Starbucks is Opening in Wiliamsburg and I am That Hipster Complaining About It

Starbucks Coffee on Union Avenue

Starbucks Coffee on Union Avenue

July 22, 2014

While I was walking along Union Ave with Lucy, right after we both noticed the about-to-open abomination in the village, a reporter approached from it and started asking questions.

Lucy was smart enough to decline to comment. I couldn't keep my mouth shut. And then I became that hipster complaining about the first Starbucks opening in Williamsburg in a Wall Street Journal article, in which they WSJ linked to my Facebook profile. I should have followed Lucy's lead. 

"The neighborhood's over," said former Williamsburg resident Nate Boguszewski, 34, who now lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant...

"It's like we lost sight of our mission" as a neighborhood, he said.

Well, yeah. I did say that, but that's not all I said. Or not what I was trying to say. I was trying to say we had mission drift. I did say that too. 

What the reporter quoted was merely part of an in-progress thought. One in which I was looking for that specific, definitive-for-this-situation "mission drift" phrase. 

"It's like we lost sight of our mission. What do they call that? Mission drift. We have mission drift."

Out of sight of the reporter, Lucy high fived me for saying this, so I'm pretty sure I really did say it. Additionally, I didn't say the neigborhood's over, I said "the neighborhood's been over," because I knew any reporter working a story on a Starbucks in Williamsburg would be obviously ooking for that stereotypical hipster quip to turn a person into a character for her piece. I couldn't possibly say that phrase because it's voiced internallly and eternally by Bill Paxton in my head. 

I should have known any part of what I'd said would be quotable, not only the bits where I thought I sounded clever. I should have known because this what politicians always complain about, getting their message misconstrued when the wrong soundbites get circulated? We say "gotcha" and they say "my words have been taken out of context" and we ignore that and repeat: "gotcha." 

I should have known better. I ended up sounding like a moron, an asshole. At best, the WSJ made me a cliche, like they'll do with Brooklyn, like Brooklyn is now. Gothamist ran with the idea.

They responded to the WSJ article with their own piece that, I think, is entirely about me.

"It's easy to roll your eyes at that former Williamsburg resident who lamented the neighborhood losing sight of its "mission," but we get what he's saying."


Even though that piece starts off with mockery, it ends with the writer coming around.

The WSJ didn't publish what I was trying to say. Gothamist at least, after the mockery, conceeded to agree with the intent of my lament. 

Share this