As anyone with a passing familiarity with New York City has known since time immemorial, Manhattan’s Upper East Side is many desirable things — safe, centrally located, filled with museums, lined with stunning pre-war apartment buildings and townhouses — but it isn’t cool. It’s the city’s most conservative, buttoned-down neighborhood. Even its counterparts in other cities, like Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown, are blessed with hipper restaurants and clothing boutiques. The reason is the neighborhood’s very strength: During the middle of the 20th century, when middle-class and wealthy white people fled from central cities in droves, the Upper East Side hung on. The result is that while previously crime-ridden or abandoned parts of Manhattan’s Downtown and West Side went through a bohemian gentrification phase on their way to fancy, the Upper East Side and its southern neighbors like Murray Hill and Gramercy Park stayed solidly bourgeois.

So a fresh irony has been discovered by the New York media: As recently gritty downtown and outer-borough neighborhoods that used to frighten white-collar immigrants from suburbia have emerged as the new capitals of cool, their housing prices have zoomed past the Upper East Side’s less desirable edges. Now, report publications such The New York Times and the New York Observer, young people who would have wrinkled their noses at the city’s squarest neighborhood are moving there, and bringing their hipness with them.

On Wednesday, The Daily Beast even went so far as to endeavor to explain “Why the Upper East Side Is Now Cooler Than Brooklyn.” Writer Tom Teodorczuk’s reasons: the influx of trendy new bars and restaurants, a smattering of celebrity sightings, and relative affordability.