Despite appearances, Williamsburg is a bit gritty, looks like East Berlin in the right light. Additionally, houses with vinyl siding give Billburg a working-class feel.
Comparatively, the late 80s was no golden age. Streets of the East Village and Lower East Side were littered with needles and crack vials (in the Bronx, with bullet casings). It was an era of libertine excess. The presence of gentrifiers, who attract police protection, lowered the body count. Now it is hopeless, a desolate high rent district marred by Frank Gehry’s melting monstrosity. Only the art star scene clings to life there.
Williamsburg was a refuge from the universal march of commodification in Manhattan, and still retains its less than posh character despite the influx of trust funders with liberal arts degrees. Unlike the EV/LES, the Billburg hipster scene is low key, understated. Its addictions to free wifi, lattes brewed and poured with artisanal care, and American Spirits are preferable to crack rock and concealed glocks. Not every woman there is a Hannah Horvath.