now that people were saying. Well, low and behold, it’s a thing out there, too, and even for those who don’t truly know what it means because they’ve never been to Brooklyn.
Are these two friends of mine just being pretentious or do you have a place in your city that you refer to as “very Brooklyn,” too? More importantly, should I be dropping this term about restaurants that are just on the Manhattan side of Williamsburg bridge so I can seem sophisticated and knowledgeable about food? Of course, I ask this while I take a sip of my Starbucks iced coffee which is definitely “très Brooklyn” because I put soy in it.
Photo: Flickr/Karen Blumberg