NYT Still Trying to Make ‘Très Brooklyn’ Happen

Jill Abramson? Photo: Paramount Pictures

A few weeks ago, the New York Times informed the excited citizens of Brooklyn that Parisians considered them cool. “Among young Parisians, there is currently no greater praise for cuisine than “très Brooklyn,” a term that signifies a particularly cool combination of informality, creativity and quality,” explained an article on food trucks’ transatlantic journey. Brooklynites were proud, Parisians were all, quoi? non. bah! , and then everyone moved on. Except the New York Times, which is still trying really, really hard to make this catchphrase catch.

 For instance, this weekend, in a review of the NYPL’s new “Lunch Hour NYC” exhibit, writer Edward Rothstein stuck in this little nonsequitor.

It is all playfully and elegantly designed. The Web resources are rich as well, including detailed links to images and invitations to help transcribe menus from the library’s collection.

Even after a quick visit, you might echo the young Parisians who have become fans of the American-inspired gourmet-food trucks in Paris: “Très Brooklyn,” they say — a term “that signifies a particularly cool combination of informality, creativity and quality,” The New York Times reported recently.

Wait, what? Why would you say that? This is not an exhibit about Brooklyn. It is not being shown in Brooklyn. It is not, primarily, about the ready availablity of organic kimchee tacos. It is about the ways people eat lunch. Do they not eat a midday meal in Manhattan? Have I been doing it wrong all these years?!!?!?!

That’s not the only time très Brooklyn gets dropped into the piece, either, as if Rothstein were under strict editors’ orders to make it catch on. He closes the piece with this philosophical musing:

Lunch is the democratic meal, the great leveler, a break in the rituals of social and economic life. Anybody could be standing next to you, grabbing as much food as the hand can hold.

Très Brooklyn!

And suddenly, this simple review becomes the ultimate Times trend piece. Lunch: Didn’t count till Brooklyn hipsters started eating it.

NYT Still Trying to Make ‘Très Brooklyn’ Happen