Berkeley,California, is one of the few places in the world where the ideals of the 60’s went beyond drugs and loose sex and actually blossomed into some very powerful things.
Green building is one of these. Berkeley has examples of green building that carry a direct lineage back to 1960 hippie ideals. The houses are great examples of idealism embodied practically and efficiently. And the green building is in all parts of the social fabric, from the way they do city planning to the way they do health care.
I say all this because I was brainstorming today with New York solar installer Rob Ashmore from Aeon Solar about a marketing plan for the Brooklyn Green Show House and he pointed out that Brooklyn is the Berkeley of the East Coast.
It struck me as a very accurate statement. I didn’t realize this since I’m in the eye of the storm as a Brooklyn green contractor. But it is true. The convergence of idealism that can easily be traced back to the 60’s and current day smarts is very powerful in Brooklyn.
There is a great combination of elements in Brooklyn. NY, as one of the commercial and cultural centers of the world, attracts tremendous talent. They tend to be smart, talented and energetic people. You need to be in order to survive in NY.
And the vast majority of these people live in Brooklyn. Ever since the cultural bleaching of NY happened in the 90’s Brooklyn has replaced it as the cool place to live. Cheaper rents, nicer architecture and easy access to transportation has made Brooklyn the choice for cool hipsters.
And apart from the nauseating hipness of Williamsburg, Brooklyn retains a low key integrity. People tend to be very genuine.
Anyway, again I find myself raving about Brooklyn. My main point here is that these people are also more green than the average person. I suspect it is because they tend to be young trendsetters and artists.
And as such they also tend to be a little ahead of the curve. What people here are doing now is often what the rest of America will be doing in a couple years. And if what they are doing now is any indication of what is to come then the future is definitely green.
So as a green contractor in the Berkeley of the East Coast, AKA Brooklyn, I’m happy to say things are going good and the future looks positive.
Back to Rob from Aeon solar, we were marveling at how when you stand on a Brooklyn brownstone rooftop you can see miles of houses with hundreds of thousands of pristine flat roofs baking in the sun. For a green contractor and solar installer this is like casting your eyes on a field full of fruit trees in the spring time: the fruits are soon to come and abundantly so.
Brooklyn is ripe for solar power and green renovations. The time, place and people couldn’t be more synergistic.