A check list for Upstate Place/Rust Belt City is the new Brooklyn articles

snowy hudson river troy from hedley 2014-02-14

How about Troy as the new... Troy.

The "Upstate Place/Rust Belt City is the new Brooklyn"/"People are moving from New York to Upstate Place/Rust Belt City" has become its own distinct genre of article. And it's durable, persisting over many years (here's one from 2008 and one from this week).

Some of these articles aren't bad -- they capture some of the complications and nuances of these cities trying to grow again while attracting new people and attempting to provide opportunities for the people who've lived there for years.

Others are just irritating, in that all these diverse places end up being defined in reference to Brooklyn. The praise delivered often has a faintly condescending tone. And the problems inherent in these cities' growth is glossed over.

Of course, many of the articles fall somewhere in between.

Because we're here to help, we've put together an outline of "(Upstate Place/Rust Belt City) is the new Brooklyn" article cliches/themes/references. Think of it as a sort of check list...

❑ (This Place) is The New Brooklyn.

❑ It's so cheap compared to New York.

❑ And it's post-industrial. This was a factory!

❑ No, seriously, guys, like, it is so cheap. They're practically (or literally) giving away properties.

❑ Aren't you envious at how little these people are paying for this palatial apartment here?

❑ This undiscovered country (that's so cheap!) is attracting urban pioneers and homesteaders.

❑ Some of these people grew up here. They're re-pioneering.

❑ The Creative Class.

❑ Artists.

❑ Some of these people moved here from Brooklyn. By choice. It's true.

❑ Many of these people are Millenials. And Hipsters. They're Millenial Hipsters and Hipster Millenials.

❑ Thanks to these pioneers, you can now get that thing that you can't live without after living in New York. Twice-sprouted, hand-milled, gluten-free bread. Brussels sprouts served five ways. Pretentious ramen. $10 coffee.

❑ Vague allusion to problems and complications prompted by gentrification.

❑ Look, there's a spunky local brewery that makes reference to some aspect of this place's history.

❑ Farm to table.

❑ A curated selection of urban livestock.

❑ They even have an arts scene here. And it's so cheap. The people here don't appreciate how cheap it is.

❑ Guys, it's not just The New Brooklyn, it bears a real similarity to specific Brooklyn neighborhoods.

❑ Behold the status we have conferred on this place by paying attention to it.

❑ By the way, there were people living here prior to the all the urban homesteading and pioneering.

❑ Quote from the mayor.

❑ Quote from local media person, preferably someone who runs a blog.

❑ The people who already lived here love it so much. They have moxie. That's so cute.

❑ Glossing over the fundamental economic and social problems that contributed to the state of this place, like the evaporation of many solid middle class jobs.

❑ No mention that an entire local economy can't be built on expensive coffee shops.

❑ But prices are rising.

❑ So you probably should have written your farewell-to-New York thinkpiece a few years back. Because you've missed out on the truly, obscenely, unbelievably great real estate deals here.


When anyone says that about Troy, I feel that Troy dies a little inside.

Cohoes is the new Troy.

Bullseye. Absolutely perfect.

"The Creative Class" makes me want to gag. It's so snotty and superior.

Ha! Condescending is the perfect word for it.

"No mention that an entire local economy can't be built on expensive coffee shops."


I love Troy, and miss it. But yeah.

I graduated from High School in the late 90s. Some of my friends moved to NYC. Then, some of them eventually left to move somewhere else. They all had different reasons for doing so.

It seems silly that stories of people moving from one place to another are news-worthy. Or that people moving from one particular place to another place, somehow gives that other place more worth.

That said, this list is golden.

I equate these articles to ones you'll see in the NY Times travel section:

"Why go to Paris when, for half the price, you could live like a king in Belize!"

The comparison isn't exactly flattering.

All of these articles make me stabby. I don't think the condescending tone is so faint. It's more like, "Isn't it amazing that people managed to live in this uncultured place before we discovered it and caused a demand for artisanal cheese?"

And especially the "behold the status we have conveyed" . . . .

Bravo! Brava!

You nailed it.

There is also usually a paragraph about how moving to upstate Nowheresville is not always easy. "While Edison and Clementine find the local goat cheese spectacular, they must depend on their old friends from Brooklyn to bring them the cave-aged raw Gruyère they still crave.

Sometimes I forget that this site isn't reddit, so I can't upvote!

Also, backyard chickens.

We did move here from Brooklyn. It took me about three months to learn to live without saffron infused gin from France and then eventually Empire Wine and Liquors got it, and I had forgotten about it. Kind of like brussel sprouts 5 ways... maybe cool, but easy to forget, and not really the type of thing that fully characterizes life in a certain place.

perfect. just perfect.

the poor people who lived here before it was "discovered" and it was the only place they could afford now can't afford to live here anymore.

grew up in Chatham over 30 years ago..there were snobs then

I love this list and I laughed so hard at the picture they used in the article this week from the Gothamist. When I think of living like a king I think of trekking out to the chicken coop in Upstate winter wearing a giant acid washed coat and rubber boots. haha

Oh my! In upstate they MAKE THEIR OWN SNOWBALLS!
(Just read the gothamist story. The author, really, is amazed by someone making a snowball!)

carpet baggers in full effect

They think THIS is upstate??

I moved to Albany from real upstate 35 years ago. I chose Albany from a few options including the NYC metro area because for me it was in the Goldilocks zone- not too big, not too small, just right.

I still think so.

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