I just want to make clear, right from the start, that I don't think Brooklyn is the worst place ever. I love Brooklyn. I am not saying that it is definitely the best place ever, but that is only because I'm trying to rein in my hyperbolic tendencies. It is, though, an amazing place. However, after I read a piece in Vice called "Reasons Why Los Angeles Is the Worst Place Ever" and smugly found myself agreeing with the points the author was making about how terrible LA is, I realized that basically all of the reasons why LA is so terrible might also be why people would think Brooklyn is so terrible. So, rather than wait for someone who actually hates Brooklyn—not that I've met such a person but we all know they're out there—to write this list, I decided to do it myself. And I decided to use the exact same reasons that were offered up in Vice because they totally still apply.
There Is Danger Everywhere
This is true. New York City is the kind of place where everybody is in wild disbelief when a 24-hour period passes without anyone being violently attacked. And Brooklyn in particular has seen a rise of robberies in Prospect Park. Prospect Park! Where people are supposed to be able to relax. Danger, as I said, is everywhere. And, of course, there's also danger of the natural disaster kind, as we saw in October with Hurricane Sandy. Plus, we get earthquakes! Many geologists have predicted that the next Big One could actually take place on the East Coast. The last major East Coast earthquake (a 5.3 on the Richter Scale, in 1884) had an epicenter right off the coast of Brooklyn. Bottom line? Be afraid. Be very afraid.
It's Impossible to Have a Normal Night Out
Now, while Brooklyn actually has a much deserved reputation for being a great place to go out at night, I personally feel that it's actually kind of impossible to have a "normal" night out. I mean, weekends? They're ruined. The streets and bars and restaurants and music venues are flooded by assholes from Manhattan. And even during the week everywhere worth going is over-crowded and over-hyped and the only way to have a good, normal night is to stay home with your friends and a few bottles of bourbon. Which, fine. That's a great way to spend the night, but it's not contingent on being in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is now so cool or whatever, that it has become IMPOSSIBLE to have a normal night out. This sucks.
There Is Hippy Bullshit Absolutely Everywhere
I remember a time when my grocery store in Clinton Hill—a very dirty and rundown Associated—didn't carry any organic products. The year was 2001 and I didn't care about organic milk or free-range eggs. Well, times have sure fucking changed. Now every single corner store has not only organic milk, but almond milk. Like, as a staple! That's some serious hippy bullshit. People in Williamsburg and Bushwick keep roosters as pets. There are rooftop apiaries. What the fuck? Brooklyn used to be a gritty borough where toxic soil was the norm. Now everyone has a backyard garden and the Park Slope Co-op is the hardest club to get into. Everyone wants to be a hippy. What has happened to us? What Kool-Aid are we drinking? I don't know, but it's probably dye-free and made with agave instead of sugar.
There Are Too Many Different Extreme Sports
I consider riding a bike on Flatbush Avenue an extreme sport, and am shocked that so many people do it. What's the appeal? Death? No matter how many roosters your neighbors keep, death should still not be an option. Well, even taking roosters out of the equation, Brooklyn has become the home of a weird subculture of people who like extreme sports, like surfing in the frigid waters off the Rockaways. And, yes, I know the Rockaways are in Queens, but many of the people who take to the waves out there are indeed from Brooklyn. I've also seen a lot of people on unicycles in Prospect Park. This is extreme. There are other words for adults on unicycles, but I will stick with extreme so as not to offend anyone. I don't know. Don't we all live in the city so that we don't have to do anything physical? Isn't that the point? We don't want to commune with nature or be in touch with our bodies? Could I possibly have it all wrong? I guess I probably do, because there are so many Brooklynites who engage in really extreme physical activities that I must be missing something. But that's okay. I'd rather just stick to my form of exercise, otherwise known as "sprinting down the platform for the G train."
There Are Broken Dreams Everywhere You Look
If I have to hear one more person tell me that they are a "freelance writer" my heart will break in a million pieces. In Los Angeles, everyone might be an aspiring actor, but in Brooklyn they're all aspiring writers. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I was once an aspiring writer too. Keep trying, aspiring writers! One day, you too can write about cocktails with severed toes in them and make list after list of things that people may or may not want to read about but will certainly comment on, if only to tell you you're an asshole. But, you know, live your dream! Be your best self! Anyway. Yeah. You can pretty much smell the desperation in the air here in Brooklyn. I don't think I'd bottle it.
The Restaurants Are So Pretentious It's Like a Joke From a Really Unfunny Movie Making Fun Of Brooklyn
While we don't have anything quite as bad as LA's Cafe Gratitude here, where you have to order dishes with names like "I Am Beautiful" when all you want is some hummus, sometimes the Brooklyn restaurant scene can seem like a parody of itself. After all, does anyone really care where the lettuce they're eating comes from? This isn't Portland. We can't ever let ourselves be Portland. And the fact that people will wait on two-hour long lines just to get into the newest foodie haven? That's the most ridiculous bullshit ever. Nothing is that good. There is always somewhere else to go. Stop debasing yourself just so that you can say you ate at Pok Pok Ny. Have you no shame, Brooklyn?
David Spade Has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Well, okay. This is one way that LA is the worst place ever. That is pure Los Angeles right there. I'm kind of speechless.
People Think Improv Comedy Is Funny
This is totally true! Although I think this is more of a Manhattan thing than a Brooklyn thing. I will say that some of my best friends do improv and they are amazing people. And Amy Poehler. She does improv and she is the greatest. But also, many of the worst people in the world do improv. They ruin parties by going up to you and saying things like "You know what you did" and then staring at you intensely even though they don't know you and it's just such a mood killer and that's my own personal experience speaking there but I can't be the only one. Ugh.
Nobody Will Ever Tell You What Their Job Is
Yeah, this is sort of related to the whole broken dreams situation. People always have about twelve different jobs. And they only emphasize the job that they feel best defines them or something. Which is a very Brooklyn thing, being defined by your job, rather than, I don't know, your personality. There's no shame in being a bartender. It's not like working in private equities. There's some shame in that. A lot, actually.
Everyone Is Scared of Scientology
Another one that doesn't really apply to Brooklyn. I mean, maybe everyone is scared of the Jehovah's Witness Watchtower building? Hmmm...no. I work right by it and I'm not scared. So, yeah. Brooklyn comes out on top on this category at least.
Brooklyn Might Be the Worst Place Ever, But I Still Love It
I guess, in conclusion, it is really easy to hate something if you're really determined to do so. In fact, you don't even need to come up with original reasons to hate something! You can just plug your hatred into pre-existing reasons. I don't think Brooklyn is the worst place ever, nor do I think it's perfect, but I'm glad that I got all of that Brooklyn negativity out of my system. And maybe someone will read this post and decide that Brooklyn really is the worst place ever and stay the fuck away. And I'd be fine with that. Really. Because the one thing that is really annoying about Brooklyn is how many people from Manhattan and LA come to visit it. So, yeah, Brooklyn sucks. Stay the hell away.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen