Much the way Hollywood people have shuttled between Los Angeles and Manhattan for decades, or academics commute on the Acela between Morningside Heights and Cambridge, Mass., there is a young, earnest population that is beating a path between artsy, gentrifying neighborhoods in Brooklyn and their counterparts in the Bay Area, especially East Oakland and the area south of Market Street in San Francisco, or SoMa.
Richard Florida, the author of “The Rise of the Creative Class,” which argues that urban renewal is sparked by high concentrations of high-tech workers, artists, gay men and lesbians, ranked San Francisco No. 1 on his “creativity index” and New York City No. 9. Although Mr. Florida did not break out data for Brooklyn, “anecdotally it has a large concentration of creative people who have moved from Manhattan and elsewhere,” he wrote in an e-mail message. “I am confident if such data existed, Brooklyn would do very well.”
He added that the populations drawn to both areas by alternative art and music scenes, and by a tolerance for diversity, were looking for a “messy urbanism, a clash of different styles that Brooklyn still retains, that the East Bay still retains.”
Other communities across the country also fit this bill, but what Brooklyn and the East Bay share is proximity to more cosmopolitan centers — Manhattan and San Francisco — where the “creative class,” many of whom are freelancers, can earn a living.