Brooklyn’s Reputation Unto Its Own

July 28, 2012

Brooklyn’s Reputation Unto Its Own

Everywhere I turn, someone is moving to Brooklyn or talking about moving to Brooklyn. Talk about a borough whose reputation has come into its own. I moved here right after college when it was not considered the coolest place to live. It had a very mixed reputation and yes, I had heard of the reference to “crooklyn.” The most frustrating part at the time was that taxis did not like taking me home from Manhattan. 
But we did not care. We thought that if Norman Mailer could live here, why not us. Now that Martin Amis, Paul Auster, Jhumpa Lahiri and  Jonathan Safran Foer are all here, it’s even cooler. (see the funny photo below)

Little did I anticipate how Brooklyn’s reputation would mature to the point that it is considered the “hot” borough. We used to joke that when our kids applied to college, they would get special attention because we were from Brooklyn.When I travel in Europe or Asia now, I often see people wearing Brooklyn hoodies. Down the street, someone from Iceland is renting an apartment and he told me how jealous his friends back home are that he lives in Brooklyn.

A few weeks ago, I read an article about a successful food truck in Paris that had lines snaking around the block. The article says:

But in Paris, American food is suddenly being seen as more than just restauration rapide. Among young Parisians, there is currently no greater praise for cuisine than “très Brooklyn,” a term that signifies a particularly cool combination of informality, creativity and quality.

Barely a day goes by without an article about its artisanal food, restaurants, artists and writers.  I recently came across this article in the U.K’s Guardian (great publication) about why Brooklyn is a mecca for writers. Although it took many years to build its reputation, it arrived. I just love it. That’s the reason I have the Brooklyn Bridge photo on my blog’s homepage. It’s home to me before being cool mattered.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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