“You can eat wonderful food in a junked train car on plebeian plates served by waitresses more likely to start dancing with the bartender to the beat of the indie music playing on the sound system than to inquire, “More Dom Pérignon, sir?” Truffles and oysters can still appear on the Brooklyn menu, but more common is old-fashioned “comfort food” turned into something haute: burgers made from grass-fed cattle from a New York farm, butchered in-house, and served on a perfectly grilled brioche bun; mac ‘n’ cheese made from heritage grains and artisanal cow and sheep’s milk. Tarlow was not the only Williamsburg artist unknowingly helping to define a Brooklyn brand at the turn of the millennium. Around the same time he opened up Diner, twenty-six-year-old Lexy Funk and thirty-one-year-old Vahap Avsar were stumbling into creating a successful business in an entirely different discipline. Their beginning was just as inauspicious as Diner’s: a couple in need of some cash found the canvas of a discarded billboard in a Dumpster and thought that it could be turned into cool-looking messenger bags. The fabric on the bags looked worn and damaged, a textile version of Tarlow’s rusted railroad car, but that was part of its charm. Funk and Avsar rented an old factory, created a logo with Williamsburg’s industrial skyline, emblazoned it on T-shirts, and pronounced their enterprise”


Kay S. Hymowitz, The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back
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The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back by Kay S. Hymowitz
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