Greenpoint vs. Alphabet City

The Brooklyn neighborhood is more small town than hipster, while the Lower East Side “city” is bohemian chic.

New York – Walking down Graham Avenue in Brooklyn during brunch hours is quite similar to the pre-lunch scene on Avenues A,B, or C in Manhattan. Ages range from stroller to walker, but the majority are twenty somethings. There is more ethnic diversity in Alphabet City, partly due to gentrification and the large income-restricted co-ops and rental buildings, while Greenpoint is very caucasian. The ratio of women to men is pretty even in both neighborhoods, and there are a lot of young couples (9 spotted in Greenpoint and 11 spotted in Alphabet City, in less than two hours).

Photo: Libby Vander Ploeg

Speaking of couples, the more settled ones are in Greenpoint. The neighborhood just below Long Island City is quiet and quaint; the perfect place to start a family or at least start thinking about one. PS 110 Monitor School sits on the edge of Monsignor McGolrick Park. This is the place for serious pairs who have probably just tied the knot and are now figuring out life. By Driggs Avenue, a couple climbed out of a car and maneuvered a large piece of furniture out onto the street. While on Avenue C, an awkward first date took place over dinner at a trendy Brazilian restaurant, and a girl spilled out of the same establishment more than buzzed before 9pm. Models, or model types, are on corners smoking cigarettes and talking to men with accents. Alphabet City is definitely the more trendsetting of the two areas; Greenpoint is more where trends dissipate (six people were wearing Birkenstocks).

The most interesting outfit I saw in Greenpoint was worn by a young woman with pastel hair. She had white Rihanna x PUMA fur slides and a Hood by Air cropped hoodie. She looked like she belonged in Downtown Manhattan rather than sleepy Greenpoint. Her athleisure did not match the quirky coffee shops. Also, A good majority of people in this neighborhood decide to make flip-flops an acceptable footwear choice for public appearances (4 pairs in Alphabet City vs 18 in Greenpoint). While in Alphabet City, on-trend women are sporting mules; however, none have been Alberta Ferretti.

In my opinion, Greenpoint is where hipsters grow up. Trends don’t immediately reach this part of Brooklyn, so people don’t try to go out of their way to dress differently. The fashion industry has little to no weight here, people are too busy trying to figure out their lives to worry about how they dress, so they dress conveniently. Alphabet City is in Manhattan; therefore, it is associated with style. In the East Village, it is still about bohemian chic. People try too look like they have effortless style. No one is too put together.

Featured Image: Neave Bozorgi

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