Not that I wouldn't take a decently priced Williamsburg apartment if it fell into my lap. Come on, you could rent an entire second apartment from the potential Airbnb profits alone. But I also probably wouldn't tell people my apartment in say, Bed-Stuy or Fort Greene was some kind of offshoot of Williamsburg (or even that my actual apartment far out along the JMZ is in some way "East Williamsburg.") This, I guess, is where Craigslist and I part ways.
And, I mean, I didn't jump into a search of no-fee Craigslist apartments expecting not to have to sift through a bunch of totally preposterous garbage. It's sort of what you get when you need to find a new apartment and aren't in the position to throw money at the problem and hire a broker. What I didn't really expect was that as I moved my search further into Bed-Stuy, people would still be trying their hardest to lay claim to some of that Williamsburg money. And also, to convince renters that Bed-Stuy doesn't actually exist at all.
Mostly, it all seems like sort of a mean ruse set up to trick Pratt students who are trying to find apartments in Clinton Hill sight-unseen, given how much realtors seem to like claiming proximity to the G train makes their apartment in the area "Williamsburg adjacent." That, or just splitting the difference on a Bed-Stuy apartment and naming it after its two bordering neighborhoods, Clinton Hill and Bushwick (or East Williamsburg, as opposed to "Prime Williamsburg," which is also pretty popular).
Then there are apartments like these two, which are actually located at the exact same corner of Kosciuszko and Throop in Bed-Stuy, but whose owners have opted to market them under fictional hybrid neighborhood names "Williamsburg-Clinton Hill" or "Stuy Heights" instead.
Just naming almost every single neighborhood in North Brooklyn works, too:
But, maybe that's an unfair sampling. There are a lot of made up neighborhoods on Craigslist (see above), and anyway, the tide seems to be turning a little in favor of scrapping the Williamsburg thing and just saying everything in Brooklyn that isn't immediately surrounding the Bedford stop is Bushwick. Like this place in a pretty desirable, expensive part of South Williamsburg, which is being shopped around as Bushwick instead:
Or in some cases, brutal honesty?
I don't know, Craigslist has always been a dark place, and people do what they need to do to make money. It'd just be sort of nice if Bed-Stuy continued to exist as-is. And also, if I never, ever had to go through this process again.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.