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North Shore Blog
» On Hipsters
Reactions to TaCÂ´s NY Times feature and on hipsters in general
This is regarding TaC's feature in the NY Times that tried to evaluate how hip living in Staten Island really is these days. In the write-up I'm described as a stereo typical hipster which I can't either be proud of or deny it. I'm just part of some social class that hopes to not fully run along the mainstream of our culture, which, by the sheer number of those attempting this, becomes mainstream again. Which is what real hipsters vehemently fight. So hey, I'm not a real hipster! But then, you can be a hipster, just by appearance. it's a vague definition and the type of clothing is essential. The Wikipedia definition for the currently used term reads: " ... In current parlance it can refer to the way one is dressed and may have connotations involving the circumstances of one's class and identity."
So there's this one person who now really hates me for being in the article. This guy (my former drinking pal) texts me, complaining that I'd be responsible if the rents got up now because of that article. When I told him that, by definition, he was a hipster too, he told me to shut the fuck up and to ignore him from now on. Sure, no real hipster would ever admit belonging to any hipster clique. It's all about individualism. But as a matter of fact this particular dude, with his skinny pants and heavy metal t-shirt, looks like he's coming straight from the set for the Hipster Olympics, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAO4EVMlpwM
Anyhow, the term hipster is a cultural phenomenon and a very vague term and you can't blame people for not liking being called one. But there's also no point in denying it. It's like denying that you are an angry teenager when you are an angry teenager. Here's more on that subject http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2005/07/what_is_a_hipst.html
There were a number of blogs and posts that rather ranted about the Times article. Most were making fun of Staten Island, still being a hopeless case. Some entries were really pointless rants, others gave a pretty good insight (from the outside).
The New York Intelligencer wrote a small, bleak piece about it, involving some real underlying matters and data, namely the study from the Center for an Urban Future, which found out that us islanders are threatened by "an economic decline and a significant deterioration in its quality of life." So bottom line is, creative people from other boroughs must be attracted. The group organized a round table with local creatives to come and think of what could be done for the better. "A big old haunted mansion in [your] price range." Is the Intelligencer's favorite phrase. The article closes with a "Yikes. If we were Bloomberg, we'd start watching these guys more closely. They're getting desperate."
Then there is a real rant on a site called DieHipster. (Could it be run by my hipster ex-pal?) It starts like this:
"Somebody wake me up. Somebody smack me. Somebody shoot me. This can't be happening. If you live on Staten Island you should be deeply concerned. These "cool" zombies are going to double the price of your morning coffee and your rents."
Then the article goes (I added my comments in italic):
Just what the North Shore needs, another wave of knuckleheads to let us know how we're doing everything wrong. So just who anointed these bohos as the latest in 'cool'. Remember if you have to try so very hard to be 'cool', well Jack, you ain't!!
Wrong, we're NOT trying. That alone makes us hipsters!
As for the article itself you would think the writer would get out from behind the lofty perch of his Midtown desk and actually do a bit of reporting and try to present an accurate story.
The writer has been out here a number of times. I can first hand say, she put a lot of efforts in research and reporting.
I am in Stapleton every day of the week and I've never seen the 'farm' he speaks of.
Boy, it's not a "Farm" with chicken and cattle. It's an old wooden shag with lots of trees, green and a yard.
As for people lighting bonfires in their backyards that's the silliest thing I've ever heard. Any sane neighbor would have the FDNY there in a minute.
It's been years now that we had bonfires going for our seasonal winter fest (and sometimes in-between), in different locations. I can't say the all our neighbors are sane, but they're nice enough to NOT call the FDNY but to rather join us.
The last thing the North Shore needs is an infestation of Starfuck's and beatnik poetry readings. We need working people bringing money in raising families to make these neighborhoods work again.
So and these people should refrain from any cultural activities? Why not some poetry? "Family oriented" neighborhoods without cultural events. That's what we already have on most of this island and somebody please tell me that this is not dead-boring!
Anyway when enough of these self-promoting clowns have their ipods or Blackberries ripped off they'll all go crying back to Mommy and say what a terrible place this really is.
My decision stands, I won't go back to Mommy!
And here's another entry:
... 'Article courtesy of some 52 year old living in Ridgewood, NJ observing
New York City through a powerful telescope. Count how many times the
article uses "bohemia" "hipster" "chic" "square rim glasses" "midwest"
"Williamsburg" and "their 3 year old toddler". You can make a drinking
game out of it. ...'
One of the most common misperceptions, for some reason, was about the writer. She's not an aging snob, but an attractive, interested and intelligent young woman that puts a lot of efforts in her writings.
Some more posts:
Where hipster go to procreate:
That's it. This was just an overview of online reactions ot the article. There's much more posts and reviews out there.
Last Update 2008-12-03 | Copyright© Christoph Mayer 2009
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