A group of San Francisco transplants and tech-adjacent friends are living near one another off the Morgan L stop in Brooklyn, and they’re calling it the Neighborhood NYC. The vision of this “project” (which is not a cult) is to “bring high-agency, emotionally intelligent New Yorkers within walking distance of one another,” or, as they call it, “clustering.” (Again, this is not a cult.) Priya Rose, one of the people heading the effort alongside her husband, Andrew Rose, wrote on Substack that they were trying to “combine the serendipity of a college campus, the co-creation of Burning Man, the agency of Silicon Valley, the vigor of a Midwestern high school track coach, and the culture of New York City.”
So how does one create a Burning Man on a college campus located in Silicon Valley that’s actually Brooklyn? The Neighborhood, which is inspired by a similar project in San Francisco, started last summer and currently has 23 people living in it (aside from the tens of thousands of other people who also live in the actual neighborhood). The Roses’ ultimate goal is to get 100 friends in a year and eventually “1000 ambitious, diverse nerds into one square mile of each other,” something they liken to a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood “without orthodoxy.” They’ve been documenting their progress on Substack.
First was choosing the neighborhood — which had to be nice but not too nice. They toured Williamsburg but ultimately decided on the Morgan stop because they claim it is “at the frontier of culture in New York City” (which is a creative new way to describe gentrification), pointing to this tweet to helpfully explain:
Rose outlines in a post how they got their friends to move to the Neighborhood, first by getting them familiar with the area (again, this is just East Williamsburg). She started by hosting dinner parties, then offered friends short-term sublets in their apartment and another apartment in their building across the hall that they co-signed. Then she started sending people listings for rentals in the area. All of this hard work has been done in the hopes of eventually fulfilling their vision of a “co-owned multi-family building with a solarpunk school and coworking space (think Montessori x MIT Media Lab x Aristotle x Chobani).”
In the meantime, the Neighborhood is busy writing Substacks about the Neighborhood. One of Rose’s friends, Daniel Golliher — who shares a loft in the Neighborhood with four friends — wrote a post about how much he loves it. (Has no one told them about the McKibbin Lofts?) The trick to having roommates, Golliher notes, is to “live with excellent people” such as those who are part of the Neighborhood. (He also suggests purchasing $250 Sony noise-canceling headphones.) “This is not living recklessly, but it can be living breathlessly,” Golliher writes of the idea of having roommates. “It’s the glory of the sprint, the trial of human vigor against reality.”