This past week, I spent a few days working in Williamsburg on a shoot for a show on the History Channel. I took the L train to the Bedford stop, and walked out into a very different place. I immediately felt like I was not in Manhattan anymore, but rather a more eclectic, pretentious, and frankly “cooler” version of Columbia, Missouri. The streets were lined with unique restaurants and even more unique patrons.
Walking the few blocks to the studio I passed a dentist that referred it itself as “Williamsburg Dental Arts”, and looked like a gallery rather than an office. I’d never thought of dentistry as an art form before, but I think in Williamsburg, every profession becomes a trendy, artisan trade. You could probably get help with your taxes at a place resembling wine cellar.
The people I passed looked like typical hip young professionals, on their way to work or to buy coconut water or what have you. Even the dogs in Williamsburg were set apart; breeds I’d only seen on television were being walked past the dentist art gallery and records stores.
During the shoot I was sent to a small grocery store down the street for water and snacks. This photo was taken in the store, where all of the non-organic food was labeled “conventional”. I know what they really meant by conventional was “mainstream” or “for people who are obviously not living the Williamsburg lifestyle”. I think this photo very accurately describes Williamsburg. It’s accepting to everyone, and a great place to stop by, but if you’re not a certain kind of hip or cool, you’ll be very obviously labeled as conventional.