Josh Ozersky has once again managed to incense an entire borough, and this time Brooklyn’s defenders are threatening violence.
The last time Ozersky, my former colleague at Grub Street, baited BK, he was unleashing “The Truth About Brooklyn’s Overhyped, Undercooked Restaurant Scene” in the pages of the Observer — arguing that “Brooklyn, taken as a restaurant city, sucks.”
Ozersky was the self-declared “king of Avenue C” when he penned that article; but now he’s moved to Crown Heights, and he isn’t exactly psyched about returning to the borough where he had lived for seven years previously. In a Vice piece about “The Painful Exile to Brooklyn,” he says he’s been reduced to “subsisting on Zebra Cakes and quarter waters, an old bum with matted hair and dead, sad eyes.”
In the Observer, Ozersky posited that “Brooklynites grossly overestimate their restaurants as a defense mechanism against the anguish of exile.” Which isn’t what the newly exiled food writer does here. He laments that “when I lived in the East Village, I had so many good restaurants around me that I didn’t know where to eat first” — versus now, in Crown Heights: “Little Debbie would be a step up from the stuff they have in our bodegas; at KFC, they keep the chicken behind bulletproof glass.”
Ozersky admits there are decent spots in Crown Heights but argues they’d be among dozens of similar establishments in an “an actual good restaurant neighborhood.” He then concludes:
You ask me if I have a different opinion of Brooklyn now that I live here. The answer is yes. Brooklyn is even worse than I remembered it, particularly in its vast untamed stretches — the Canarsies and Brownsvilles and Bath Beaches that actually constitute the greater majority of the borough. And as for your Bedford Avenues and Smith Streets, you can have them. My life has now been bifurcated: I live half the time amid the very summit of cookery in the 212 most nights, and spend my days with blackened frozen fingers, gnawing on oxtails and off-brand snack cakes in the streets. It has been a long fall. But if nothing else, it did, at least, confirm just how right my prejudices were.
Brooklyn is the worst.
The Observer article got its share of criticism, but the commenters over at Vice are taking it to the next level, alternately dismissing the author as a belly-aching gentrifier, telling him to “GET THE FUCK OUT,” and even invoking physical violence:
Catch homeboy in the street and let him know!
I catch that bitch on the street and give that bitch a beat down because is the Brooklyn way
Dear Brooklyn. Mug this prick.
im glad u put a picture of yourself and disclosed your general location so i can slap the shit out you when i see you
This dude needs to know that his life can still get worst as bricks get thrown through his window
Put your torches down, folks. Josh may yet come around to the borough. After all, if Vogue, in just six months, can go from snide condescension to praising Greenpoint's “charming boutiques and cozy bars and restaurants,” anything’s possible…