Recently, Gothamist’s Rebecca Fishbein wrote a guide summing up the new and old food places in “Jefftown” using terms such as “barstaurantification” and “hip spillover from Williamsburg,” leading a couple thousand people to simultaneously go eat good food off the Jefferson L stop and feel some seriously contradictory emotions of hate towards “Jefftown.” And while we do love Rebecca, who actually wrote a couple of great posts for Bushwick Daily, and we even love Gothamist for the heat it produces over some seemingly ordinary subjects such as a bite of delicious food, we must ask: “What makes us give names to neighborhoods, and is it a good thing?”
I don’t know but I do have a theory. I think that giving a name to your neighborhood is akin to giving a name to your lover after, ehm, a sexy encounter. Like Tasty Baby, Big Strong Bear, Papi Chulo, Firecracker, Cuddle Cakes or Lovely Bones… (Yes, these are real sexy names collected from real [sexy] people). A special sexy name is silly but often times it means that you have a unique affection for a person, and similarly, a neighborhood. No, no ex is involved in this one! In fact, everyone else is excluded and this is just between you and…Jefftown! Wait, but isn’t there a little too many lovers of Jefftown? Yes, indeed, there are quite a few. Jefftown is promiscuous and one can get easily jealous of everybody else who gets to stroke it sexily. But, guys, I have to break the bitter truth here: Jefftown never agreed to exclusivity.
So, no. You should not hate “Jefftown.” Why? Mostly because hating is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person dies (that’s how my clever friend puts it). And also, because despite what people assume, “Jefftown” is not a creation of some greedy broker, nor some delusional hipster lunatic; it simply is a name coined by a local dude named Royal Chase who if you ask me is pretty cool, and I personally respect what he does. Royal is a Brooklyn resident of 27 years, born in Caribbean Guyana, raised in Crown Heights. He is a regular at Pearl’s and Mominette, and he co-works at Bat Haus. That’s where he came up with the name Jefftown for the first time, and in 2012 he started to make hats, tees and stickers in collaboration with Silky’s. “I sold online about 80 hats, 100 tees and about 10,000 stickers,” he told me.
I asked Royal about all this Jefftown hysteria. “I’m not sure why there is so much hate and I don’t care. Some of these people are either the same age or older than me, so hey if they got enough time to hate let them; it’s a free country. I’m from here, there’s no place for me to go back to. So either join or leave. In the famous words by the legend of Brooklyn: ” Birthdays was the worst days / Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay – Juicy by The Notorious B.I.G.”
I mean don’t you just love Royal?
If you do, get a Jefftown hat here.
If not, just don’t use the term and let it slowly fade away from your universe. And maybe you can come up with your own sexy name for your slice of Bushwick, and don’t let anybody else call it that way. *wink*
Check out what people said about “Jefftown” on social media:
John Barclay, a co-owner of Bossa Nova who is clearly not so in favor of Jefftown, wrote on his Facebook using ALL CAPS!
Brooklyn Historical pondered this historical issue as well:
— Brooklyn Historical (@brooklynhistory) May 5, 2014
Some people think that Jefftown reaches all the way to Montrose L stop. But I have to correct you right there. That would be Montrosetown – or if you insist on an actual annoying name, Eastwick.
I will punch anyone who starts calling Jefferson Street area in Bushwick “Jefftown”, just no.
— ʎuoɥʇuɐ (@ANTHONYc) May 4, 2014
And this is Royal Chase, the proud daddy of the term ‘Jefftown’…