Author: L.J. Davis
Areas Featured: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn; Upper West Side

L.J. Davis flips Manifest Destiny on its head by sending Lowell Lake, the protagonist of the hilarious, caustic A Meaningful Life, from California to Brooklyn: Go East, young man, and meet your pathetic end. Lake works as the managing editor of plumbing magazine and his life needs direction. He gets the idea to fix up a brownstone in Brooklyn (Clinton Hill, specifically.) Here's Davis, writing in 1971:

"Lowell could remember neither where he'd seen the article nor precisely what it said, but he recalled the general drift. That was all he needed. Creative young people were buying houses in the Brooklyn slums, integrating all-Negro blocks, and coming firmly to grips with poverty and municipal corruption. It was the stuff of life. It was what he was looking for."

For all the starry-eyed hipsters of Brooklyn, here's a sobering does of nihilism. Is it artisanal? Fuck you. —RS