Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sushi (and more!) on Flatbush

Lately I've gotten very enthusiastic about cooking. My new favorite thing to make is tofu-rice paper rolls. This involves pan-frying extra firm tofu (organic extra firm tofu if you live in or around Park Slope and cannot find the inorganic variety) in a bit of sesame oil, soy sauce, and hot sauce, the wrapping the tofu--along with mint, basil, lettuce, and a lime-salt-pepper dipping sauce--in that most amazing of all foods, rice paper. While I would not go so far as to say that what I'm cooking constitutes Vietnamese food, it's something along those lines. Unfortunately, despite an exterminator, steel gauze, and all that, the mouse is back, or maybe it's a new mouse, so that may be it for this newfound hobby.

In other, local news, but slightly less local in that it extends beyond my (lovely, I swear!) apartment, an American Apparel appears to have opened in a nearby movie theater. The arrival of the pornographically-marketed GAP would announce the arrival of gentrification, were it not for the already-present establishments selling $170 jeans, $9 crepes, and so much more. Brooklyn sure has changed, and while I personally have no recollection of it (or the Village, or SoHo) before this transformation, it still seems to amuse my Brooklyn-born family when I mention, say, the sushi restaurant on Flatbush.


Russell said...

It seems strange to me to think of American Apparel as the "pornographically-marketed GAP". That is, while it certainly is pornographically-marketed, my impression is that the clothes are not so much like the GAP's. GAP always struck me as aimed at a, uhh, wider group, or at the very least their offerings fail to accomodate skinnier people well. Perhaps the big dissimilarites end there though, I don't really know.

Phoebe said...

Is American Apparel for thinner people, or is it just that the clothing there is supposed to fit tightly? Something to think about.

But aside from AA, no major American chain that I can think of caters to the thin. From J.Crew to Old Navy, an extra-small is still quite large. Many of the thin are too rich to care if chains have their size, but some are not. Thus the popularity of GAP Kids among female college students, and of women's jeans among otherwise non-crossdressing thin men.

Russell said...

No no you're absolutely right it's not that they specifically cater to thin people, merely that their clothes fit tighter.

Brands like H&M can often run slimmer, but then H&M is Swedish, and moreover, H&M:clothing::Ikea:furniture.

I guess yeah off the top of my head there probably aren't a lot of brands that market to the specifically skinny probably because in the US there isn't a whole lot of money to be made there.

I suppose this has gotten away from my original confusion as to why AA was likened to Gap as opposed, to, uh, whatever other chain. This confusion stems from not identifying the GAP with gentrification as it seems you do.

Phoebe said...

It obviously depends on what an area's like to begin with. The arrival of a GAP in a neighborhood already filled with upscale boutiques brings things down a bit, while a GAP in an area like Hyde Park ( would signal that the place is getting a bit more disposable income. When GAP stores began closing, one by one, on the Upper East Side, I just assumed that was because the demographic that used to shop there had discovered $200 jeans and lost interest.

In any case, I don't think this latest American Apparel does anything other than confirm already-present gentrification.