Skip to content
CityLab
Design

Mapping the Edison Bulbs of Brooklyn

Behold vintage incandescent bulbs, the illumination of gentrifiers.  
Under a tungsten sun: Brooklynites in their preferred habitat—a bar lit with Edison bulbs.
Under a tungsten sun: Brooklynites in their preferred habitat—a bar lit with Edison bulbs. Alyssa Loorya/CityLab

The indicator species of gentrification are many—pop-up farmer’s markets, a front yard with a Little Free Library, thousand-dollar baby strollers. Among the most telling—certainly the most visible to a flâneur at twilight—are Edison-style incandescent light bulbs. Reproduction retro lighting is essential for any restaurateur or publican seeking an upscale clientele. Glowing tungsten filaments seem to draw graduate-degreed urbanites like moths to the proverbial flame—which is more than just a figure of speech, as we’ll see.

[Like CityLab on Facebook]