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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Night of the Living Hipsters!

Brooklyn (and NYC in general) is becoming so hipster, I cannot stand it. The neighborhood I live in is primarily working class West Indian with a sprinkling of yuppies and other cultures/ethnicities. However, within the last couple of years, the hipsters have been flocking to the area southeast of Prospect Park. Now, when I first started coming to this neighborhood, there were no hipsters in sight. In fact, I was literally the only white person on the bus or subway. Now, when I get off the B/Q at Prospect Park, it is like hipster paradise. All of a sudden the neighborhood is becoming trendy and chic.

A lot of it has to do with the low prices in rent. A lot of the buildings around where I live are pre-war. At least twice a month you can count on spotting a U-Haul with packed with bicycles, vinyl or DJ equipment, Crate and Barrel furniture, and maybe something offbeat like some mannequins or bee keeping equipment. I now walk down the street and see hipsters riding bikes or hipsters walking home with groceries. It seems like my area is now the backyard of Park Slope. Soon, my Lefferts Gardens' section of Bedford will look just like Bedford in Williamsburg. But, it's not too late. We can stop this hipster invasion! There are ways to contain a hipster outbreak prevent a hipster epidemic.

You can tell if your neighborhood is being invaded by hipsters. Here are some tell-tale signs:
-corner grocery sells micro-bear and vegan/organic options
-the frequency of biking forces bike lanes to be installed
-the nearest American Apparel is always sold out of skinny jeans and jeggings.
-the nearby Duane Reade has no more bright red lipstick in stock
-Indian, vegetarian, and Thai restaurants start popping up
-The music blasting on passing cars is obscure rock/pop you've never heard before
-little coffee shops start popping up and put Dunkin' Donuts out of business

You can spot a hipster from a mile away. Make sure you can spot them, before they spot you. You don't want to be caught being called a 'poseur' or worse, have one pull down his/her Ray-Ban sunglasses and give you a hipster sneer. Hipsters are not very nice or kind. They invade your neighborhood without paying attention to local customs or habits. They walk down the street with an air of 'I'm better than everyone else on this damn block'.

You can tell male hipsters apart from non-hipsters because they wear oversized button-down sweaters, often with eccentric patterns. Skinny jeans (black) or jeggings are a MUST! They wear cowboy boots or lace up soft leather work boots (that probably cost $500 but they pass them off like they got 'em at Goodwill). They wear v-neck t-shirts or t-shirts with ironic jokes that only a hipster would laugh at. Examples are: kitten with a moustache and ski cap, a picture of an upside down tree, a cowboy with lipstick and high heels, or a large open mouth saying 'bust a moby'. I don't get the joke, and neither does any non-hipster. Also, if you want to be a male hipster, you gotta grow a beard. The bigger and bushier, the better!

Female hipsters are always, ALWAYS wearing bright red lipstick and dark eyeliner. They are known to wear black or neon (purple, pink, yellow) tights under cut-off jean shorts. Or, tights also go with an ugly floral print or polka dot dress. A granny sweater is definitely in. Ratty, uncombed hair with gel is often in vogue. Also, some rogue hipster women like to shave one side of their head or get assymetrical bangs. Bangs, bangs, bangs are necessary to be a female hipster. Ankle boots or Mary Janes are also in (cowboy boots are not).

Frumpy, disheveled, and scruffy are the key adjectives for any hipster (both male and female). Also, the more obscure the music/band you listen to, the better. Bon Iver is way too hyped now. I mean, I've known about them for years, but they won a Grammy so I cannot like a band that everyone knows about. Also, the worse the band sounds, the better. Hipsters don't really have a good ear for talent. They just like anything that makes noise. It could be two guys who hit pots and pans with rulers or a girl playing a saw and tap dancing at the same time. The weirder and less it sounds like music, the more hipster it is.

If you want to be a hipster, though, you should shop at either American Apparel or Urban Outfitters. Buy some Tom's shoes and a keffiyeh/scarf. Also, get thick, chunky tortoise shell thick framed glasses (it doesn't matter if they're real or not). An oversized coat/sport coat is definitely cool. And remember neon/bright colors. Pink, red, yellow, jeans/leggings are cool. Also, men and women, though they have definite styles of their own also interchange a lot of their gender identity. Hipster guys can be sensitive and meek while hipster girls can be tough and edgy. It doesn't matter. Gender conformity is not hipster!

For other sources on how to be a hipster, check these out:
~WikiHow-How to be a Hipster
~Hipster glossary
~Hipster's Dictionary
~Paste Hipster History
~Cracked Hipster Guide

If you want to put an end to the hipster madness, please send all ideas and requests to (don't e-mail this address..I don't even know if it's a real e-mail).

Beware of the hipster. If one bites you and you wake up donning Ray Bans and look a little pasty, check your neck or wrist for star tattoos. That is the mark of the hipster!



Addendum: My wife had two very interesting run-ins with hipster culture within the past couple days that add flavor to this post. She told me that today she realized that hipsterdom has fully permeated and saturated every inch of American culture, as she saw a hipster guy with Down Syndrome walking out of Barnes and Noble. He was wearing fitted black pants and an orange and black striped long sleeve shirt. It stuck out because it was unexpected and the guy was with another hipster styled friend. Also, the other day she saw a French hipster guy with pants so tight she couldn't look also with tzit-tzit hanging out and a velvet yarmulke. He had very pointy black cowboy boots. He had a flannel shirt and had tight charcoal colored nearly shiny pants (not black). I just think these are interesting observations, that's all.


Anjelica said...

This is my favorite blog post that you've written so far. I'm sharing it with my brother, as he loves both American Apparel and Toms shoes.

Anjelica said...

Also, have you seen this?:

JoshMcDarris said...

Nice post! I like the images you used. I'd actually like to use the image of the four "hipster" guys for a project. Do you know who the original author is? Thanks!

fireonthemountain said...

Josh, thanks man. I found the images doing a google image search. The one particular image you're asking about I tracked to here: I am not certain where it is from originally. Thanks.