That's the scenario invoked by this little Post item, in which the MTA's chairman reveals that the city came quite close to shuttering the line in the eighties. Would Williamsburg as Williamsburg — not to mention Bushwick as Bushwick — have happened? Probably not! Imagine how different life would have been!
Would the South Bronx have become filled with liberal arts majors finding themselves? Would mustaches be ironic or sincere? What would the New York Times have written about on Thursdays for the last decade? Would PBR have gone out of business? Would we all be wearing cargo pants? Would trucker hats have ever become fashionable for that brief, crucial moment? And without them, would Ashton Kutcher have ever become famous and married Demi Moore and eventually forced her into the cruel embrace of Whip-Its?
More troubling still: Would there even be an artisanal pickling movement to mock when in search of a low-hanging punchlines about Brooklyn? Would Portlandia have happened? Would Portland have happened? There is no end to the questions raised.