Thursday, July 19, 2007

Barre the ‘new Brooklyn’

Seven Days, the state's free Burlington based independent weekly (with the second highest circulation in state) has just printed a suite of articles focusing on my fair City of Barre. The 6 articles explore our divisive Mayor, burgeoning food scene, established art culture, and more. Each article describes the downtown as being in the middle of a renaissance, comeback, resurgence, upswing, etc.

Living and working within the City I have no doubt this to be true. We are certainly experiencing some exciting changes, many of which were left unmentioned, such as the redevelopment of nearly all of the downtown's public spaces, public garden activities, and a community-wide project focusing on the establishment of an expansive passive recreation area. But one quote from the the Director of the City's gallery and art education space ticked me off: "Some people,” she claims, “are calling Barre the ‘new Brooklyn.’”

WTF? I thought Queens was the new Brooklyn, or was it Nashville? Maybe Bellevue is the new Brooklyn? Even New Haven's Whitney Avenue might be the new Brooklyn, but Barre? I know it's a figure of speech, a snowclone, if you will, ala pink is the new black (my favorite: Gay cowboys are now the new penguins), but that's just absurd. The City is finally experiencing a prideful, happy, and exciting moment of self-created positive change and quotes like ...the new Brooklyn are being dropped that do nothing but water down, distract and distort reality. I know it's intended to help, but it sets a trap for a resurgence that is very much in its infancy. It's easy to impress when expectations are low, but it's pretty daunting to bring a prideful face to the region, let alone the world, when being compared to the fourth largest city in the U.S. - bigger than San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta and St. Louis combined.

At least wait until there's something greater then a historic Jackson Browne visit. Or let us have more then classic rock cover band Native Tongue to call our own!

As a reward for making it through my diatribe, here's a remix of the Beastie Boys' Hello Brooklyn from Awesome: I Fucking Shot That!, originally found on the essential Paul's Boutique


"The New Casey" said...

Oh Vermont. So stuck on yourself, so adorably clueless.

Flatlander said...

Does this mean that Montpelier is the 'new Manhattan'?