Brooklyn : New Zealand : : Manhattan : Australia
Brooklyn is to New Zealand as Manhattan is to Australia.
Though separated only by a small piece of water they are worlds away. Indeed, they have some similarities e.g., same language, same flag (more or less). But that’s where the homogeneity ends.
Ask someone from Australia if they’ve been to New Zealand and you’ll find that more often than not the answer is no. Ask someone from Manhattan if they’ve been to Brooklyn and don’t be surprised if you come across a few natives who never have. Curiously, the opposite is not true. Many New Zealanders have been to Australia and many people in Brooklyn go to Manhattan on a daily basis. Interestingly, I’ve yet to find the subway not working from Brooklyn to Manhattan though I have encountered the opposite two times during my short stay.
The analogy holds true in terms of culture. Manhattan/Australia is the cool kid in the classroom. It’s the big lights, the real deal. The hipster part of Brooklyn is like New Zealand. Life is slower, people are kinder, albeit weirder, and that’s just the way they like it.
The pace is also different. The hustle and bustle of the Manhattan slows down when you cross the bridge into Brooklyn and make your way into neighborhoods like Greenpoint and Williamsburg. There you can cross the street without fear of getting run over and, on occasion, a taxi may give a pedestrian the right of way. In New Zealand, which has a population of 4.5 million people, you’re much more likely to encounter a traffic jam on account of the 30 million sheep than you are from automobiles.
The relationship is not without its own rivalries. Take food and sport. Where can you find the best pizza? Is it Brooklyn or Manhattan? Who has the better basketball team? Is it the Knicks or the Nets? The All Blacks from New Zealand certainly have dominated the rugby competition.
Finally, take the cost of living. Though apartments in Brooklyn are still outrageous, the pint at one of the local pubs won’t cost you the $13 that it would at a club in Manhattan. Compare Wellington to Sydney and you’ll find the same.
So close, yet so far, Brooklyn : New Zealand : : Manhattan : Sydney.
Which do you prefer?
I like Detroit.