Et tu, Roma?

This annoying early twenty-first century phenomenon to liken everything to something else has gotten most out of hand with the necessity people and magazines feel to compare the brand that has become Brooklyn with other major cities. Even when that major city is the sacred former capital of the Roman Empire.

"The Bedford Avenue of Rome"
“The Bedford Avenue of Rome”

While Vogue has been responsible for labeling Bushwick one of the coolest neighborhoods “in the world,” Vanity Fair has trumped their inane need to classify and thereby destroy so-called coolness with an article called “Visiting Rome’s Brooklyn–Hipsters, Tattoos and Strollers in Bars.” Because of its “wide pedestrian street lined with cafes and bustling with young people enjoying the afternoon sun,” Pigneto has beed dubbed the Bedford Avenue of Rome. But, firstly, anyone who knows a bit about Williamsburg will tell you that Bedford is currently the antithesis of cutting edge anything. Just because a place has some bars, coffee shops and bookstores does not make it fantastic or a hipster mecca, so much as a hub for aging parents trying to cling to their youth.

As you can see, like Williamsburg, Pigneto is filled with old people
As you can see, like Williamsburg, Pigneto is filled with old people

And, for all the vampiric coveting of youth–note the use of the phrase “young people” in that above sentence (one imagines the person saying it to really lay on the vowel, pronouncing it like “youuuuung“)–those in prominent positions in media seem to know so little about them. So long as a neighborhood looks nice and has white people and expensive restaurants, it’s “the Brooklyn of [insert city name here].”

Map of Pigneto
Map of Pigneto

And, if we’re being totally honest, Rome pioneered the so-called concept of “hipsterdom,” in that they’ve always known how to work minimally, eat well, drink well and, in short, live well. So don’t try to fucking tell them that any part of their city is like Brooklyn. It is simply itself.