When we began our project, we assumed Williamsburg to be a ‘young and hip’ neighborhood that most people spent their youth years in, but grew out of as they became older. We believed that potential residents were attracted to Williamsburg based on its hipster authenticity and subculture. We thought it was a vagabond community in which residents continuously moved in and out and we wanted to observe the nature of this place. Is it slowly turning into an area which people have families and families have kids and raise them in Williamsburg? Or will it stay forever a haven for the youth?
We realized that our conception of Williamsburg was already late to date. About a decade ago Williamsburg was the center for hipsters, college students and college graduates, artistic and creative individuals. As one of our interviewees said, “It used to be a bunch of interesting colorful people.” Now it is a mixture of colorful people and families with kids. Williamsburg has been consistently evolving since the 1990s and right now it is evolving into a multi-ethnic society. There is no dominant age group, culture, sub culture, or family status. However, we are able to conclude that there is a definite increase in families and children.The major factor determining residency in Williamsburg is a person’s economic status. Those who can afford to stay in Williamsburg most often times do. The residences who have been here longest most likely moved out due to high rent, or have settled down and are finally forming families now.
Due to the newly built condos, more individuals will be attracted to Williamsburg and the increase in space is an attraction for those who would like to raise families here. At one point, the hipster sub culture was an attracting component of residency alongside low rent but that aura of uniqueness is fading and quickly evolving as Williamsburg’s economy is stabilizing and the new neighborhood is prospering. When we asked a resident of Williamsburg who began living there since college if he would like to raise his child here, he said he definitely would not because he believes the area would become too “snobby” by then. Williamsburg’s hipster authenticity is fading as people of varying ages and ethnicities are moving into the area and settling down in the newly built condos that are beginning to give off perhaps a Manhattanite vibe. The residents of Williamsburg becoming more defined as multi-ethnic than anything else.