Additional Trolling Fail

In my amusement over the “Wittgensteinian village” silliness, I failed to note the even larger silliness of the article. As Jessica Grose points out, the “trend” it identified was “middle class+ white people with kids are moving to the suburbs.” This is roughly as much a “trend” as “the sun rising in the east.” (Unless you think that the yoga studios and tattooed adults that are in pretty much every city, suburb and exurb of any size in the country count as “hip.”) And what’s even worse is that if anything the trend is receding rather than accelerating.


If you plucked a young white-flight family out of the ’70s and dropped them into Hastings-on-Hudson today, the father would throw away his Norelco forthwith and the mother would start making gin infused with the lawn clippings, because that’s what adults do aspirationally now. The reason that the Times finds “Dutch-style bicycles” and “monofloral honey” and gluten-free red-velvet cupcakes available on Main Street is that it is currently possible, or at least seems possible, to support a commercial lease in a Hudson Valley commuter town by selling those things to the kind of people who live there. Is there vinyasa yoga available now in Hastings-on-Hudson, as the lead announces? Wonderful. It’s catching up to Omaha.

13 comments on this post.
  1. Bill Murray:

    “middle class+ white people with kids are moving to the suburbs.”

    I think was a trend even before Chandler and Monica did it at the end of Friends

  2. DrDick:

    It actually started a few years before I was born in 1952.

  3. DrDick:

    Hell, for that matter, you can finad all of those things in Kalispell, MT, which has less than 20K population and may be one of the least hip places in America.

  4. dporpentine:

    It’s not an article about middle-class people moving to suburbs. It’s an article about people who can afford $750,000 houses feeling squeezed out by people who can pay $1.4 million. It’s the standard NYT “rich versus very rich” article posing as one about the middle class.

  5. Jon C:

    Hang on, I thought the people who can afford $750,000 houses ARE middle class now? Or upper-middle class? (middle-upper class?)

  6. cpinva:

    it’s well beyond that, as most of those people don’t appear to have occupations that would actually enable them to afford the $850k homes they’re buying, in that upper hudson wilderness (how much can teaching yoga possibly pay?), so i just assumed they’re mostly trust fund babies.

  7. LeeEsq:

    It really accelerated after 1960 though. A lot of the rust belt cities hit their peak population in 1950 or 1960 with sharp decline after one of those dates.

  8. Scott Lemieux:

    This is why I said “middle class +”

  9. Bill Murray:

    Oh, I thought you were adding the qualifier “white people with kids” to middle class

  10. quodlibet:

    And their kids take piano lessons for the left hand only.

  11. the next Prescott Niles:

    The present piece is substantively identical to this one from 2009, where the “story” is “Unable to make a living playing originals, musicians find playing covers at weddings to be more lucrative.”

  12. 4jkb4ia:

    That article was so absolutely hilarious I read extracts from it to my husband. I summarized it as “Brooklyn has gotten so expensive that Brooklynites are now moving out of the city.” I think I already wrote that both my parents went to Brooklyn College, so the NYT coverage of the hip Brooklyn always gives me complete wonderment.

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